Seize this Day with Me! 04 - 2006

Uhvati sa mnom ovaj dan 04 - 2006The fourth annual Seize this Day with Me!  International Film Festival took place between 22-25th November 2006. It was organized by the Association of Students with Disability Novi Sad, and the Center “Living Upright” Novi Sad, and with the cooperation of the Cultural Center of Novi Sad, the Students’ Cultural Center of Novi Sad, Svetozar Marković High School (Novi Sad) and “Ujvideki Szinhaz,” a Novi Sad theater.

This year's Film Festival was dedicated to documentaries about the lives and accomplishments of people with disabilities, and was supported by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of Serbia, The Port of Novi Sad, and Radio company “021”.

As in previous years, we organized visits to the activities which made up the festival's program.  Guests of the fourth Film Festival were some participants from the program called Local Volunteer Service (LVS), which is made possible by the Volunteer Center of Vojvodina, also among the guests were students at Milan Petrović School from Novi Sad, students from Schools for special education from four cities (Subotica, Bečej, Sombor, and Zrenjanin), as well as representatives from the Provincial Secretariat of Sports and Youth, members of CEDEUM organization from Belgrade, and the “Stari grad” Cultural Center – Belgrade, professors from the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the University of Novi Sad, representatives from the Center for Independent Living for People with Disability of Serbia, and others.

The festival program consisted of five film screenings, four forums, a concert by the inclusive choir “Ison” from Novi Sad, a theatrical performance of Forum theater by members of the Drama Affirmation Center, and the premier of „Lice na metar“ (about hypocrisy) performed by members of Chamber Music Theatre „Ogledalo“ and the Academy of Independent Studies.

Film program

November 22nd
After the ceremonial opening, three films were screen:
1) FLYING HIGH (2004)
Director: Mariana Economu
Production: Cerebral Palsy Association Greece

2) ECO CAMP (2006)
Director: Nik Devhurst
Production: Hertforshire Youth Center – Great Britain

3) Echoes of the Project – Difference as Beauty – A Step Further towards Art (2004)
Director: Danijela Gvozdenović
Production: Centar "Stari grad" and CEDEUM – Belgrade

At the end of the films screening, there was a festive cocktail and mingling with guests and media representatives.

November 23rd
HOW I SEE YOU (2005)
Director: Žaklina Žoldoš
Production: Radio company 021 – Novi Sad
The film is full of facts from an investigation about the social distance of the population of Novi Sad from people with disabilities. It also provides a glimpse from the campaign and forums that followed the investigation.

November 24th
An Idea Whose Time Had Come (2005)
Group of author
Production: Center for Independent Living of Serbia – Belgrade
The film is introducing the project SPAS (the Personal Assistants Service Association of Serbia) and the philosophy of self-sufficient living for people with disabilities.

Additional program

Four panel discussions took place within the framework of the festival.

November 22nd
After the official opening of the film festival, and film screenings, a panel discussion took place during which panelists discussed art and activities which are organized for people with disabilities (creative workshops, camps, etc…), as well as the films which had just been screened.  Participants were:
- attendees at the international eco camp in Vojvodina (students at special education schools from four cities in Vojvodina Subotica, Sombor, Zrenjanin and Bečej) – Great Britain (Hertfordshire) –  a total of 11 students, and a pedagogist and social worker from each school,
- Jovana Kulazov, the organizer of the camp, and an expert advisor at the Provincial Secretariat for Sports and Youth Affairs,  
• Vesna Gavrić, Jelena Popović, Bojana Perić and Sanja Subotić, who led workshops during the camp.
• the creators of the project “Difference as Beauty – A Step Further towards Art” Danijela Gvozdenović (the film's creator) and Gordana Dedić (a ballet teacher).
• Ljiljana Ćumura, the moderator of the discussion, reviewed the film Flying High from Greece.  Parts of a seminar in which Ms. Ćumura took part were shown in the film.

