The second part of the Competition Programme was shown on the third evening of the 12th International Film and Music Festival Küstendorf. The audience saw five short films: Being More Like Bagsy by Mikkel Storm Glomstein, Costacurta by Saša Karanović, Titanyum by Gökçe Erdem, The Monk by Zharko Ivanov, and Elizabeth by Wojciech Klimala, who unfortunately could not join us for the screening.
Matt Dillon, the renowned American actor, arrived to Mećavnik on the third day of Kustendorf. The honorary guest of this year’s Festival was greeted by Professor Emir Kusturica who offered him the traditional Serbian welcome of bread, salt and rakija. Tomorrow, the visitors and participants of the Festival will see the famous Gas Sant’s film Drugstore Cowboy which will be followed by a workshop with Dillon.
On the third day of the 12th International Film and Music Festival Kustendorf, the audience saw the film Close Enemies by the French director David Oelhoffen, which was followed by a workshop. The film is about the criminal underground and the Moroccan immigrants in Paris, but Oelhoffen underlines that Close Enemies is a film about family. When he was working on the script, he talked with real drug dealers to find out more about personal and family relations. Insisting on realism and the authenticity of the lives he talks about, the author manages to impose topics which, as he says, the French reluctantly talk about – primarily the issues of French colonialism and segregation within the French society. This is a crime-drama, however, Oelhoffen stressed that he never romanticized or glamorized crime, because he feels that there is no lyricism or romanticism to such a life, so it should not be portrayed that way. Not only is it false, such romanticism is dangerous, said Oelhoffen.
Tonight was the first part of the Competition Programme of the 12th International Film and Music Festival Küstendorf. The Jury who will be deciding on this year’s awards are Stana Katić, a Canadian-American film and television actress, Slobodan Despot, publisher, publicist, writer and photographer, Tancrède Ramonet, documentary author-director and an audiovisual producer. The Vilko Filač Award will be presented by cinematographer Michel Amathieu. On this first night of the Competition programme the audience saw six movies: Hasta Siempre, Comandante by Faisal Attrache, To Hell With Marie by Leopold Dewolf, Slaughter by Saman Hosseinpour and Ako Zandkarimi, All These Creatures by Charles Williams represented by director of photography Adric Watson, How to Swim by Noa Gusakov, The Last Tale About Earth by Magdalena Seweryn and Igor Polaniewicz.
The second evening of the 12th Kustendorf brought us Happy as Lazzaro by the Italian director and screenwriter Alice Rohrwacher. The film was awarded for Best Script at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film screening was followed by a workshop with the film’s leading actors ‒ Adriano Tardiolo, Luca Chikovani and Sergi Lopez. In an exchange with the audience, the Spanish actor Sergi Lopez ‒ who speaks Italian in the film ‒ pinpointed the significance of films such as Happy as Lazzaro, which take on the issues of modern day problems, particularly global capitalism. Sergi emphasized that this film stands out for its compassion and gentleness towards the weak and the oppressed. He added that actors often act as intermediaries between the director’s important ideas and the people, so they have the responsibility to rightfully transmit the message. Young actors Adriano Tardiolo and Luca Chikovani, both first-time actors, spoke about the director’s credits who, as Tardiolo stressed, embarked on a journey to portray the people who are gradually dying out ‒ workers and farmers, people connected to the land and people who survive solely on their own hard work.
The Award for Future Films along with an homage have become somewhat of a Kustendorf tradition. This year, Professor Kusturica gave the honor of this award and homage to Sergi Lopez, celebrated Spanish actor. Professor Kusturica said that the number and quality of Sergi’s roles borders abnormal. Lopez, who was very moved, told the Professor that he cannot even imagine how crazy it was for him to come to this Festival and how important this award was. At the end of the award ceremony, Professor told Sergi that his life could become even crazier and invited him to act in his next film. After the award was presented, the audience could see the film Happy as Lazzaro.
The young italian actor Adriano Tardiolo and the producer Andrea Gambetta have arrived at Mećavnik. Tardiolo is here to present Alice Rohrwacher’s new film Happy as Lazzaro, in which he plays the leading role and Gambetta will present the new Wim Wenders film Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.
Celebrated catalonian actor Sergi Lopez and french screenwritter and director David Oelhoffen have arrived at Mećavnik. The guests were given the traditional Kustendorf welcome – bread, rakija and salt – and are expected to present their new films at the festival. Lopez is here with Alice Rorwacher’s new film Happy as Lazzaro and Oelhoffen with his film Close Enemies.
After the opening ceremony, audience at the 12th Kustendorf have seen a new film directed by the festival founder, Professor Emir Kusturica. El Pepe, a Life Supreme is, as Kusturica told the audience, a film about the type of a president that doesn’t exist anymore –one of those for whom people shed tears. The Uruguayan guerilla fighter and political activist, who after many years of the armed rebellion, and as many years of imprisonment, served as the president of Uruguay. After Maradona, Mujica stepped in front of Kusturica’s lenses and shared with the Serbian director his idea of a life supreme. Professor Kusturica has emphasized the uncontemporariness of this film and specificity of its film language, which draws its roots from the ‘70s film style. He added that the search for the structure that would be appropriate for the film portrait of this guerilla fighter turned president lasted four years.
Serbian film icon Slavko Štimac declared the 12th Kustendorf Film and Music Festival open tonight. The opening ceremony began with a musical piece by the Big Folk Orchestra Advahov Brothers, followed by a juggling performance by Cirkusfera. In praise of the Lodz Film School, the opening ceremony included the screening of two Polish shorts by Roman Polanski and Krzystof Kieslowski, former students of this school. Kustendorf festival founder Emir Kusturica stated that the festival remains dedicated to the idea of turning life utopias into reality and that the brains of the young and the elderly are a holy unity, adding that good films will be like winning flags which often catch our glimpse and speed up the heart rate. Serbian Minister of Culture and Information Vladan Vukosavljević noted that Kustendorf casts a complimentary light on the film culture in Serbia, the region and Europe. At the end of the opening ceremony, Štimac received the Tree of Life Award for Future Films and declared the festival open.