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Summer focus on film festivals (2/2) A rough guide august ‘08

NisiMazine © Poster of the 5 th Fresh Film Fest 27.-31. 08 2008 Karlo Vary www.freshfilmfest.net Graphic design: Adéla Svobodová, Pauline Kerleroux


Editorial I

magine a (NISI MASA) life without film festivals. Where else could be better for discovering new film talents, seeing unknown foreign movies, and meeting other cinéphiles? And at the end of the festival you sometimes even have the possibility to discover the city or the region where the event took place - which was hardly feasible in the breaks between intense movie-going or taking part in workshops. Europe is still home to the most famous festivals in the world, some of which have existed for over 60 years. The first actually occurred in Venice as early as 1932, but most of the big festivals were set up in the 1950s. Cannes, Venice and Berlin are wellestablished now, but there a still new festivals emerging all over Europe. Whilst many screen more or less the same kind of films, others have very specialised programmes, narrowly focusing on their genres, screening places or target audiences. And then there are those which, for one reason or another, create a unique kind of experience which stays in the memory for a long time afterwards...

Agenda August, 1 In all the network Call for applications for Nisimazine Amsterdam and Torino August, 1.-2.-3 Paris NISI MASA Board Meeting August, 31 In all the network Announcement of the national finalists of the Script Contest 2008

The last Nisimazine issue already dealt with film festivals, especially the way they work and what function they have in the world of cinema. In this issue then we decided to highlight some special (or even strange) festival experiences, with two reports about the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä, Finland and the Festival on Wheels in Turkey (p. 3). Both are unusual – whether it be in terms of locations, screening times or simply their atmosphere. This month you will also find a quiz defining what kind of festival-goer you are, because of course not is there for the same kind of reasons (p. 4). In addition, we remind you of several NISI MASA associations who organise their very own festival events! Finally, on page 5 is the second part of our A-Z of festival buzzwords. Voilà… the second issue of the NISI MASA film festival guide! Enjoy it during this (hopefully) sunny month of August! Nina Henke

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Next Issue...

NISIMAZINE # 13 ~ September 2008 Special focuS: from europe to aSia iN tHe SpotliGHt: ciNeSteSiaS (SpaiN) portrait: martiN capatiNta (filmarche)

Nisimazine is a monthly newsletter published by the association NISI MASA. EDITORIAL STAFF Editor-in-chief Matthieu Darras Secretary of the editorial Jude Lister Layout Emilie Padellec Contributors to this issue Esra Demirkiran, Nina Henke, Zsuzsanna Kiràly, Lasse Lecklin, Jude Lister, Sonja Löfstrom, Hanna Mironenko, Atso Pärnänen, Sebastiano Pucciarelli, Eva Sancho Rodríguez NISI MASA (European Office) 10 rue de l’Echiquier, 75010, Paris, France; Tel/Fax: + 33 (0)1 53 34 62 78 + 33 (0)6 32 61 70 26 Email europe@nisimasa.com Website www.nisimasa.com

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Special Summer Focus on Film Festivals (2/2) it

would

be

useless

to

attempt provide a decent panorama of European festivals, or a truly comprehensive guide, in the few

pages of this humble newsletter. Besides, there are plenty of resources which already do that job (if you are interested, try filmfestivals.com, festivalfocus.org, or filmfestivalsource.com just to start you off…). In true NISI MASA style then, we bring you some interesting examples of slightly off-the-beaten-track events. All of this with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour thrown in for good measure of course… o

Festival On Wheels (Turkey)

R

ight after a closing screening in one city, the film reels and festival crew are on a bus, driving at least 10 hours for an opening screening the next morning. Now in its 14th edition, each November the Festival on Wheels travels to at least four cities in Turkey – from north to south, east to west, under rain or snow. It also reaches abroad - already Greece, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bosnia & Herzegovina... The festival begins in Ankara, where it is mostly attended by students. However in the Eastern city of Kars, the next stop on its journey, the audience profile is less homogenous. Organised by a small crew with the help of local people, the event has a warm and friendly atmosphere. In some places where there is no real cinema theatre, the welcoming and farewell of the festival are emotional moments. Before, there were no similar screenings in these small cities – now new generations grow up watching non-commercial, recent and classical European films. In Kars, in a cinema hall with over 300 seats, one can experience watching a film with another 700 people sitting on the ground. And with last-minute permission from the film crew, there could be another screening right after for the other 100 people waiting outside. Anything can happen during On Wheels.. One can dance under the snow because the bus has broken down between two cities, or to the music of one of Turkey’s good bands in the only disco of Kars, Bolero ;) 30 October – 20 November 2008 www.festivalonwheels.org

Esra Demirkiran

Sodankylä Midnight Sun Film Festival (Sodankylä, Finland)

F

ancy a tango, Mr. Francis?

