If we sincerely contemplate the experience of watching a good two hundred and more short films that have arrived from all the countries of ex-Yugoslavia, I can say that there is a good but emotionally exhausting month behind us.
This year’s assortment of films, it appears, has brought into our lives the previously unfelt multitude of soul-killing topics. The death of parents, the death of a child, of grandparents. Repression: social, national, global. If in the films the parents survived, the atmosphere was morbid because of poverty, divorce, unlived ambitions and expectations, physical and mental abuse. Mental disease is customary. Love is always unfortunate. The Earth is dying. There are too many tourists. Capitalism is killing us. Nobody on the planet ever has money. Except for fags.
There are of course plenty of reasons for despondency, which a quick look at the local and global film scene can confirm. It is all in all – apocalyptical. Therefore it is not hard to understand that the authors (many of whom are at the start of their film career) reflect the current zeitgeist and speak of what they see and what looks back at them.
And yet, many films that have made an impression on us this year – that stood out for their quality, maturity, and totality – carry an extremely rare trait – the will to dethrone the negative, the entity that makes our world (too) plainly monochrome. They possess the will to rise above misery, pain, and sadness and to defy them with the super(power) that comes from our ability to create.
Make no mistake – these films do not turn away from problems and hide in the fabricated perfection but deal with what is here and now. Step-by-step they unveil the dusk of the world so that what we need the most can shine in. Not the sun because it shines (especially this summer) quite generously and mercilessly, and in its passing melts the Antarctica icebergs. No, what we need now is hope.
With this idea(l) in mind, we present you with this year’s FeKK YU programme, which not only inspires hope but also pride. Each year we endeavour to spread the word of the festival across increasingly wider borders of the region that gives us the most interesting, propulsive, and relevant films which compose the four programmes of this section. In comparison to previous years, this FeKK YU boasts a greater number of participants from Kosovo and Macedonia, who along with (deservedly!) prevailingly Croatian and Serbian authors bring into the programme perspectives that seem, although we were once a joint country, new and worthy of greater attention. Another exceptional feature is also the representatives of Bosnia and Montenegro, who, despite smaller production, achieve enviable quality.
One of the most satisfying facts of FeKK YU 2019 programme, which I would especially like to call you attention to, rises from the seemingly statistical fact. Out of the 23 selected films there are 12 that are the fruit of women (twelve women directors since A Cat Is Always Female is a film by a tandem of two) and 13 by men, meaning that the ratio between the genders is practically 50:50. If we are acquainted with the endeavours inside the film industry that call for measures to balance the ratio between male and female authors, then we know that the main fall in the number of female directors (and other female film workers who deserve equal amount of credit) happens when it is time for a feature film. At that point, the scale which at the end of the film studies shows an equal number of male and female graduates tips in favour of the first. What we wish to say is that the mentioned percentage has to be placed into context because it would be naïve to think that the number could be a reflection of a victory over inequality. But it is definitely a win in an important battle that continues. Admittedly, we are also a little happy (very Slovenian) because we know that the bigger festivals of short films would also flaunt such pretty percentages.
So, in the jubilee fifth edition of the festival, the FeKK YU programme will take us along the Brotherhood and Unity Highway to the faces and stories of the people who endure upright in the gravest of circumstances; who see hope in the future most uncertain.
To conclude: there is a glimmer of light at the end of each darkness, coming from a film-projector at least.
See you around!
Bojana Bregar, Peter Cerovšek