Monday 30 - The Hunt for the Sprite Maniac
Let me guide you through some of today’s highlights in an overview…
Song of the day: deus – Hotel lounge
In hotel lounges, in TV studio’s, … eight interviews I’ve been doing today. Sometimes it is said that people who spend too much time in the cinema don’t get to see enough of daylight, but here the cinema-goers get much more sunlight than me. I speak with festival juries, film delegations and with Czech Kids Kino Lab participants, who praise the festival for its promotion of domestic productions. My fate is in Petra’s capable hands – she requisitions a car to take me promptly from one interview location to another. That’s about the only sunlight I get to see today.
Profession of the day: winemaker / writer
Through the interviews I’m getting a chance to absorb the dynamics among jury members. Rodrigo Litorriaga would have loved to run the marathon if only he knew about it, while Tereza Kopacova and Jonathan Murray agree that Michael Hanneke should make a children’s film. They designate their delegate as ‘most talkative jury member’. The ECFA Jury has only two members on site; Teresa Lima and Katarina Hager have become soul mates. This week Katarina came to the TV Festival Bubbles dressed rather casually, not expecting an on-camera-appearance. “The first time I saw you I was unpleasantly surprised.” This time she has put on a beautiful necklace and dress… and there is no camera involved. The Animation Jury had encounters with many curious fantasy creatures, but only few encounters with realistic animals. “There wasn’t even one single dragon in the selection; there’s always dragons but not here.” - “More films should be made about the Balkan lynx,” says Arba. Just like last year, everyone seems eager to discover African cinema. Now that the logistical exchange has become easier, everyone wants to find out whether an African (animation or live action) production actually exists and how it might develop. When asking about a possible parallel professional career, two separate jury members give the same answer: Teresa Lima and Arba Hatashi both want to grow wine while writing books. You will soon find the results of these interviews on this page.
Film of the day: How I learned to fly
HOW I LEARNED TO FLY exuberantly embraces summer; that’s what people appreciate. Director Rasha Andric and producer Maja Popovic have twinkling lights of excitement in their eyes; I regret the interview ends so quickly. Klara Hrvanovic is a revelation. This week she was a guest in our Festival Bubbles; speaking English with confidence, she starred and beamed with pride… like she always does when the camera is around. As soon as the camera was off, her shoulders sank and she hid her face behind her long blond hair. A nasty infection has taken hold of her and she spends all day in her room, throwing up. Suddenly Jovana Karaulic appears, who was a guest here a few years ago with THE WITCH HUNTERS, as producer and “security grid” for her rogue director Rasko Milijkovic. She has now given up producing but returns to Zlin as the mother of the sick Klara.
Delegation of the day: Kids Kino Lab
When the barrel is full, it overflows. That's the way it is with me and faces. There is no room for a single one more; I simply can’t remember them. I am terrified when people wave or smile at me; the chances of not recognizing them are increasing day by day. The participants of the Kids Kino Lab are the worst. Two months ago I welcomed all 30 of them in Antwerp, today I only remember the most striking characters among them. Now that we’re face to face and they enthusiastically jump into my arms, memories come back. Tonight the group is extra loud; they’ve been playing “never have I ever” and pour over the pub like a roaring tidal wave of noise. The Lab’s organizing committee is having a local drink called “skinny bitches”. I wonder if I would make that order in the pub or at the hotel reception, if the result would be both times the same. The staff behind the bar can barely keep up with the orders. Luckily there is Jana, my favourite eagle-eyed waitress who is always in control. She closes the bar around 4 am and the next morning I see her cleaning the terrace at 10 am. Anonymous heroes in a small Czech town.
Guest of the day: Jitendra Mishra
A lesson we all once had to learn: don't be the last one to stay at the cafe or you'll end up paying other people’s bills. Today Jitendra is screwed; as long as no payment has been made, he is on Jana's blacklist. The only clue about the fugitive freeloader is that he/she had a Sprite. “Do you think I came all the way from India to drink a Sprite?” The search for the Sprite Bandit can begin. Jitendra always makes me laugh out loud, and often makes me feel shy when he showers me in lavish compliments. He always looks great - some men simply shine in any suit. Tonight he remains unmoved when abundantly drinking the slivovitz with which the local girls try to challenge him. Together with his congenial wife Donna, he is staying 2 extra nights to do the honors for India during the closing ceremony. As a festival manager in Delhi and a successful film producer, he tries to breathe new life into Cifej. We laugh at the organisation's busy travel calendar – some members may have some sort of international citizenship that from now on will be referred to as 'Cifejenship' (which almost sounds like a typical English dish – try to say it out loud!) Tonight Jitendra explains about how he tries to keep in touch with his family who live more than 2000 kilometres from Delhi in the rural area where he grew up. Soon him and me will be spending 10 days together at the BIKY festival in South Korea.