Geographical location is the first unique aspect of this festival. Situated in Lapland some hundred kilometres above the Polar Circle, Sodankylä is sure to have its dark winter, but for compensation in the summertime the sun doesn’t set for a period of one and a half months. So what better than to screen films 24 hours a day there! Founded by Finnish director brothers Aki and Mika Kaurismäki, the Sodankylä Midnight Sun Film Festival is a five-day worship of the art of cinema. And the atmosphere is unique: where else could you walk to a traditional countryside dance and ask Francis Ford Coppola or one of the Dardenne brothers to share a tango? No red carpets here. The village only has one cinema theatre, so for the festival the local school gym gets transformed into a venue and in the schoolyard there’s a huge circus tent set up for the most popular screenings. The programme consists of retrospectives, interesting international nouveautés, recent Finnish films… Mainly fiction classics and fresh ones selected with taste. A festival highlight is traditionally provided by the silent films accompanied by an orchestra, which gather an impressive queue in the schoolyard. Karaoke sing-along screenings have proven no less popular! The two hotels of Sodankylä may still have some vacant rooms for the festival period… in 2011. So don’t expect luxury if you’re not prepared years in advance – instead take along your sleeping bag and an adventurous attitude. You won’t sleep anyway! 10 – 14 June 2009 www.msfilmfestival.fi

Lasse Lecklin ©Photo by Antti Tuomola - Midnight Sun Film Festival ‘08

Clearly,


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Special Summer Focus on Film Festivals (2/2)

NISI MASA Festivals NISI MASA members work and/or volunteer for film festivals all over Europe. But did you know that several of our network associations actually organise their own events? FILMINI International Short Film Festival (Sofia, Bulgaria) Organised by Seven Edition #2: 22nd – 26th October 2008 FILMINI is a competitive festival of short films. It aims to contribute to the promotion and production of artistic short films in Bulgaria, as well as to encourage the cooperation between local and international filmmakers. The program includes international, Balkan and Bulgarian competitions, non-competitive sections, retrospectives, tributes and other special screenings and events. Call for films! Deadline: 15 th August www.filmini.org o Fresh Film Fest (Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic) Organised by Fresh Film Fest association. Edition #5: 27th – 31st August 2008 Fresh Film Fest is an international competitive film festival, which focuses on student and first feature films. In 5 days, the festival aims to provide a wide portrait of contemporary young world cinema. More than 300 films with 18 titles in the international Official Selection In Competition are screened during the festival. Special film programs and feature film openings accompany the student and first films selection. For an in-depth look at Fresh Film Fest, see page 7 of our May issue! www.freshfilmfest.net o

One Take Film Festival (Zagreb, Croatia) Organised by KinoKlub Zagreb. Edition #4: 20th – 22 nd November 2008 The only one of its kind, One Take is an international festival of films shot without interruption. Eliminating a seemingly indispensable part of a film - editing – the festival prohibits cuts, dissolves, fades in/out and all other types of transitions. In that way, it makes room for a more stimulating concept of film, emphasising the aesthetic act of filmmaking. Films of almost every genre are included (documentary, fiction, experimental, music video, commercial), and the running time is unlimited. Along with the official competition, there are numerous other events premieres, lectures, exhibitions, concerts and of course, a good time for everyone. Call for films! Deadline: 15 th September. www.onetakefilmfestival.com

??? Nisi Quiz !!!

What kind of festival-goer are you? 1. You go to a festival for … a) the chance to meet Angelina and Brad. b) the retrospective of revolutionary Cuban Cinema. c) the chance to catch some free entrances and drinks later. 2.You spent most of your time… a) in the fancy bars or near the red carpet. b) on discussions while drinking a good Cabernet Sauvignon. c) on trying to get tickets and escape the meetings. 3. You like mostly the films… a) featuring a Hollywood star. b) none, although you have seen them all. c) from the ‘Carte Blanche’. 4. Afterwards, your lasting impression of the festival is… a) measured by the amount of phone numbers you got. b) disappearing while you run to the next festival. c) extended by a holiday in the region.

?!

