Her name is Anastasija, she is one of the children in “To Be Continued” by Latvian documentary master Ivars Seleckis, who is here at ZagrebDox, where his film was shown last night. Tonight Seleckis (who will be 85 this year) will receive an award given by Nenad Puhovski, ZagrebDox festival director, who himself at each edtion of the festival chooses a film to be awarded. A ”My Generation” award. I have known Seleckis for more than 20 years, this time I have had time to pass time with him at dinner and breakfasts, together with a dear friend Lelda Ozola from the National Film Centre of Latvia. This morning I learned why the director/cameraman always wears a beret… ask him when you meet him, good story.
Another master at the festival was Sergei Loznitsa, who in a totally crowded cinema performed a masterclass with the title ”Use of Archive Footage Between the Authentic and Constructed”. He had only time to show clips from three of his many archive-based films. Although it is always interesting to listen to Loznitsa – and I loved to have ”Blokada” (2005) on screen, the fantastic film about the siege of Leningrad, as well as ”The Event” from 2015, also archive, from 1991, the coup and the call for freedom shot in Leningrad/St.Petersburg – he should have been given more time, and maybe he should have focused on one film and gone deeper with, for instance, the last archive work, the amazing ”The Trial”. Also shown at the festival.
Orwa Nyrabia, artistic director of IDFA, was at the festival invited and interviewed by Nenad Puhovski – he was as always precise, open for questions, promised that there will be changes at the Forum, which has renewed itself but needs more changes following the changes in the media landscape, where broadcasters are not influential on the development of documentaries any longer, at least in funding terms. The question about why no central and Eastern documentary projects were chosen for the Forum 2018 was raised again, Orwa Nyrabia referred to the answer he gave through filmkommentaren, link below. Re the meeting: It can only be a simplification from the one hour with Nyrabia but the message could be: less mainstream films and projects, more ambitious creative documentaries and projects. Wish him all the best luck with this!