Lynch, Wenders and Madonna
on the New Author Festival
By Rada Djurica
The New Author Film Festival
was established 14 years ago in Belgrade Serbia to appeal to a different
type of festival audience, focusing on two aspects: looking at the new
possibilities of motion-picture expressions and renewing classical patterns
of film narrative in the changed technological and civilization context.
Besides the homage showcase of Zivojin Pavlovic, one of the most important
Serbian filmmakers, and the French philosopher and most influential
film critic of all times, Andre Kazin, the festival did appealed to
a mainstream audience, as well. The Turner Prize-winning artist Steve
McQueen's (not the actor by the same name) feature debut Hunger
won the main Aleksandar Sasa Petrovic Prize and shared a prize of 7000
euros with Kazakh film Tulpan, directed by Sergej Dvortsevoy.
According the festival jury (Boris T. Matic, Ferenc Torok and Gordan
Mihic) although they demonstrate two completely different forms of film
expression, aesthetic structure and layers, both stories have equal
strength, demonstrating excellence in film art, sound and image.
McQueen's Hunger is an experimental, non-narrative film about
IRA activist and political prisoner Bobby Sands, just before he died
after a 66-day hunger strike in 1981. This film won other prestigious
awards, including the Camera d'Or for best first feature film at the
2008 Cannes Film Festival and the equivalent at the Toronto International
Film Festival. Tulpan also won the FIPRESCI Film Critics Award
and Aleksandra Petkovic-Petko Award. And in Cannes the film was honored
with two awards: the Prix de l´Education Nationale and the Prix
de la Jeunesse.
The festival also gave The Freedom Award to a Bosnian film, Snow,
directed by Aida Begic, and Serbia's FIPRESCI Award went to The White
Night Wedding, directed by Balthazar Kormakur.
The New Author Film Festival followed the tradition of showing music
biographies: films such as I'm Not There by Todd Haynes (about
Bob Dylan);Rolling Stones: Shine a Light by Martin Scorsese;
Joy Division by Grant Gee; Lou Reed's Berlin by Julian
Schnabel; and Egzodus 77 by Anthony Wall. Showing such films
is a very clever move, drawing music buffs who otherwise might not come
to the festival.
Ada Begic, director
Croatian film director Dalibor Matanic (right)
Filth and Wisdom