Seize this Day with Me! 06 - 2008

Uhvati sa mnom ovaj dan 06 - 2008.The sixth annual Seize this Day with Me!  International Film Festival was held from September 19-28th, and dedicated to the lives, activities, and achievements of people with disabilities. The festival was organized by the Association of Students with Disability Novi Sad, in cooperation with the Cultural Center of Novi Sad, and the Students’ Cultural Center. This year’s festival lasted ten days, and had four parts. 

- A seminar for journalists and students of journalism held with the goal of informing them about the proper approach to the subject of the lives of people with disabilities, using politically correct speech, and the proper way to prepare for and conduct interviews with people who have different types of disabilities.

- An informative film review section. From September 19-23rd, 10 award-winning, full-length films dealing with the lives of people with different types of disabilities were shown.

- The official opening on September 24th, after which the best films from last year's festival were shown.  Certificates were handed out to seminar participants. Celebratory cocktails were served to guests and media representatives.

- Main program, from September 25-28th, films were show which had arrived since an open competition was announced in March of this year. After each day of film screening, the audience had a chance to attend forums in which directors and personalities from the world of film, people with disabilities and experts in certain fields participated. Awards were presented for this year's best achievements in film, on the festival's last day. 

During these ten days, the festival team received a number of suggestions and offers which will influence the further development and improvement of this unique festival. Among the festival’s guests were representatives of a German film festival from Cottbus, who offered their cooperation, as well as to promote award-winning films.  

Almost 400 visitors, 23 films screened, four discussions, 2 forums, 16 educational journalists and students of journalism, a great number of volunteers and soldiers opting to fulfill their obligation to the military through civil service, an exceptional media following (RTV, FOX, 24 Hours, Dnevnik, Građanski list, TV Panonija, TV Apollo, Neon City, Radio 5, Radio Novi Sad, Radio 021, Virtual City, Politika, TV Revija, Yellow Cab, and others), coupled with the inclusion of new donors in the project, all together show that the quality and significance of this Film Festival continues to grow throughout our area.

The sixth annual International Film Festival was supported by the Telenor Foundation, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Provincial Secretary of Education, the Provincial Secretary of Sport and Youth, and Erste Bank.

The extent to which the goals of the Festival will be realized remains to be seen. As professor Mr. Dejan Petrović (jury member) says: “Architectural barriers will fall easily. We need to work on the ones in people’s heads”.

Film program

INFORMATIVE/REVIEW PORTION
The sixth Film festival consisted of two parts: an informative/review portion, which was organized with the cooperation of Serbian movie production companies, and a main program, featuring the films which arrived in response to the call for films to be shown at this year’s festival.
The informative/review portion lasted five days. Ten full-length feature films were shown, and categorized by subject matter (films portraying the lives of individuals with: hearing impairments, visual impairments, autism, motor disabilities, and mental disabilities).

MAIN PROGRAM
The main program was held from September 25-28. The films which were screened had arrived in response to the call for films which was announced in March of this year. Considering that this year, a significantly smaller number of films had arrived in relation to years past, the quality of this year’s films deserved every possible acclaim.

After each day of film screening, the audience had a chance to attend forums in which directors and personalities from the world of film, people with disabilities and experts in certain fields participated.  Awards were presented for this year's best achievements in film, on the festival's last day. 

Award-winning films

On Sunday, September 28th, the sixth annual Seize this Day with Me! Film Festival was officially closed. The festival had become unique not only to Novi Sad, but also throughout the region. The festival is unique in that it is dedicated to films which portray the lives, activities, and achievements of people with disabilities.  A jury of experts, consisting of Dejan Petrović (assistant professor), Miroslav Marković (director of photography), and Milesa Milinković (representative of the festival organizers).
Filmmakers Vojkan Izvonar (Majdanpek) and Ivan Peković (Niš) were given awards for their personal contributions to the cinematic achievements of people with disabilities, while Silvija Pašajlić, creator of the film We Can Do More was given an award for her contribution to the creation of equal opportunities for all.

POST-PRODUCTION
The award-winning films from the sixth Seize this Day with Me! Film Festival were also shown during the festival’s post-production phase. As part of a FILM CARAVAN, the  films were shown in Novi Sad’s high schools, and again in December during the EURO IN Festival of Independent and Documentary Film in Novi Sad.  What’s more, the films were also shown as part of the In Every Body a Healthy Soul! Festival in Bačka Palanka.

