6th Kustendorf Film Festival kicks off

MOKRA GORA -- The 6th International Film and Music Festival Kustendorf started on Wednesday night in Drvengrad on Mt. Mokra Gora in western Serbia.

Emir Kusturica and Bratislav Petković (Tanjug)
Emir Kusturica and Bratislav Petković (Tanjug)

The festival will bring together some of the most important filmmakers from across the world and numerous film students until January 22.

The opening ceremony began in front of St Sava's Church, on which the festival's symbol - a gold egg - was projected using light effects.

The festival is organized by famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica.

This was followed by a holographic fight between Kusturica and Bruce Willis, in which the festival host's triumph symbolized a win for auteur cinema over Hollywood blockbusters.

The festival was officially opened by Serbian Culture and Information Minister Bratislav Petković.

Kusturica said the festival aspired and had been successful in presenting and supporting young people who "believe film is not just a vulgar commercial expression, but the art that Fellini and Tarkovsky talked about, and in which Miloš Forman was one of the greats."

"This is our hope despite the media which are worse than Ancient Rome with its Colosseum where people were thrown to be eaten alive for the entertainment of the masses," he said.

According to Kusturica, the festival's goal is "the reincarnation of the films of the 1970s and 1980s, when cinema was a combination of entertainment and art."

He then presented the Award for Future Films to acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou, to whom this year's Retrospective of Greatness is dedicated.

Other guests at Kustendorf include Benh Zeitlin of the U.S., Aleksey Balabanov of Russia, Matteo Garrone of Italy, Elia Suleiman of Palestine, Peter Gothar of Hungary, Yesim Ustaoglu of Turkey), Italian actress Monica Bellucci and French actress Audrey Tautou.

Competing for the gold, silver and bronze egg are 28 films by young filmmakers from 18 countries: Great Britain, Denmark, Israel, Korea, Cuba, Mexico, Germany, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Serbia, the U.S., the Philippines, France, the Netherlands, Montenegro and Switzerland.