Mostly a)… You’re Aurélie/Aurélien LA FOUNTAIN Every day is an evening gown/tuxedo day. No party or premiere is small enough for you not to show off your latest purchase, pose and smile. The red carpet is where you belong. Einstein might get mixed with Eisenstein in your small talk but as long as the invitations keep coming you’ve got nothing to worry about. Party on! Mostly b)… You’re F. TURDSON You are at home in cinemas that are closing down and often go there for a latte too, with a collection of Derrida in you hand and a scarf around your neck - even during the hottest summer day. You know a masterpiece when you see one but are surprisingly alone in your opinions, which you only welcome as a contribution to your cultural image. You are the Antoine Doinel of your life. Mostly c)… You’re Asa M. ISIN You arrived with the cheapest ticket and are waiting to be reimbursed before running to queue for some free tickets. Otherwise your hectic schedule is developing the future of cinema with other aficionados of your age. NISI MASA member by day, with the evening comes drinking and dinners, as you take the chance to flirt and get acquainted with the other international participants. Nina Henke & Atso Pärnänen


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Special Summer Focus on Film Festivals (2/2)

Networking

An A-Z of Film Festival s: Part 2 Compiled by Zsuzsanna Kiràly Kiràly, Eva Sancho Rodríguez, Sonja Löfstrom, Nina Henke, Jude Lister

N

etworking in film festivals takes place at the pavilions of the film market, at the co-producers forum, at parties and even in the queue for buying a snack, but never without a business card in your pockets. Networking is everywhere, everytime. It’s one of the most used words and most common social and professional behaviours – getting to know lots of different people, staying in touch and profiting from the connections to different fields. There’s a theory which claims that if you know 6 people you know the entire world. Sometimes it feels like that – and it’s so much fun. (ZK)

Retrospectives

A

cinematic retrospective is a review of a broad series of works from a filmmaker, actor or writer (often called a “hommage”), but can also cover an epoch or cinematic genre. Retrospectives are very useful to remind or even teach the audience about cinematic masterpieces while focusing on a director or special country (not necessarily a well-known cinematic location) like Mexico, Malaysia or the Philippines. Recently there were a lot of retrospectives for Asian filmmakers, especially Chinese directors. This is also a way to bypass the strict censor lines of China and other countries. (NH)

Shipping

H

ave you ever wondered how film copies get to a festival? Usually there’s one employee taking care of the whole palette of screening copies – a bunch of 35mm & 16mm prints and every kind of tapes you can imagine. The most interesting thing in dealing with shipments is getting to know the people behind the glamour of cinema. Distributors, festival workers, producers, directors and transport agents do their best for a print to arrive on time for a single screening. As an example, the opening film of one Finnish festival was smuggled through customs with a help of total stranger to Northern Finland and from there transported via bus through the country, just in time for the opening ceremony. In general though, shipments are all about functional timetables, thousands of emails and good luck. (SL)

Touri sm

F

or some people sightseeing is a non-essential part of the film festival experience. But for them any activity involving daylight would be. Nevertheless, a film festival does wonders for the tourism industry of a city or town. In city marketing - a strategic effort to better the image of a place - film festivals play an important part and are of special interest to (local) governments and subsidy bodies. What would glamorous Cannes or cool Berlin be without their festivals? The Sundance festival turned a sleepy mountain town into an annual media circus. Sometimes the tourist draw of a town can even influence the theme of the festival. (ESR)

Undi scovered

F

ilm festivals often advertise themselves as the place for new cinematic discoveries. This is certainly true in the sense that they are one of the best opportunities for the public to experience films that they might not have otherwise had the chance to see – especially foreign and art-house productions. It seems however that smaller festivals may offer more chances to talents who haven’t yet broken through than the larger events, which sometimes have a tendency to stick to ‘safe’ choices. (JL)

X amount of festival s

M

any festivals have strange spots for the screenings: There a lot of European film festivals - France is at the top of the list with around 65, followed by Germany and Italy. Sometimes you wonder why there is such a big amount and whether they really differ from each other. From the International Film Festival of Insects, to the Festival of Extreme Sports Films, to the Banff Mountain Film Festival, there is also a big choice of unusual events. There is not only variation of the subject, but also for the place (why not try out a festival on an island, Ile de Groix, France) of the festival and the spots for the screening. (NH)