Under the direction of Prof. Miodrag Blizanac, the Ison Choir (made up of students and teachers at Milan Petrović Elementary/High School in Novi Sad) sang during the festival’s opening ceremony.

November 23rd  
A roundtable discussion called “Social Distance” took place.  Discussants were: Prof. Vladimir Mihić i Prof. Boris Popov from the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Novi Sad. 

November 24th  
After a screening of the film An Idea Whose Time Had Come a roundtable took place with Ivanka Jovanović (the Center for Independent Living of Serbia – Belgrade) and Marko Mirković (the “Living Upright Center” – Novi Sad) who outlined the project SPAS (the Personal Assistants Service Association of Serbia) and the philosophy of self-sufficient living for people with disabilities. After the roundtable, members of the Center for the Affirmation of Drama in Novi Sad gave an interactive Forum Theater performance under the direction of their Artistic/Pedagogical coordinator, Jarmila Žilaji. The center's members are students at Novi Sad's high schools.  Based on true stories, their performance portrayed the everyday situations in which we encounter people with disabilities. Afterwards, member of the audience had the chance to change the course of events of the story by their suggestions, so that the story would have a realistic and appropriate ending.  The performance left a deep impression on everyone present, and we honestly hope we will be able to continue presenting this type of work in the future in order to influence people and increase the awareness among both individuals and the general public.

On Saturday, November 25th, at the Novi Sad theater “Újvidéki Színház,” members of the Chamber Music Theater “Ogledalo,” and the Academy of Independent Studies gave the premiere performance of “LICE NA METAR” (story about hypocrisy).  The performance featured young people with motor disabilities and contributors from both organizations, and addresses the topic of hypocrisy. After the performance, actors and members of the audience joined in a discussion on the topic of hypocrisy. Bojan Krivokapić and Ivana Inđin served as moderators.  

A sign language interpreter (Ivana Marković) was present at all panel discussions.

Post-production – Film Caravan

As part of the post-production phase of the Seize this Day with Me! Film Festival, a film caravan was organized at the Association of Students with Disability at the University of Novi Sad, and in conjunction with the “Living Upright” Center and the Sports and Business Center “Vojvodina” (SPENS). The caravan took place on December 30th, in the atrium of SPENS, and was sponsored by the Department of Social Welfare and Children’s Services of the city of Novi Sad in observance of the International Day of People with Disabilities.

THE FILM CARAVAN began with the film Palić Eco Camp 2006, which is about the inclusion of mentally challenged children, children from the children’s village, and young people who have experienced family trauma. Young people came to Palić from four cities in Vojvodina and Great Britain. The film shows how the children spent time together at the camp, (through creatively themed workshops, sports, swimming, working with animals at the zoo, drawing, sculpture, etc…) during the 10 days.  Afterwards, the film It Began… was shown, which shows the results of music therapy with young people at the Daily Center for Children with Cerebral Palsy of the Southernbacka Region. After a short pause, the film “Echoes of the Project – Difference as Beauty – A Step Further towards Art” which was made through the collaborative efforts of the “Stari grad” Center and CEDEUM from Belgrade.  In order to encourage the audience to pay attention, we announced that there would be a quiz – in the form of a questionnaire – after the screening of the film How I See You, which was made during the campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the social distance among the population of Novi Sad towards people with disabilities. The event finished with a screening of the film Dance with the Dragon which was made during the “Wake Up the City in the Afternoon” event during the 2004 Exit Festival.

Between 10 and 30 people followed the Film Caravan. Some stayed to watch all the films, while others stopped by only briefly. The questionnaire encouraged people to watch the films carefully in an effort to retain as much information as possible. Some people were shocked by the information presented in the film. This effect inspired them to try to decrease the social distance in their respective environments, societies, and cities…We believe the idea of a “Film Caravan” is an interesting way to connect the stories of human rights and people with disabilities as a marginalized group in society, and influence public awareness, especially in light of the increasingly relevant idea of inclusive education which our country is working towards.