Seize this Day with Me! 02 - 2004

Uhvati sa mnom ovaj dan 02 - 2004The second Seize this Day with Me! Film Festival took place October 4-10th 2004 at the facilities of the Association of Students with Disability Novi Sad, and at the Center “Living Upright” in Novi Sad, with the cooperation of the Cultural Center of Novi Sad, the Students’ Cultural Center of Novi Sad, the Paralympic Committee of Serbia and Montenegro, the Resource Center for People with Disability (as part of EHO organization) and the Faculty of Sport Education at the University of Novi Sad. The Film Festival was sponsored by the Provincial Secretary of Sports and Youth, and the City of Novi Sad, Department for Education and Culture.

The topic of this year's Festival was “The lives, activities, and accomplishments of athletes with disabilities”. In addition to screening six films (both domestic and foreign productions), three forums were held, as well as a training session for the media on the topic of covering sporting events for athletes with disabilities. The Festival also included an exhibition of photographs featuring photos from competitions, practices, events and Paralympic Games in which athletes with disabilities from Serbia and Montenegro took part.

Special guests of the Festival were: members of the Paralympics team of Serbia and Montenegro, residents of the Centers for children and youth from Veternik and Feketić, as well as participants in the “Izida” project from Feketić, members of CPM “Ogledalo,” professor Mr. Dejan Popović, members of the „Pedals turn your heart” project, and film director Mr. Goran Trubajić from the Academy of Art in Banja Luka.   

Expert contributors at this year’s film festival were: Mr. Miodrag Cakić (the Yugoslav Film Library/Archive), members of the Paralympics Committees of Serbia & Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mrs. Steffi Klein, (the International Paralympic Committee in Bonn, Germany), members of sports clubs from Serbia and Montenegro that mobilize athletes with disabilities, Mrs. Marija Stanču (editor of a documentary program on RTV – Radio and Television of Vojvodina – Novi Sad), Mr. Stevica Smederevac (RTV) and Mr. Slobodan Ž. Jovanović (director and film critic).  

Film program:

The second Seize this Day with Me! Film Festival, dedicated to the lives, activities, and achievements of people with disabilities was opened by project coordinators Mrs. Ljiljana Ćumura and Mrs. Tatjana Stojšić-Petković.  Films were shown in the auditorium of the Cultural Center of Novi Sad.

October 4th
On the first day of the festival, an formal reception was held for the Paralympics Team of Serbia and Montenegro, and clips called “Live from the Paralympics” were shown – a collection of raw material brought from Athens. Considering that not a single media outlet from our country was present in Athens, and the Paralympics Games were not broadcast live in Serbia, these unique clips were a true surprise to those present. The clips were chosen by Mr. Ilija Đurašinović, who plays table tennis, is a member of the “Spin” Table Tennis Club, and participant in several Paralympics Games.  In addition to film screenings, a discussion with audience followed, and the bronze medals won by Mr. Zlatko Kesler (table tennis) and Mr. Miloš Grlica (javelin) were displayed.

October 5th
Run for the Dream: The Gail Devers Story (1996)
Director: Neema Barnette
Cast: Charlayne Woodard, Louis Gossett Jr., Tina Lifford
Based on the true story of Gail Devers, who, thanks to her willpower and determination, went on to win a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona after battling a long illness and spending many years in a wheelchair. 

October 6th
Without Limits (1998)
Director: Robert Towne
Cast: Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland, Monica Potter
Based on the true story of Steve Prefontaine (known as Pre) one of whose legs was shorter than the other. Despite this type of disability, he represented the United States at the 1972 Summer Olympics, and ran competitively until his death in an automobile accident.

October 7th
The Call of Duty (1998)
Director: Elisabetta Lodali
Cast: Giovanna Mezzogiorni, Stefano Accorsi, Paolo Bonanni, Antonio Carli
The film explores the issue of fulfilling one’s military obligation through civil service, and shows the problems encountered by people with muscular dystrophy and the misunderstandings that arise in their environments, but also the ways in which all of this grows and develops. This is a very enlightening story about volunteering; discovering the most significant of life’s values, friendship, putting free time to good use, love… 

October 8th
Life Goes On(2001)
Director. photography and screenplay: Goran Trubajić
Montage: Mladen Djukić
In cooperation with the Academy of the Arts in Banja Luka and Radio/Television Republika Srpska, the documentary film Life Goes On was shown. The film tells the story of wheelchair volleyball players and their struggle with everyday activities.

