|Kathy Rae Huffman on Wed, 22 Jan 1997 15:10:38 +0100|
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|Novi Sad - VideoMedeja, Dec.1996 3/4|
A Late Night Discussion: I met with the VideoMedeja organizing team at the conclusion of the festival, in the noisy Klub Ben Akiba (a cinema club, bar and cabaret adjacent to the Novi Sad Theatre). Branka Nikolic, executive organizer, translated the discussion into English (she had been the single translator for three of us during the entire symposium). Because of the noise in the club, it was hard to determine exactly who answered the questions, so for simplicity, I attribute all the answers to Branka. Kathy Rae VideoMedeja only lasts two days. Is it enough? Do you feel good about the program? Branka We had a limited time to prepare, because we found out that we received the money only in October. And, our money resources were limited. K What kind of budget did you work with? B We received 10,000 DM (from the Fund for an Open Society), which we were able to apply to the travels for Eastern European women, to produce the catalogue, and to rent the cinema. Because of our limitations, we decided to program only 2 days, but to be tough. This kind of event has not existed before in Novi Sad, our strategy was to be attractive to the media, and attract a local audience. Next year, we shall try to make a better program, longer but different. It will still concentrate on authors from Eastern Europe, still focus on women, but we want to add workshops. We will also try to include the new technologies. You know, there is always a question of money. K Where did the idea for this festival come from? B We know that women are making important work in video, maybe more than in other art forms at the moment. Vera attended the short film festival in Belgrade, and she saw work at the Academy of Arts there. She traveled to Slovenia, and saw a lot of great work there. The Slovenian authors are very interesting to us, especially because of their involvement with Yugoslavia. K What about Croatia? I think that the work of Sanja Ivekovic would be especially good and important in this context, for example. B Well, we have Breda Beeben (and Hrvoje Horvatic) [who are from Zagreb but currently live in London]. We tried to reach authors in Croatia, but the communication is still hard by phone, and the mail is worse. It [end of war] is still very fresh. K What attracted you to video? There is such a long tradition of film in this region. B The most interesting aspect for us about video is that it is a short form of art. It is not like a feature film at all. Because of that, there are always open questions. When the work is short, one must ask again and again probing questions about personal politics. Another thing we realize is that the subjects in the various video works are very different from what filmmakers are concentrating and talking about. K What other kind of things are you doing here in Novi Sad, when you are not preparing a festival? B One part of our work is the agency, The Artistic Association Apostrof. It presents works of other authors (not making it but presenting it). Also, and this is very important for us, it publishes magazines and catalogues. One is even printed in Hungarian. Another important part of our work is the making of our own productions. These are performances, which we document on video. But, we hope in the future we will also make art videos. We also want to do multimedia. K This is a new agency?