Latest news new pictures of the old world

IDFA: CALL FOR DOCS As you all know, in November 2008 NISI MASA will be organising a Nisimazine film journalism workshop in cooperation with the IDFA – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. However, if you are more interested in having a film featured in the festival than writing about it, there is still a chance to submit your work! The 21 edition of the IDFA, the largest festival for creative documentaries in the world, will take place in Amsterdam from 20th – 30th November 2008. Each year, IDFA selects and screens more than 250 documentaries, running the gamut from international audience favourites to artistic experiments along the fringes of the genre. st

On the 6th of July, the ‘New Pictures of the Old World’ workshop organised by the ‘Artfilm’ film festival and NISI MASA came to its conclusion in Trencin Teplice, Slovakia. Young filmmakers from Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia had taken inspiration from the Slovak classic Pictures of the Old World by Dusan Hanak to produce three short films, with the tutoring of filmmaker Zelimir Zilnik. The films premiered at the festival with a good audience in attendance. The event also received a fine amount of coverage in the local and national media (including the Pravda newspaper, Slovakian Radio 1 and the national television channel). The workshop, a first for NISI MASA in Slovakia, was very much about learning to work in a team and to beat the challenges caused by language barriers. A crew of young people suddenly arriving with a van in a little Slovak village and starting to film and interview people created many moments that really taught participants about the challenges of making a documentary and approaching possible subjects. The outcome of this pilot project was very positive.

The final deadline is the 10th of August 2008.

www.idfa.nl/en

Meanwhile, another winner from 2006, the completed Belgian film Harragas has been selected to several festivals: the 9th Circuito off (Venice), Le festival du film francophone de Namur, and Acireale Magma (Sicily). Finally, Lily (Sweden, Contest 2005: Silence) has been selected for the official Swedish Film Institute short film collection, which is great news for its future distribution!

2 NEW EO TRAINEES! Stefan Boessner, a cinema student and active member of kino5 in Austria, is spending 2 months learning how things work on the other end of the NISI MASA network. He has been helping with the Script Contest and plans for the Summer Studio project, as well as in film distribution to festivals.

SCRIPT CONTEST WINNERS UPDATE

Things are moving along nicely for several previous script contest winners who are all at different stages with their films. Léo Medard from Belgium was recently awarded funding for his script Little Girl (Contest 2007: Circle) from 2 different French regions, and is currently deciding which is the best option. Mateusz Subieta’s script Tourist (Poland, Contest 2006) has also received backing and is now ready for shooting in August. It will be produced by ‘Kuba Kosma’ and ‘Platige Image’. The budget is set at 15 000 Euros, and the film will be done with a Phantom high-speed digital camera and some key Polish talents attached!

Mirtha Sozzi from Italy is a newcomer to NISI MASA, but has already participated in and organised many cultural and media projects for young people, so she should feel at home in no time! She will be staying with us for 5 months, and her main tasks are coordinating Nisimazine Kars and Torino, as well as helping out with the preparation of the One Take workshop. Welcome Stefan and Mirtha!


In the spotlight In terms of its members, Moviement is probably one of the most international teams in the NISI MASA network. All of them met each other at their common alma mater – the famous VGIK (Russian State Institute of Cinema). Since becoming involved in NISI MASA only in 2006, Moviement people have already taken part in several workshops, and are currently organising their own big filmmaking project which will take place next month: Cine-Train!

Some members Anna DMITRIEVA Anna came to Russia from sunny Bulgaria to study at the VGIK. Although her main activity is as a film director, she actually has talents in many other fields of artistic activity, being a good drawer and performer of national songs! Alexandra MARCHENKO Documentary film director Alexandra comes from the Ukraine. She always knew who she wanted to be - before entering the VGIK, she graduated from a secondary school specialised in film studies. Before the Moviement team appeared, Alexandra and Nikita both made documentary films about the Orange revolution in her home country. Alexandra also participated in the ‘Budapest Squares’ project. Hanna MIRONENKO Half Polish, half Belarusian, Hanna is the only film critic in the team. She studied film history and criticism at the VGIK and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Currently she is working for some film magazines and film festivals as a critic and translator. In January 2008 she participated as a journalist in the ‘Nisimazine Helsinki workshop’ at the DocPoint festival.