Additional program

SEMINAR FOR JOURNALISTS AND JOURNALISM STUDENTS
On Monday, September 15th, 2008, a seminar for journalists and journalism students was held at the Faculty of Human Science of the University of Novi Sad.  The seminar was organized by the Association of Students with Disability at the University of Novi Sad, and the sixth annual Seize this Day with Me! International Film Festival.  Four years ago, when this seminar was first held, a majority of the attendees were sports journalists, but this time, the participants had many different profiles (professional journalists, students of journalism, sociology, philosophy, literature, psychology, and others).
The main objectives of the seminar were to inform the participants about the proper approach to topic of the lives of persons with disabilities, the use of politically correct speech and proper preparation and realization of interviews with people with different types of disabilities. Participants were also able to acquire skills to cover events from both the Paralympics Games in Beijing, and the Film festival, which was in line with politically correct reporting.
In addition, during the seminar 16 participants acquired knowledge of, and information about concepts such as discrimination, medical and social models of disability. Also, the position of people with disabilities in our society, young people with special needs, employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and barriers (such as architectural and communicative) were discussed. The seminar was led by Ljiljana Ćumura Žižić and Milesa Milinković, a member of the Association of Students with Disability at the University of Novi Sad.
The seminar was interactive in nature, and consisted of theoretical and practical parts. All participants had specific tasks that met during the event (publishing articles, conducting radio and TV programs, participation in the stands as the moderators or their assistants, conducting interviews, covering events, etc…). During the opening ceremony on September 24th, seminar participants were awarded certificates and gift packages from the festival team.

ROUNDTABLES
After each day of film screening, the audience had the opportunity to attend panel discussions featuring filmmakers, directors, actors, jury members, representatives of organizations that bring together people with disabilities, people from the world of film, etc… 
A sign language interpreter (Ivana Marković) was present at all panel discussions and round tables.

September 25th
Discussion with a Filmmaker
Vojkan Izvonar is a representative of the Association of Citizens "Friend" from Majdanpek, and a person with a visual impairment. During the discussion, he presented his work and outlined his participation in the films that were shown: The Lives and Work of People with Visual Impairments and The Lives and Work of People with Disabilities who are Wheelchair Users. The audience had the opportunity to learn more about life and problems, as well as about ways of communicating with people whose vision is impaired. Vojkan Izvonar, filmmaker, director and screenwriter of both films, was given an award for his personal contribution to the affirmation of film among people with disabilities.

September 26th
Panel discussion: Barricading Walls - Barriers around Us
This roundtable centered on the issues of universal design for all, accessibility, barriers in communication, prejudice, social distance, architectural barriers, the position of persons with disabilities in our country, etc... Panelists were: Miodrag Počuč, (traffic engineer) and Boris Popov, M.S. (psychology).
In addition to experts, the discussion included the filmmakers and actors from all three films shown.  Ivan Peković, a member of the Society for Cerebral Palsy and Polio from Niš, and creator of the film Odyssey to a Friend (who also has a disability), was awarded for his personal contribution to the affirmation of the film among  people with disabilities.  Representatives of the Educational Media Center in Belgrade, which made the film Twenty-three-Zero offered their cooperation for next year and presented interesting information from the world of film.

September 27th
Discussion with actors who appear in the films
As part of the discussion guests were Vojislav Prkosovački from Bečej, author of More attention, please! and Bojana Perić, pedagogist, who is active in the field of inclusive education. Among the audience were actors from the above film, members of the Association for the Inclusion of People with Disability in Temerin,  and members of  ONO from Novi Sad who presented new programs to the audience as well as the possibility of including young people from marginalized groups in youth exchange programs.

September 28th
Roundtable: "Actors in the roles of persons with disabilities in film and theater (preparation and process)".
Panelists were: Senka Petrović, the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Dejan Petrović, Associate Professor at the Mrmak Sava Film Academy in Belgrade (jury chairman) and Milesa Milinković, a member of the jury and a student of pedagogy. During the discussion, panelists reviewed the films shown during this year's event, and Senka Petrović shared her experience in working with people with disabilities in the realm of theater.