40th INTERNATIONAL THESSALONIKI FILM FESTIVAL
URSULA URBANIAK (TOROWISKO)
VLADIMIR PETKOVIC (TOCKOVI)
LUCIA RIKAKI (DANCING SOUL)
In the press conference given today, in the framework of the 40th Thessaloniki Film Festival, by the Polish director of the film Torowisko, Ursula Urbaniak, references were made to the situation of the production of films in her country. The director noted that the phenomenon of consumer societies throughout the world has influenced cinema, and added that everyone is gearing their films towards commercial success in order to attain financing from institutions such as banks. "Of course it is still incredibly difficult for young directors to receive financial support for their first films", she said and added, "Two months ago, when the Polish Film Festival took place, most of its 26 films were completed through state financial aid. The situation has improved, yet, we still require additional changes".
The co-producer and co-screenwriter of the Serbian film, TOCKOVI, Vladimir Petkovic, clarified that it isn't a typical Balkan film, but a cinematography attempting to imitate the independent American scene. According to him, the film has Balkan elements but inspires to pertain to the whole world.
"We attempted to make a black comedy, a thriller without political elements. Our distributor in Serbia wanted to use the motto "See the face of Serbia, from behind the mirror", but we had to reject it, because no one would go to the cinema to see a film about the actuality of our country, since they witness it first-hand everyday".
Lucia Rikaki spoke about the trend that began in 1995 from her and other new Greek directors, in order to reestablish the relationship between Greek cinema and its audience.
She then spoke about the small turn out of her new film Dancing soul, in contrast to her previous films which did very well in the box offices, and noted that every year there are more and more popular Greek films.
"The audience has increased, but at the same time has been divided", she said, and added, "competition has no meaning when it is in the sense of selling more tickets. Let's not restrict ourselves to numbers". In reference to her future plans she said, "I've found two true stories that I'm looking into. One of the two will provide the story for my next film. In this way, I am approximating my first film, Trip to Australia, which was also based on a true story. In the meantime, I am rediscovering my documentary form", said Ms. Rikaki, and continued, "I am filming a documentary about the youth movement in Greece, titled, Counterfeit expectations. It is about young people who take to the streets for demonstrations, without being able to identify what exactly urges them to this protest".