Since its inception and to this day, the Martovski festival [March Festival] has represented an important platform for the promotion of domestic documentary films, short features, animated and experimental films. And this year chance has conspired to ensure that, from 22nd to 28th March, attendees will be able to enjoy a double edition of this festival.
One of the oldest film festivals in Europe and anywhere around the world, the Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival (known popularly as the Martovski Festival) will this year last longer, running for a full seven days. And the reason is simple – last year’s 67th Martovski Festival was not held during 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this year is a double edition: the 67th/68th Martovski Festival, which will take place from 22nd to 28th March 2021 at the Belgrade Youth Centre, which is also the event’s organiser.
Last year’s complete competition selection will be screened, along with films selected in the competition programme on the basis of the new ion contest. Festival awards will also be presented for both the 67th and 68th editions of the festival.
Audiences can expect a rich film programme in several categories of the national competition: documentary film with a runtime up to and exceeding 50 minutes, experimental film and video art, animated film and short feature film – which is a category that also includes an international selection.
Plans include numerous special screenings, professional programmes and forums for professionals and students, discussions with guests of the festival, master classes and other supporting programmes.
The new artistic director of the Martovski Festival is Dejan Dabić, a film critic and author of animated films who has spent many years as the selector of the Festival of Acting Achievements in Niš and editor of the film programme of the Cultural Centre of Niš.
The films included in the competition programme of the 67th/68th Martovski Festival were chosen by a selection committee comprising: Milan Nikodijević, film director, screenwriter and producer; Vladimir Šojat, film and TV editor, filmmaker and video artist; Nikola Majdak Jr., cameraman, animator, director and lecturer. The selection committee’s member for the selection of the competition programme of the 68th Martovski Festival is Dragana Latinović, film director and producer. The expert associate of the selection committee for the 67th Martovski Festival is Dragan Nikolić, editor of the Belgrade Youth Centre’s film programme.
The jury of the 67th/68th Martovski Festival will choose the winners of awards including the Grand Prix of the Martovski Festival, awards for best film (by category) and professional awards (for best direction, camera, editing and sound design/score). The jury will be composed of: Želimir Žilnik, film director and screenwriter (president of the jury) – Serbia; Vera Vlajić, film director, screenwriter and animator – Serbia; Igor Bezinović, film director – Croatia; Dimitris Kerkinos, professor of film and cinematic aesthetics – Greece; Radoslav T. Stanišić, doctor of dramatic arts: department of filmology and film and TV director – Montenegro.
This is an opportunity for local audiences to see exciting, carefully selected current titles, which they otherwise don’t have an opportunity to see on the repertoires of cinemas
In addition to the competition aspect, the Martovski Festival will include its traditional and rich film panorama programme, divided into the “World Panorama”, “Regional Panorama” and “Domestic Panorama” sections. Audiences will have an opportunity to watch films that proved to be winners at major world festivals, as well as domestic, regional and world premieres, works by significant domestic and international filmmakers, as well as selections of works from important European short film festivals held in Clermont-Ferrand (France), Drama (Greece) and Berlin (Germany).
The first edition of the Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival was held way back in 1954, within the scope of the Festival of Yugoslav Film that took place that year from 24th to 30th June in the Pula Arena, only for the Festival to relocate to Belgrade six years later. Preserving its rich tradition in the 21st century, the Martovski Festival today keeps pace with contemporary trends in film art and technology, screening films of high artistic quality and encouraging the further development of domestic film production.
This festival’s patrons include the City of Belgrade, the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and the Film Centre of Serbia, while company Lukoil Serbia is the friend of the festival.
The price of tickets remains the same as in previous years – at 200 dinars, while students of film academies can present their student ID index booklet to gain free entry to screenings.