Friday, 23 January 2009

Mecavnik, ethno village, established by famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica.

This unusual town is located on Mokra Gora, in western Serbia, between mountains Zlatibor and Tara. It consists of wooden houses, precisely log huts, which preserved the authentic of this part of Serbia. Some of these log huts were carried from neighboring villages, which gives to Mecavnik a special charm, as they are named after the owners, like Vitorova house, Ostojica house…All these houses attracts with own exterior, but the interior also offers a feeling of warmth, because you can feel the love and attention invested in interior. It’s enough to know that all furniture in log huts is handmade, carved and imaginative illustrated, with decorative needle worked curtains on small windows. All rooms has bathroom, plasma TV, telephone. Part of Mecavnik is also a church, restaurant, souvenir shop, gallery, cinema Underground, national restaurant, weave workshop, and many other things that makes your stay in this really special place unforgettable. Streets in this town are named after famous persons from culture, science, sport, such as the main street of Ivo Andric, street of Ernest Ce Gevara, Diego

Maradona, Miodrag Petrovic Ckalja – famous Serbian actor, Felini, Bergman. Soon, one street will be named after Novak Djokovic. Together with famous train Cira and Sargan Eight, this is one of the most attractive tourist destinations of Serbia. Events: Serbia’s best known director Emir Nemanja Kusturica talks about the second year of Kustendorf film and music festival

The Very Best from the World of Film

Right after Eastern Orthodox Serbs end the fast and celebrate Christmas according to the Church calendar, a small ethno village built on the slopes of breathtaking hills in central Serbia by the legendary director Emir Nemanja Kusturica — Drvengrad — will once again turn into a place of living magic by the worldwide film artists, such as American independent director Jim Jarmusch, an honorary guest of the second Kustendorf Festival, who will get his own street as four of his movies (1984 Stranger Than Paradise, 1986 Down by Law, 1995 Dead Man and Broken Flowers from 2005) get presented within the Festival’s Retrospective of Greatness. Chock-full of exquisite treats even for the most refined palates of avid film connoisseurs and brimming with creative energy, Kustendorf 2009 will offer free screenings in three theaters with the best equipment in the world, workshops
galore, competition program of the works by the film students from 16 countries, and a rare opportunity to meet the coolest moving-pictures’ artists like Jim Jarmusch, Oliver Stone, Alain Delon or the famed Chinese master-director Zhang Yimou. Serbia’s best known director, Kustendorf’s founder, manager and movie selector Emir Nemanja Kusturica is ending preparations for the second edition of his festival, which will be held from January 8-14, 2009. Kusturica declared his village Drvengrad on the slopes of Mećavnik hill “a mythical place of film authors” and invited his old friend, American cult filmmaker Jim Jarmusch as a central guest of this year’s Festival. Festival Based on Young Filmmakers’ Interaction with the Film Greats The basis of Kustendorf Festival, sponsored by the Serbian Ministry of Culture, is the young filmmakers’ encounter and interaction with the film greats. For the competitive program Kusturica selected 35 films this year, works of film academy students from 16 countries: Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia,Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and USA. To the young authors who compete for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Egg, Kusturica will show films which in his opinion marked the past movie season. The authors of these films, directors, screenplay writers and the actors will run workshops for the students. This year’s president of the jury will be Serbian actress Anica Dobra.

Kusturica selected two movies for the Evergreen part of the Festival, Mikhail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba, from 1964, and Péter Gothár’s Time Stands Still, from 1982.

Hungarian director Gothár will also be among the Festival guests and, after the projection of his film on January 10, he will hold the workshop for the film students taking part in Kusterndorf’s Competition Program.

Time Stands Still is a story about the hard life of the youth in Budapest at the beginning of the 1960s. At the center of the story are two brothers whose father fled during the Hungarian uprising in 1956, to avoid going to prison, while mother stayed with the sons. A father’s friend manages to escape from prison and moves in with them, which makes the boys unhappy.

Film I Am Cuba, a Russo-Cuban co-production, represents an unusual homage to Fidel Castro’s revolution. The story takes place during the last days of Batista’s regime, and it consists of four poetic shorts about the Cuban sufferings and their reactions, up to the guerrilla march.

A cooperation between the Russian “Mosfilm” and the Cuban ‘ISAIS” was a sign of solidarity at the start of the Cuban crisis. The film was completely forgotten until it was rediscovered 30 years later in United States by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. The film was restored under their supervision.

Another exclusive projection announced is Oliver Stone’s film “W”, about George W. Bush.

Each day at midnight, after the movie projections and workshops, music gigs and concerts are planned in which the international and domestic bends will compete, including Kusturica’s own “No smoking orchestra”.

Perhaps an Exhumation This Year…

Kusturica imposed the most demanding schedule upon himself, committing to run the film school every day in the morning hours, where the focus will be placed on contemporary trends in the film world, the influence French poetic realism and the Italian neo-realism have upon the contemporary film language, the screenplays, work with actors and camera (dedicated to his associate who recently passed away, Vilko Filač).

“Maradona watched himself in Cannes, he enjoyed, laughed, and said that no other film about him is valid any longer, other than this one. Unfortunately, Maradona will not be at this year’s Festival. Since he won the battle with drugs, he has now returned to sport. He became the coach of a national football team, and in Argentina that is more than being president of the state. We’ll bring him over when he achieves a great victory,” Kusturica said.

After ritually burying Hollywood hit movie “Die Hard” at the last year’s festival, Kusturica said he will not hold the same type of performance this year. Instead, he said he is thinking about an exhumation this time around, although he wouldn’t reveal any details. He did announce opening of the Jim Jarmusch Street in Drvengrad and the next year Festival’s main guest of honor, Johnny Depp.

Kustendorf is a Very Different Film Festival

According to Kusturica, there are more film authors today than before, but in the world dominated by the market they are marginalized, invisible. Therefore, his Festival is “attempting to act opposite to the market laws and the idea of liberal capitalism, which is based on quantity”, Kusturica explained.

“Today, when the festivals struggle to show as many movies as possible, we have selected only seven films for the program Contemporary Authors’ Tendencies — those which clearly stood out in the last year’s production by their quality. In that sense, Kustendorf is indeed an elitist place. And living in the village today is a great privilege. On the other hand, we did not turn our backs to democracy either, so we organized free transportation twice a day from the nearby towns for the Festival screenings. Movies on Kustendorf Festival are shown in three movie theaters with the best equipment in the world. Neither films nor music are being charged for,” Kusturica told Belgrade media.

He announced making of his new movie “Pancho Villa” for the end of 2009, to be filmed in Mexico and Spain. Scenario for this film, written by the Serbian screenwriter Gordan Mihić, will be finished on January 15.

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