Sitemap

Radoslav Zelenović, Director of the Audio-visual Archive and Sanu Digitisation Centre

Culture Is A Finite Resource

This year marks half a century since I came to Belgrade. My path took me to the Youth Centre and Cinema Club Belgrade, a place where you could do a lot of things that couldn’t be done elsewhere.

I was soon selected to be the editor of the film programme. Two programmes of the newly-launched FEST found their place in our film programme, Youth Forum and the widely-renowned ‘Vidici’ [Perspectives]. Everything with the Youth Centre started in 1971 and ended in 1979. And it was that year when I started working at Television Belgrade. Two programmes and everything that you conceive and implement is watched by the whole of Yugoslavia. It was then that we launched the third channel.

At the beginning of the 1990s, I no longer felt good on TV. I was suspended several times for things that had nothing to do with the programming, so I left. I went to the Yugoslav Cinematheque Film Archives, which were in great trouble during that time. It was in that same year of 1992 that I also founded, together with Blažo Perović, the International Film Festival in Palić. That festival is this year commemorating its 25th anniversary, while last year it was proclaimed the best film festival in Europe by the EU Commission.

The keyword in my life is a risk. It was long ago that I heard that it’s bad to remember life on the basis of the risks you didn’t take.

I mostly took mine, including this last one. I am the director of the Audio-visual Archive and the Centre for the Digitisation of the SANU Building. An offer from SANU President Vlada Kostić is something that isn’t rejected.

I’m particularly proud of the fact that I protected and preserved the Cinematheque, this precious institution of world repute, from politicisation and financial scandals

My idea was to dedicate myself to arranging the building and writing a book, primarily about the time I spent at the Cinematheque, which I was the director of for 24 years. Some periods were extremely difficult, but those of us who worked at the Cinematheque during that time were aware that we were preserving the world’s cultural heritage recorded on film, which you only become aware of being a finite resource once it is gone. Cultural goods are a non-renewable resource, and that fact is what prevented us for years from sinking, to ensure we didn’t drown.

The archive has been completely restored. Through the European Commission for Reconstruction and Development, we received the Centre for Digitisation, which serves the entire region. We saved tens and hundreds of films from destruction, increased the Archive by 22,000 new copies of films, which represents one medium-sized European cinematheque, found the first Serbian film after eighty years – the Life and Work of Immortal Leader Karađorđe. We completely reconstructed the most important place for screening films in our country, the famous Kosovska 11, established the Golden Seal of the Cinematheque and, after many years, reconstructed the new building at Uzun Mirkova 1.

That struggle lasted the longest, from 1995 to 2011. At one point they took the building from us in order to turn it into a “department store for branded goods because that was more profitable for the state”. Today this is a building with three cinema halls, two galleries displaying objects from the prehistory and history of film, its own library and a huge hemeroteca library of newspapers and periodicals. This venue was declared at a contest in London in 2011 as the most beautiful space of any cultural institution in Europe.

I tried to be as independent as possible, but that was neither easy nor simple.

Finally, what I’m particularly proud of is the fact that I protected and preserved this precious institution of world repute from politicisation and financial scandals.
Radoslav Zelenović

Related Articles

Paco Borao, President of AIMS

Belgrade Marathon Thwarted by Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The Belgrade Marathon has for over 30 years represented one of the largest sporting, social and humanitarian gems of Belgrade and Serbia. Having joined...

John Paul DeJoria

From Homeless to Billionaire

John Paul DeJoria is the founder of tequila maker Patron Spirits Co. and cofounder of hair care company John Paul Mitchell Systems. He slept...

Ivan Medenica, Bitef Artistic Director and Selector

Living in a Dangerous World

“The task of this year’s BITEF is to reconcile us with the fact that we are living in a troublingly dangerous world, to prompt us to ask whether and how theatre and art can counteract that, and to jolt us out of our aesthetic prejudices.”

Evan J. Zimmerman and Ying Ying Li

US and Chinese Tech Must Thrive Together

For years, Chinese entrepreneurs would speak bashfully about the Chinese technology ecosystem, saying they just wanted to learn Then, in 2014, Alibaba’s initial public offering...

Richard Bryce, Country Division Head, Bayer Crop Science Alpe Adria

Important Time to Be in Agriculture

It was two years ago that Bayer announced its intention to acquire Monsanto, and in order to do so it had to obtain more...

Mirko Butulija, President at Auto-moto Association of Serbia

Advancing Safety on the Roads of Serbia

Foreign clubs have recognised joint efforts and shown confidence in AMSS, advising their members at the beginning of the season a safe transit through...

Ahmed Al Awadi, GM at Masdar EE, CA & Russia

Largest Utility-Scale Wind Project

At 158 megawatts, Čibuk 1 will be the largest utility-scale wind project in Serbia and the Western Balkans, supplying an estimated 113,000 homes and...

Dragić Karaklić, Director of National Park Tara

Nature’s Treasure Trove

In addition to naturalists, Tara is also being explored increasingly by archaeologists The basic phenomenon of our National Park is represented by forests that cover...

More...

Dragana Mladenović, Head Of The SANU Office For Public Relations, Poet And Children’s Writer

Everything I (Didn’t) Want

Although I found it difficult to imagine something that suited my temperament, in a professional sense, more than working in the Public Relations Office...

Sanja Ivaniċ, Managing Director Of The French-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce

Embrace The Unpredictable

Little did I know that 33 years ago, when I was handed the French flag at the opening of the European Championships in figure...

Dejan Nikolić, Director Of The Belgrade Marathon

World In Motion

The world is in constant motion. That sounds logical, but is it really the case? Technological development and the general progress of mankind separate...

Amra Latifić, Belgrade Faculty Of Media And Communications

Every Day Is A New Beginning

My motto is “Man becomes what he thinks”. In life I accept the thesis that destiny is largely shaped by character. Emotional investments, the...

News

Serbia’s EMS Acquires 5% Of Shares Of Montenegrin Power Transmission System

Transmission system operator (TSO) Elektromreža Srbije acquired 5% of the shares of Montenegrin TSO Crnogorski Elektroprenosni Sistem (CGES) for...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Germany’s Continental Plans To Open Car Electronics Factory In Serbia

German car parts manufacturer Continental plans to open in March a 140 million euro ($171 million) car electronics factory...

Environmental Protection – EU-Serbia Cooperation

The year behind us was certainly challenging in terms of health protection. Healthy environment was an essential aspect of...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Environmental Protection – EU-Serbia Cooperation

The year behind us was certainly challenging in terms of health protection. Healthy environment was an essential aspect of...

EU Commission Concludes Exploratory Talks With Valneva To Secure A New Potential Vaccine

European Commission concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against...

Preconditions For Beginning Of Mass Vaccination Provided

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic pointed out today that there will be enough vaccines available for all citizens who want...

Chairperson-In-Office Ann Linde Presents Sweden’s 2021 Priorities To Permanent Council

Over the coming year, the Swedish Chairpersonship will do its part to ensure that the OSCE can make a...

Tokyo’s Covid Outbreak Adds To Doubts Over Hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open...

Environmental Protection – EU-Serbia Cooperation

The year behind us was certainly challenging in terms of health protection. Healthy environment was an essential aspect of...

EU Commission Concludes Exploratory Talks With Valneva To Secure A New Potential Vaccine

European Commission concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against...

Preconditions For Beginning Of Mass Vaccination Provided

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic pointed out today that there will be enough vaccines available for all citizens who want...