I have to confess that I was a bit worried, when I saw that Belgrade friends Svetlana and Zoran Popovic and their team launched a documentary retrospective of films that we had selected and screened during the years of the festival – next year late January it is the 13th time that 7 European feature length documentaries will be shown at the Sava Centre in the Serbian capital. For these screenings there are normally between 1000 and 1500 spectators. Would new people come, would many come to see the films for the second time?
No need to worry, not at all. I want to repeat that the audience for documentaries in Belgrade is loyal to the M7, as we call it. Some quotes from the Popovic couple:
“The audience was very nice for “Un Tango Más” (by German Kral, who was present), 700-800 people, plus the man from Argentinian Embassy and the Israeli ambassador (who wanted to enjoy Tango)! For “The Monastery” (by Pernille Rose Grønkjær) we had about 500-600 people, plus the chief of the
Danish diplomatic mission in Belgrade and an eminent professor of theology!”
These numbers are amazing for a retrospective… nevertheless the Popovic couple was not that happy with the attendance to Gianfranco Rosi’s “Below Sea Level” – there was 300-400 people. “Mostly because the screening was from 5pm.” My comment: Come on… that many people for a film that is not new. We could not get that in Copenhagen, I think!
For “Twilight of a Light” by Sylvain Biegeleisen there were 600-700 people: “When they sat, the light went up on the stage, where Sylvain sat with the guitar and Zoran was standing next to him. Sylvain started playing and singing, then a short announcement and another chanson de Jacques Brel. After the screening the audience was so overwhelmed with feelings that they stood and applaude very long to Sylvain who was in front of the stage.”
“Before the film of Michael Glawogger, “Whores’ Glory”, we screened the brilliant piece he made here during the festival workshop – where he recites two verses from Goethe’s Faustus in German. “Nothing is inside, nothing is outside…” The audience for the homage to the deceased master was 500-600.
Very encouraging numbers for repeat screenings of great European documentaries!