Marko Šantić (HRV)
Film director and screenwriter, Marko Šantić was born in 1983 in Split, Croatia. He lives and works in Slovenia, where in 2008 he graduated in film and TV directing from AGRFT, the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television of Ljubljana University. His films premiered at major Film Festivals; Tallinn, Warsaw and Montreal, where they gained international recognition. His first feature film Seduce Me was also Slovenian submission for the 87th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2014. He is a member of the European Film Academy.
Léa Forest (FRA)
Léa Forest is a french director and writer born in 1988. Her first feature film, "The Endless Days of Youth" , co-directed with Cosme Castro has been introduced during the Locarno Festival in 2016. "Cut the Chit Chat" was her first documentary, which was screened at Cinema Talks Festival 2020.
Gregor Schmiedinger (AUT)Gregor is a Vienna-based screenwriter and director. He studied Digital Television at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg and Screenwriting at the University of California Los Angeles. His theatrically released debut feature film NEVRLAND has won three Austrian Academy Awards. His two short films THE BOY NEXT DOOR and HOMOPHOBIA have combined more than 25 million views on YouTube.
Do we need movies?
Today we need movies more than ever. I was reading a book where Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog in eighties speak about problems connected with inflation of images. Today we have more “bombing” of images not only from tv but also from internet, social media, commercial panels… I think that people can't find 100% satisfaction in those videos because at the end of the day they are just empty images, mostly without a content. On the other side film narration can give content, convey emotion, and leave you thinking and reflecting at the end of the projection. It can often be a refuge from this crazy inflation.
I see people everyday who don't watch movies. Some prefer reading, the radio, music. I believe that films carry within them answers that all forms of fiction provide, in their own way. For my part, I need films because the look and the words form a familiar language for me. Making and seeing films allows me to look at the world with more attention.
How did your relationship with the medium of film begin, what fascinates you to this
I started with my super 8 digital camera. I filmed my family, friends, grandparents. From here arose the desire and need to transform this material into something more. To make a movie out of it. Thus, when I gave meaning to these first recorded frames and impressions, I experienced the power that film has.
Through all these years, various things have fascinated me, from the story to the characters, and emotions, but now I am fascinated by the fact that the film can serve as the beginning of some critical discourse about our world and society today. Everything is changing quickly, and film can bring order to this chaotic world and can help us understand things about ourselves.
I started making films on my own, with my friends. I didn't think I could do it at all, it seemed like another world, full of technique and complicated codes. I felt like I didn't know anything about it, so I couldn't imagine one day making films. I learned by doing. My work as a costume designer in parallel continues to make me learn things. I watch other directors work and I continue to learn. I am more and more fascinated by the technique. I recently resumed editing training and bought a camera to be able to work alone more. I have the feeling that it is a language without limits.
I think it started when I was eight years old and saw Jurassic Park in the cinema. Since then, I have also wanted to create different worlds, which is still my fascination to this day. To explore other worlds, whether it's different states of mind, realities of life, or make-believe worlds.
A film that particularly inspires you?
It would be difficult to single out one or two films. It's usually dozens of movies. And every year I add new and new ones to this list. Every good movie is an inspiration.
Many films inspire me. If there's one that comes to mind that I loved, it's Toni Erdman from Maren Ade.
I like how she films fiction. Everything is impeccably held in the scenario and yet the unpredictable inventiveness of reality is everywhere. Something approaches the documentary sometimes and touches me a lot.
Fight Club by David Fincher
Do we need film festivals?
Absolutely. Multiplexes are monopolists who have a certain number of films they show. And a certain type of movies. Film festivals offer something much more. They offer a whole new galaxy of independent films and authors that would otherwise be invisible. They are also very precious platform for socializing and exchanging ideas.
YES! In the same way that we need music, theater and dance festivals.
It's true that cinema is a more "digested" art than all forms of live performance are, but meeting around a film is something precious to me. It's like having a dream together. Especially in a time when everyone is alone in front of their screen most of the time, it makes even more sense.
Absolutely, more than ever in a world dominated by streaming.
Do you have any advice for young filmmakers looking for their first story?
Be honest in your stories, try to incorporate a part of yourself in them. Don't pretend. The camera sees everything, and nothing can be hidden from it. Just as there is no good insincere acting, there is no good insincere storytelling. And yes, whether we like it or not, writing screenplays is a craft, so don't forget to throw the first ten scripts in the trash before you get to the text you like.
I would say that a good story is somewhere between something that fascinates you and a piece of your personal history. I tell myself that if we try to put these two things together in a story, it can only be a good story: which starts from within and goes outwards.
I always loved combining two different pieces of advice. The first is, to write what you know because this will make it relevant, and the second is to write the movie you want to see because this will make it interesting.