The second screening was of a film produced by Radio/Television Novi Sad There, Somewhere Beyond the Stars which tells the story of Zoran Pete, who plays basketball from his wheelchair. A few years ago, Zoran appeared in The Guinness Book of World Records after having completed a marathon in his wheelchair.

Additional Program

Held at the Faculty of Sport Education at the University of Novi Sad on July 20th, 2004, the additional program of the second Seize this Day with Me! Film Festival included a training session for members of the media on how to cover sporting events involving athletes with disabilities.  The training was intended for sports journalists and those journalists who had covered the events of the Paralympics Games.

In the first part of the training session, Ljiljana Ćumura (project coordinator) presented attendees with basic information about Serbia’s participation in, and achievements at, the Paralympics Games, including information about the athletes themselves, and the new disciplines available to them…The second part of the session, led by Milica Ružičić, focused on working towards equality in public discourse, and addressed the following topics: changing the contexts in which members of various groups appear, describing and standardizing the terminology system, avoiding using terms that depend on the speaker’s point of view, and increasing awareness about the right to be different.

The following people attended the training session: Zoran Marković (Dnevnik), Zoran Surla (Građanski list), Maja Milić (the National Employment Office and the Vojvodina Center for Children's Rights), Vlastimira Stanković (TV Apolo), Slobodan Bajić (Večernje novosti), Smiljana Milinković (Radio 021) and members of NSUSH and the “Living Upright Center”.

Panel Discussion

Three forums were held in conjunction with the Film Festival.

On October 4th, a panel discussion titled “Athens in Novi Sad” was held. Guests of and participants in the discussion were: members of the Paralympic Team: Željko Čeliković and Miloš Grlica (track and field), Zlatko Kesler and Ilija Đurašinović (table tennis), Nenad Krišanović (swimming), Vlastimir Golubović (track and field coach), Nada Božić Požeg (General Secretary of the Paralympic Committee and Chief of Mission for Serbia and Montenegro at the Paralympic Games in Athens), Aleksandar Petrović (Vice President of the Paralympic Committee of Serbia and Montenegro) and Jelena Kotević (the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Issues – Department  for the Welfare of People with Disabilities). Cocktails were served, and our best Paralympic athletes gave interviews which acquainted the Novi Sad audience (and the general public) with their achievements and success. Mrs. Kotević shared interesting and important information related to the position of people with disabilities, and the ministry's further plans in that field.

November 12th, a panel discussion called “Challenges in and for Sports” took place, during which Professor Dejan Popović gave a presentation on: “Methods and Devices for the Rehabilitation of Motion.”  Panelists were:
- Dejan Popović, a professor of  biomedical engineering and automatics, a visiting professor at the University of Belgrade and the University of Novi Sad, and a full professor at an American University. Professor Popović has spent years studying methods and devices for the rehabilitation of motion, automatics, and robotics.
- Dušan Veršić (Belgrade) and Aleksandar Vukov (Bačka Palanka), members of the expedition “I Pedal with My Heart” or, as we called it, “Belgrade – Athens on Wheels” – last year, in observance of the European year of people with disabilities, Mr. Veršić and Mr. Vukov traveled from Belgrade to Athens by bicycle. This accomplishment is all the more remarkable considering that both of Mr. Veršić’s legs have been amputated (he rode with the help of a prosthesis), and Mr. Vukov spent those twelve days riding a bicycle using only one leg.   
In addition, clips of various activities in which Mr. Veršić and Mr. Vukov participated were shown.

October 8th, a panel discussion called “To the Stars through Difficulties” (Per aspera ad astra) was held. Participants were:
- Goran Trubajić, director, screenwriter, and cameraman of the film Life Goes On, (which was shown during the festival), and a representative of the Academy of the Arts in Banja Luka.
- Zvonko Nikolić, president of the Wheelchair Basketball Association, and a graduate student at the School of Law at the University of Novi Sad.  During this forum, we addressed legal issues connected to sports and people with disabilities.

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