By Maja Tuljković – Tuzla
Thanks to the enthusiasm by a group of people from Tuzla, the city received its own film festival and will become a center of South Slavic cinema. Actor and director of the Tuzla Film Festival Boris Balta speaks about the Tuzla Film Festival, achievements and plans for the future.
How did the idea come about to start a film festival in Tuzla? What was your motive?
The motive was very simple. Tuzla, as the second largest city in the FB&H, did not have a film festival. Film festivals create a positive environment, driven by young people to work and to be creative, and establish new social norms to contribute to the development of social consciousness. Based on this, the fact that after the first year we were declared a regional festival, this promoted the city of Tuzla, the FB&H as well as B&H in the region, and Magic Factory received the status of a serious organization in this region.
Today, for the organization for any type of festival and manifestation money is necessary. How is the festival financed? Do you receive any concrete support from the local community?
We receive support. Local governments and companies at the state level recognized the idea and we received adequate support for the first year so that we could show our worth. This year, we made a festival that really echoed throughout the Balkans, and we expect next year will be much more challenging regarding organization than in the last two years.
Is it difficult to organize a film festival? How many people participate in the preparations and realization of the festival?
Four people throughout the year prepared the second Tuzla Film Festival, while in the final stages (therefore, for the duration of the festival), there were around 70 people. Four people is a very small number and requires extreme efforts. During the entire year, next to us in the management of the festival, you also need someone to handle finances, PR, internal organization, web programmers, designers, technical directors, etc. At this moment, we have to do everything ourselves, and the festival is in need of at least seven people who would be employed full-time, in addition to us who are already involved in the organization.
The films that are shown during the festival are shown in four categories, and those are: feature film, short fiction, documentary and animated film. Who are the selectors and in what way is the selection made?
This year, we had a fifth category called ‘Film Anything’. For this category, 20 films that were filmed specifically for the Tuzla Film Festival arrived, which is a remarkable achievement for such a young festival. I have to mention that the Montenegrin media pronounced us as one of the most enjoyable festivals in the Balkans. When we speak about selectors, for a short film there was Goran Dujaković (Professor of Directing at the Banja Luka Academy), documentary by prof. dr. Srđan Vukadinović (professor of production at the Tuzla Academy), animated film by Mladen Đukić (animator and professor of animation at the Banja Luka Academy), and myself for the feature film. The selection of films is based on the analysis of films (scenario, camera, photographs, directing, actors) and of course how interesting it would be for the audience.
The Tuzla Film Festival team participated at the 63rd Berlinale and the 66th Cannes Film Festival. What does this invitation mean for you and the festival?
Those festivals give us the opportunity to enter into a family of professionals. TO see how things develop at the global level, and to connect with the rest of the world when it comes to cinema. In short, these festivals are a window to the world.
What are your plans for the future? Are any surprises being prepared for next year?
We have plans, and we will try to surprise people. We hope we will succeed.