Below you have the presentation from IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival) of the Forum, no doubt the gathering of documentary film professionals, who want funding and/or publicity of the film, that they are working on. The event has been there for decades, it’s been instrumental as a gathering for the documentary community to meet, exchange, network, tell each other that documentaries are important – and communicate that to the funders, the broadcasters, the politicians etc. The Forum – and the IDFA – is crucial, when it comes to stressing the importance of the documentary genre in a democratic world. I did not say in Europe because there we have a problem, dear IDFA Forum people:
Maybe you are not to blame, maybe it is a problem that mirrors the sad development within the EU and its surroundings: EU did not become what we (EUropeans like me) wanted it to become. There is a Western Europe as before and an Eastern Europe as before. There is a rich and a poor Europe. And there are conflicts within the EU, where Eastern countries are politically turning to the right – as is the case in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and I could go on exemplifying from Western countries like the one – Denmark – where I have my home and where intolerance and xenophobia are alive and kicking…
AND NOW TO MY QUESTION WHEN I LOOK AT THE LIST OF COUNTRIES REPRESENTED AT THE FORUM AT IDFA 2018, 51 COUNTRIES REPRESENTED, BUT ONLY ONE FROM EASTERN EUROPE IF YOU INCLUDE GEORGIA:
There are NO projects from Estonia, Latvia. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Ukraine…
But of course I salute the selection of Georgian “The Platform” by Nino Orjonikidze and Vano Arsenishvili – I know them, they are sooo good!
AND HOW TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS…
Is it really because there were no more than one project good enough among the 768 projects submitted?
Is it because projects from Eastern Europe were very few?
Because they prefer to submit projects to – for instance – East Doc Forum in Prague?
Because the IDFA Forum is too expensive (submission fee, travel and stay, publicity…) for filmmakers from Eastern Europe?
Why… tell me
Because if you look at the IDFA festival and the films taken for the many sections, there is a lot of great films selected from the Eastern part of Europe – and beware it is not “only” Kossakovsky, Loznitsa, Mansky. The festival lives from excellent films from Eastern Europe, also this year; take a look at the selection for mid-length section, there are films from Serbia (Photo from Andrijana Stojkovic “Wongar”), Belarus, Poland, Russia… It seems there is a total lack of harmony this year between the Forum and the Festival!