Guillaume PROTSENKO Originally French, for the past 5 years Guillaume has been studying fiction film directing at the VGIK. At film school he is known as a person who is strictly against any kind of bureaucracy or nepotism (as Medvedkin – one of the Russian filmmakers who pioneered the ‘film trains’ in the 1930s - was). Gi played a big role in the propagation of NM in Russia. Nikita SUTYRIN Nikita is a rare Russian in the Moviement team. Being a young documentary film director, he is known as a man who is there where the revolutions are. Happenings in the Ukraine or Kosovo are perfect topics for his socio-political films. After attending ‘DOKO YOMI’ (Documenting Youth in Mitroviça) in 2006, in 2007 he participated in the ‘Budapest Squares’ project in Hungary. As a journalist he has also published a lot of articles, mainly on political subjects.

Not forgetting key member Natasha Pavlovskaya (see portrait page 8 in the very first Nisimazine monthly newsletter - September 2007!)

Cine-Train

pictures on the left from the top: Alexandra, Anna Hanna, GuillaumeNikita Compiled by Hanna Thanks!

for those of you who are new to NiSi maSa (or have been living down a hole for the past year), “Cine-Train” is an international workshop for young filmmakers that will take place along the 9288 Km on the mythic trans-Siberian railroad, from europe to asia. throughout the whole trip the 16 participants, organised into film crews, will shoot and edit short films in a “road movie” genre, on the theme “How can we define the European border?” and as if this weren’t challenging enough, the filmmakers may also have to withstand going for days at a time without a shower… Watch out for news on the progress of the workshop, and the resulting films, coming up in the next few months! in the meantime, you can watch the cine-train trailer on moviement’s blog page: http://moviement. livejournal.com/


Portrait

Simone Fenoil (Franti, Italy)

Sebastiano Pucciarelli

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life for NISI MASA – and he’s not dead yet.

First of all there’s a nominal problem: for most of us old members of NISI MASA, this man has no name other than “Il Presidente”, or “pres” for short. Because of course he was the first President of the network, our George Washington. So if we ever have our own Mount Rushmore somewhere in the Alps (close to his beloved Courmayeur-Mont Blanc), his head will be the first on the left. Then you know, down here in Italy - the land of Roman Emperors, Popes and Divos once you become a President you are called President for life. The very first step of my friendship and collaboration with him was set in a period of time defined by scholars as “Year Zero” (others call it “1 b.N.M.”: year one before NISI MASA). Both living in Torino, we had to reach Brussels in order to meet for the first time not because we were agents of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but because we were both participating in a meeting organised by Ville et Cinema, an association which served as a platform to create NISI MASA. When I saw this weird guy resembling Harry Potter, wearing a white hat and dressed in a beige colonial suite, at the door of a hostel in Brussels, I just thought “this guy is very oldfashioned”. Besides, several strange figures were meeting in that same hostel during those January days: Matthieu Darras, just to mention one. No surprise then that few months later these very figures were giving birth to another bizarre creature called NISI MASA...

So Simone became the first President of a network destined to enlarge itself, and to this goal he dedicated his 2 years of kingdom: his passion for Napoleon and Risk (not meaning danger but the strategic board game) always strengthened his impulse to seek for new countries to conquer and attach to the NM Empire. His vision of international dynamics in a strategic geo-political, sometimes absurd way helped in shaping the network, his enthusiasm and his Mediterranean English contributed to giving the organisation its typical features of freshness, sympathy and humanity. But most of all, Il Presidente has been for NISI MASA the man of visibility, the person who taught us all the First Law of ThermoCommunication: doing something cultural and not promoting it is just like doing nothing at all. He has given a lot to NM – and is still giving – but has also received something back. Besides default accomplishments such as European knowledge and cultural awareness, in 6 years the network provided him with a wild bunch of friends and colleagues, a decent level of English (now he could even survive outside of Italy), not to mention one girl he met some years ago in Gonfreville-Le Havre and had a few months relationship with (YES, he’s heterosexual, and NO, we’re not sleeping together in Torino, despite the loving tone of this article). What’s he doing now? In his retirement days he’s still fighting his battle for cinema and culture from his trenches in Torino: conceiving challenging cultural projects with our local association Franti, working for the writing school Scuola Holden, and cooking for us tough&tasty recipes of the Northern Italian tradition – you should try his risottos or meatballs. But most of all, when I look at him in the light of the purple sunset by the river Po, I can still see a flash of light in his eyes. So watch out everybody in the cinema business, because I don’t think he’s just planning to start a club of retired presidents along with Bill Clinton, Giulio Andreotti and Elena Mosholova. Mount Rushmore can wait…

*Editor’s note: in relation to certain facts contained within this article, perhaps it is appropriate to remind of the words of Napoleon Bonaparte himself, “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon” ;-)


Nisimazine monthly August 2008