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The 71st Edition of the Martovski Festival –  Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival

The 71st Edition of the Martovski Festival –  Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival, a permanent event of cultural importance for the City of Belgrade, will take place from March 26 to 30, 2024, in the Belgrade Youth Center under the management of the Center.

Last year, one of the oldest European and world film festivals marked the anniversary of 70 years of establishment, something no film festival in Serbia or the former Yugoslavia had. This year, the Martovski Festival will go on for 5 days and will focus on stories about everyday people who have always been the most grateful heroes of our classics and contemporary filmmakers, but it will also be about sports and music greats who marked the space, not only of our country, but also of the whole region.

The Martovski Festival chairman of the Board is Nikola Nikodijević, Member of the Provisional Body of the City of Belgrade, and its members are Boris Jovanović, Milena Nikolić, Nenad Popović and Dragomir Zupanc. Since 2019, the art director of the March Festival has been Dejan Dabić, film critic and author of animated films, a long-time selector of the Festival of Actors’ Achievements in Niš and editor of the Niš Cultural Center film program.

The Martovski Festival traditionally presents a diverse film program in several national competition categories: documentary film up to 50 and over 50 minutes, experimental film and video art, animated film and short feature film. Starting two years ago, all genres of short films are represented in the international competition program.

The members of the selection committee of the domestic competition program are Prof. Dr. Ivana Kronja (filmologist), Saša Radojević (film critic, film director and screenwriter), Prof. Milan Nikodijević (film producer, screenwriter and director) and Sead Šabotić, MA (film director, screenwriter, teaching assistant at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Cetinje, Montenegro).

The members of the selection committee of the international competition program are Igor M. Toholj (director, producer, founder and selector of the film festival program), Dragan Nikolić (film director, screenwriter) and Radoslav Pavković (film director and screenwriter).

They had a difficult task: choosing from almost 400 submitted works that would enter the official competition selection. In all, 98 films have been selected that will compete for the following awards: Grand Prix of the Martovski Festival, awards for the best film (by category), film industry awards (for the best direction, screenplay, camera, editing, animation and sound design/music score). The competition program at Belgrade Youth Center will have an astounding 80 premiers: world, regional, Serbian, Festival…

Members of the 71st Martovski Festival jury, which will decide on the awards, will be Bojan Labović, filmmaker and director of the Festival in Portorož (Slovenia), Branko Schmidt, screenwriter and director of feature films and documentaries (Croatia), Vasilios Terzopoulos, selector of the Short and Green program at the Drama International Short Film Festival (Greece), Olivera Pančić, documentary films auteur and former editor of the documentary program on RTS (Serbia) and Bratislav Zlatković, professor at the Faculty of Arts in Niš, composer of applied music and former member of the music band “Galija” (Serbia).

The tickets for the 71st edition of the Martovski festival will be available at the Belgrade Youth Center box office and online through the eFinity platform starting from March 15. The ticket prices are 350 and 500 dinars, while film academy students, as always, will have free entrance with a valid index.

Besides the competition program, the Martovski Festival will have a traditionally abundant exhibition film program presented as International Panorama, Regional Panorama and National Panorama, with plenty of exclusive premieres.

The opening ceremony will be marked by presenting the Martovski Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and the world premiere of the feature-length documentary “Dreamers” directed by Vladimir Petrović about the female band of the same name from Belgrade, the oldest of its kind in the Balkans, active in the mid-1960s in the former Yugoslavia.

The exhibition program will, among other films, present the Montenegrin documentary film “Šagargur” by Nataša Nelević, about the women’s Goli Otok, the Bosnian documentary: “Hako”, the directorial debut of the famous actor Josip Pejaković – about a man from Pešter who, during the Second World War refused to harm his neighbors at the cost of his own suffering and “Last Yu Documents” by Jasmin Duraković, about the legacy of our modern art before the collapse of the Yugoslav federation; as well as the film from Russia “God I feel Your Presence” directed by Nikolai Burlyaev, which talks not only about his acting collaboration with Tarkovsky but also about the spiritual aspects of the early works of one of the greatest directors of all time, Andrei Tarkovsky.

The Martovski Festival, traditionally, will be wrapped up with a ceremony of awarding the best film productions and auteurs. After the awards ceremony, the audience will have an exclusive opportunity to watch the premiere of “The Magic Seven – Toni Kukoč” by Sabahudin Topalbećirević and meet the auteur and the film’s main protagonist.

Read more...

Želimir Žilnik, Film Director, Screenwriter And President Of The Martovski Festival Jury

I Don’t Skip “March”

Without the Martovski festival , for all these decades, the domestic film scene wouldn’t only have been poorer, but I’m convinced it wouldn’t even...

The Belgrade Documentary And Short Film Festival

Seven Unforgettable Days

Since its inception and to this day, the Martovski festival has represented an important platform for the promotion of domestic documentary films, short...

As always, we scheduled many expert programs and panel discussions for professionals and students, meetings and Q&A sessions with Festival guests, master classes, book promotions and other supporting programs.

Traditionally, the Martovski Festival is the meeting point for national and international filmmakers, producers, distributors, festival directors, reporters, critics, students, and professionals. It is the promotion spot of the documentary, animated, short and experimental film, a platform for inspiration and developing new ideas, as well as the chance for the local audience to see exciting, carefully picked latest films they cannot see through regular cinema channels.

As a prelude to the 71st edition of the Martovski Festival, the concert “Movie Hits by Zoran Simjanović,” dedicated to our greatest composer of applied music, who was posthumously awarded the Martovski Festival Lifetime Achievement Award three years ago, is scheduled for the day before the opening, on March 25 at 8 p.m. in the Belgrade Youth Center Big Hall. This concert is a present from the City of Belgrade, Belgrade Youth Center and the Martovski Festival to all admirers of Zoran Simjanović and his timeless music, therefore, admission will be free.

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