About 66th Martovski festival

The Martovski Festival – 66th edition of the Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival will take place from March 27 to March 31 2019 in the Belgrade Youth Center venue, under the Center’s management.


One of the oldest European and world film festivals will span over 5 days, and the audience will have the chance to see a plenitude of films in a number of national competition programs: documentaries over 50 minutes, experimental film and video art, animated and short film – this category is international, too. We scheduled a number of special screenings, expert programmes and panel discussions for professionals and students, meetings and Q&A sessions with Festival guests, master classes and other supporting programmes.

The new artistic director of the Martovski festival is Sonja Đekić, a film director with over a decade of passionate work on her documentaries in multiple capacities – Joe Goes to Serbia (Moj drug Srbija) 2008, Kosma 2013, Speleonaut/Under the Stone Sky (Speleonaut/Pod kamenim nebom) 2018. These films were selected for more than 70 film festivals and won 15 awards. She obtained her BA in film and TV directing from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, she was involved in work of two film festivals almost from the very beginning – the Magnificent 7 in Belgrade and Grafest in Gračanica.

This year, almost 4000 Serbian and international films have entered the competition program. A respectable panel of selectors, top Serbian film professionals will select films to compete for the festival Grand Prix in each category (plus the financial support of 2000 Euros payable in Serbian Dinars that goes with the prize), as well as four specialized awards – for best directing, camera, editing and sound design/music. This year’s selectors are: Jovana Nikolić, producer, Čarna Manojlović, film director, Marta Popivoda, film director and video artist, Ana Nedeljković, visual artist, Nemanja Jovanov, cinematographer, Kristina Đuković, dramaturgist and Darko Lungulov, film director.


As a guest of the 66th Martovski Festival, notable Yugoslav and Croatian director Lordan Zafranović will present his latest work  – a half-hour-long documentary Zeitgeist (Duh vremena), Switzerland, 2018, 28′. This film is based on the Cities on the Move exhibition of press photography from reporters of the large Turkish and Yugoslav daily newspapers on everyday life in Sarajevo, Istanbul, Belgrade and Ankara after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Nataša Mišković, the exhibition author, writer and producer of this film will also be the guest of the Festival. For Nataša this is her first and for Zafranović, his 100th film.


Following the remarkable reception of the film Trieste, Yugoslavia by Alessio Bozzer from the Serbian audience at the closing of the 2017 Martovski festival, his new film called The Community (Italy, 2018, 62′)will be presented to the Serbian audience this year. Building on the subject of his previous film (a humorous look at the times when Trieste was the favourite shopping destination for every citizen of Yugoslavia) Bozzer, who will be the Festival guest, now focuses on the oldest and the largest community in Trieste – the Serbian Orthodox community. Through everyday scenes we learn about their customs and culture, blending two worlds.


Audrius Stonys, award-winning filmmaker and lecturer at a number of prestigious universities will also be the guest of the Martovski Festival. He is the recipient of the European Film Award for the documentary film Earth of the Blind (Neregių žemė )in 1992 and the Lithuanian National Prize for culture and arts.


After Sundance, IDFA, Venice and Leipzig, we will get the chance to see the latest work by the famous Russian documentary filmmaker Viktor Kossakovsky! Aquarela (Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, USA, 2018, 89′) is a deeply cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water. From the precarious frozen waters of Russia’s Lake Baikal to Miami in the throes of Hurricane Irma to Venezuela’s mighty Angel Falls, water is Aquarela’s main character. This film won the Golden Star award at the El Gouna International Film Festival 2018.


The latest animated work by the creative duo Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels is arriving from Belgium! This duo rose to fame with their short film Oh Willy in stop motion animation of rarely used wool puppets. Their award-winning, extraordinary and unique film The Magnificent Cake! (Ce Magnifique Gâteau ! / Belgium, France, Netherlands, 2018, 44′) uses the same technique. Seemingly random stories about five characters: a troubled king, a middle-aged Pygmy working in a luxury hotel, a failed businessman on an expedition, a lost porter and a young army deserter take us to a compelling journey into colonial Africa in the late 19th century.


In cooperation with Marta Popivoda and the International Experimental Film Festival REZ (Teorija koja Hoda [TkH]) – we will present the work of D’EST, a multi-curatorial online platform for video art from the former ‘east’ and ‘west’ from Berlin and their efforts in creating a databank that maps female and collective positions that reflect the post-socialist transformation through moving pictures. Ulrike Gerhardt, artistic director, and Naomi Hennig, D’EST editor and coordinator will present a selection of work and initiate active dialogue.


The Festival continues its production efforts on the Serbian Animated Film project – the second DVD is pending with 13 exciting animated works from the period 1969-1977.

Another DVD, Award Winners (Nagrađeni) presents a selection of about twenty best works from the Faculty of Applied Arts Animation Department.

The chief editor of both issues is our renowned animator, artist and professor Rastko Ćirić.


This years’ special guest will be Trezor, TV show by Radio Television of Serbia’s historiography department.


Traditionally, the Martovski Festival is the meeting point for national and international filmmakers, producers, distributors and festival directors, reporters and critics, students and professionals. It is the place of promotion of 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.


The Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival is a permanent event of cultural importance for the City of Belgrade. Festival Sponsors are the City of Belgrade, the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, Film Center Serbia.


Festival friend: LUKOIL SERBIA. Festival Supporters: Italian Cultural Institute, Alma Quattro, Tourist Organization of Belgrade, Tourist Organization of Serbia.