FEST 2012

"XL - Among the greats"

Although it was originally planned that this year's festival runs until 4th March, just couple of days before the opening, the organizers cheered all film fans with the news that 2012 edition will last one day longer - it will be FEST encore. The last day is reserved for the premiere of the French romantic comedy The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius. This film won five Golden Globe awards and ten Oscar nominations; and the story is set in Hollywood 1927 - featuring Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo and John Goodman in lead roles

from Beograd, SERBIA

The 40th Anniversary edition of the International Film Festival FEST with the parole XL - Among the greats was opened on 24th February in Belgrade. During the 11 days of the festival, Belgrade audience will be watching around 75 international and domestic films within the main program and around 30 in the retrospective and homage sections.

This year's film projections are held in Sava Center, Dom Omladine, Belgrade Cultural Centre and the Yugoslav Film Archive, and the program is organized in six categories - Main program, Hollywood, World Film Panorama, Europe out of Europe, Europe in Europe and Selected documentaries. The film that opened this year's festival is The Tree of Life (starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn), directed by Terrence Malick, who won Golden Palm in Cannes last year; and the festival itself was opened by famous Hollywood director from Serbia, Peter Bogdanovich and Jiri Mencl, Czech Oscar winner.

With more than symbolic parole, FEST is again an event that Belgrade people do not miss in February, because after 40 festivals held in 42 years, FEST is still one of the most precious cultural institutions of the country. The topics that have inspired filmmakers (who were nominated for prestigious awards at all international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Karlovy Vary, Rotterdam and Manheim) during last year were modern world, loneliness, quest for love, betrayal... As FEST every year brings something different, 2012 edition presents actors that were behind the camera this time. Some of them are The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick, Melancholia by Lars Von Trier, J. Edgar by Clint Eastwood, We Have a Pope by Nanni Moretti, The Skin I Live In by Pedro Almodovar, Carnage by Roman Polanski and many others.

Two Serbian films will be also showed this year. Top je bio vreo (So Hot Was the Canon) - directed by Slobodan Skerlić (based on the novel of Vladimir Kecmanović) - is the anti-war drama about a boy growing up in torn Sarajevo. Slavko Štimac, Sergej Trifunović i Bojana Maljević are just some of around 50 actors from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina who tried to offer different view on war and life in a town under siege. The second Serbian film is Doctor Ray and the Devils who will close the festival. This is biography with elements of comedy directed by Dinko Tucaković which follows the story of famous director Nicholas Ray, who were invited by the director of Avala Film Ratko Dražević to spend several years in Belgrade (1963-67). In 93 minutes the director tried to depict Hollywood in the Balkan style and the glamour of Belgrade 60s.

Beside those mentioned above, this year's FEST presents two more programs - Britannica and Canada, as well as the retrospective of movies directed by Peter Bogdanovich and Jiri Mencl. For all documentaries fans, two more films will be shown: Plašim se da li se sve razume directed by Puriša Đorđević, as well as short film Zalet co-financed by the FEST Directorate and directed by Miroslav Stamatov.

Since this is the 40th Anniversary edition of the international film festival, special attention will be devoted to the anniversary. On that occasion, the monograph of FEST history will be issued; there will be also opened an exhibition as a tribute to the people who ran the festival and those who were guests of FEST.

(Published: 25.02.2012.)