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When your eyes are getting tired, seeing the old beautiful town full with young curious people, tired from the blue, clear sea, then you are fresh enough to focus your brain to the exciting new world tied together by extraordinary international films at Filmforumzadar." Werner Nekes on FILMFORUMZADAR It’s also the first film festival in Zadar going to gather not only the cinema audience during the film projections but also the professionals participating at the creative Film Forum. The Forum aims to gather and connect film-creatives and to place Zadar and the region as the new film and creative center. The great infrastructure proved itself even during the "year zero" of Film forum in 2010 and we established a creative co-operation with our partners Arsenal http://www.arsenalzadar.com / , University of Zadar www.unizd.hr, The city library of Zadar http://www.gkzd.hr/ , The museum of antique glass http://www.mas-zadar.hr/ , the tourist board of Zadar www.tzzadar.hr , Zadar´s Puppet Theatre http://www.klz.hr/ , city’s cinemas and the Computer studies school "Algebra" http://algebra.hr/
FILM FORUM ZADAR: NEW STIMULI FOR EUROPE
Saturday, 2. July 2011 09:00
For the second time, the Film Forum Zadar will take place in Croatia in August. Its exceptional position in Europe has meanwhile been recognised by the film industry. Founder and director is the Oberhausen-based film maker Sergej Stanojkovski. An Interview.
2010LAB.tv: You founded the Film Form Zadar in 2010 and in 2011, it was already part of the "Producers Network" within the framework of the "Marche du Film" fair at the Cannes Film Festival. Is the acceptance into this illustrious group to be regarded similar to a Golden Palm for a director?
Sergej Stanojkovski: It's certainly an excellent acknowledgement of our work and very important to us. We can build our strategy for 2012 with the help of this network.
So far, Croatia was only known for its breathtaking scenery for Italo and Germano Western. The Film Forum is the first festival for European co-productions. What is behind this description?
We are the first festival that focuses on the cooperation of European producers with the rest of the world. Those are the films we show in our main programme. This is becoming increasingly important in a globalised market - the partners come from all continents and cultures. Let me give you an example: In 2010, we showed a co-production from Germany, France, Catalonia and Thailand with "Uncle Bonmee“ who also won the Golden Palm in Cannes. In addition, the festival provides a business platform: We attempt to bring independent film distributors and large studios together.
What is so special about Croatia when it comes to the film world?
On the one hand, the location has a great tradition due to the Winnetou films that can be revived. And on the other hand, there are a lot of festivals. We bring good films and the film industry to Zadar and position the city as a platform for the creative industry. I was inspired from the structures of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 and its Creative.Quarters - also to strengthen the visibility of the scene.
Photo by Filip Brala : Festival location the FORUM in Zadar
Will Croatia experience a comeback as a location for productions?
Croatia is working on positioning itself and there are indeed numerous real advantages: Within a range of 100 kilometres, you can reach 4 climate zones. In total, Croatia is still too expensive. However: Zadar does not impose business tax - a producer can easily save 5 - 18 per cent this way.
The Eastern European film industry has grown enormously within the last years: Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and particularly Romania cooperate with Hollywood and present great films at the festivals. How does Croatia do in the mix as a latecomer?
You cannot compete with the metropolises in central Europe. Therefore, they need their own strategy: Croatia is famous for its tourism, there is sun, ocean and the beach look - it's easy to position that. We have to work on developing the Adriatic Coast to become a European California and offer similar creative services.
2010LAB.tv: You know the Ruhr area equally well - your production company is located in Oberhausen. Do you find the ideal environment for your productions there?
Sergej Stanojkovski: Yes, we are currently working on a film project that is supported by the Film Fund that is about people with migration background in the Ruhr area. The Ruhr area can certainly be developed as creative zone. As film region, it has a lot of potential with its urban locations, woods and lakes. The human phsysiognomy also offers a lot. It's a pity that many companies still go to Düsseldorf, Cologne or Berlin only to disappear in the masses there. To us, it is interesting that you are able to position yourself more prominently in Oberhausen. It might take longer but it makes sense in the long run. The Ruhr area might face the same question like Croatia when it comes to its external effect: How does a region mark itself with a positive effect on the public?
Being the city of Short Film Days, can Oberhausen become the film metropolis in the area?
That's not impossible. The citizens of Oberhausen don't even know what a colourful name their city has in the film world. People from the industry hear "Oberhausen" and they think of Scorsese, Polanski, Forman, Wenders, Herzog, Kluge and Schlingensief right away. All of them showed their early works there.
Filmmaker Sergej Stanojkovski - Festival founder and director
Are we missing a chance here?
Yes. You should act way more dynamic and active in Oberhausen - rather than wait for the state or the region. There are empty spaces available for low rents - those are potential production offices and film locations. Yet: Someone has to make a concept and market it. A "Film Office Oberhausen" or a cluster manager would be such an idea. We suggested it to Oberhausen but they never saw it as an option.
Is that the reason why you build up such a festival in Croatia rather than in the Ruhr area?
There are many factors. One thing is obvious: There is not much money in Zadar either but all levels of the city really enjoy having such a festival. Things are made possible because of ideas and getting to it in a motivated way. In the Ruhr area, one expected those impulses from the Capital of Culture but RUHR.2010 could not deliver such big things.
Members of Filmforumzadar advisory board : Prof. Werner Nekes (Filmmaker and collector) and Karl Baumgartner (Pandorafilm/Match Factory - Producer, Distributor, Sales Agent)
Photo by Filip Brala
Shouldn't there be an understanding for the economic side of film production and thus ways for tax income in the city government of Oberhausen?
The mentality problem with many acting persons lies deeper. All they know is the labour-of-love artist - and will then pay him that bad. It's no problem to spend 50,000 euros for material assets - but a film that costs that much is way too expensive. This completely wrong attitude does not exisit in anglo-saxon countries that are way ahead of us because of this. The German state certainly understands this matter but it hasn't reached local politics in the Ruhr area yet.
Original text : http://www.2010lab.tv/en/blog/film-forum-zadar-new-stimuli-europe-part-1
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