FESTIVAL OF INTELLIGENCE
30 years of FEST
There are a lots of International Film Festivals in Europe
and elsewhere. The most famous one is in Cannes. But there
are also plenty of local International Film Festivals taking
place in the small economically undeveloped countries, countries
like Serbia, former Yugoslavia.
One such International Film Festival is FEST, International
Film Festival in Belgrade, that has hosted big names in world-wide
filmmaking for the past 30 years. International Film Festival
FEST 2002, celebrated 30 years of existence: 20 years of existence
and cultural importance in former Yugoslavia, and 10 years
of existence in present Yugoslavia.
"At the time when FEST was created it was planned as
the festival of spiritual communication, a well-constructed
intersection of ideas and experiences, a planned encounter
with our own and international film
productions, a programmed space in which useful and productive
coincidences would take place,? said the chairman of the board
of FEST 2002, Mr. Dushan Makavejev.
At the first FEST, The International Film Festival was created
to stretch film's definition, to jump into the adventure of
new structures, to touch the taboos and unmask the myth.
year, 1971, the International Film Festival in Belgrade hosted
celebrities such as Dennis Hopper and Liv Ullmann. Afterwards
everything became easier, and as the years went by, every
single FEST became better and better, showing to a Yugoslav
audience unlimited possibilities, to connect an ordinary person
with the world of glamour. The festival has hosted such celebrities
Gideon Bahman [American critic], Roman Polanski, Victoria
de Sike, Kirk Douglas, Milos Forman, Gina Lollobrigida, Jack
Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Irma Flis, David Puttnam, Jim Jarmusch,
Johnny Depp, Beatrice Dalle, Andrew Birkin, A. Goth, Hugo
Weaving, and Catherine Deneuve.
course, this year's festival, even if it's a jubilee, had
a similar conception when it came to film selection. FEST
has a long tradition of selecting different films for the
different tastes within Belgrade's audience. The most popular
films are definitely American cinematography: the commercial
films, such as "Original Sin" by Michael Christofer,
starring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie, then "Traffic"
by Steven Soderbergh, then "Apocalypse Now" by Francis
Ford Coppola, and of course "Mullholand
Drive" by David Lynch, than "Black Hawk Down"
by Ridley Scott, "Moulin Rouge" by Baz Luhrmann,
and "The Last Castle" by Rod Lurie. One of the most
popular directors is Robert Altman, with his films "Gingerbread
Man" and "Gosford Park."
Tickets for the most popular films were sold out in less than
two days. Serbian audiences responded best to the commercial
American films, just as everywhere else. Even so, there were
certain audiences who have followed British, Japanese, Italian,
German, Swedish, former Yugoslavian and French cinematography
The official grand opening for International Film Festival
2002, was on Feb. 1, when the Italian film, "My Son's
Room," opened in Belgrade's grand cinema center, Sava
Center. The festival officially opened with former Yugoslavian
and now Serbian cinematography diva Milena Dravic, after which
a vivid costume dancer's performance followed, just before
the film began.
This year Belgrade's film lovers have shown great interest
in Indian cinematography, for Mira Nair's "Monsoon Wedding,"
a film that won the Best Film Award at the film festival in
Canberra. And, audiences praised the Italian film that officially
opened this year's FEST festival on Feb. 1, "My Son's
Room" by Nanni Moretto. Moretto's film won an award in