Seize this Day with Me! 03 - 2005

Uhvati sa mnom ovaj dan 03 - 2005.The third annual Seize this Day with Me! International Film Festival took place between September 26-30th 2005 at the facilities of 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, as well as the Academy of Independent Studies.  The topic of this year’s festival was “The lives, activities, and accomplishments of artists with disabilities”.

The program of the third Film Festival was quite full: twelve films were screened, five forums held as well as an exhibition of paintings by Mrs. Dejana Bačko (an artist from Bačka Palanka who paints using her feet and mouth), a pantomimic performance of Little Red Riding Hood, parts of the theatrical performance of The Bereaved Family conducted in sign language, a mini concert by a user of the Daily Center of the Cerebral Palsy Association of the Southern Backa county, a performance titled Sneakers performed by Mr. Siniša Tucić, a performance titled In Front of the Mirror by members of the Academy of Independent Studies, four presentations: The Dance with the Dark, The Case of Helen Keller, performed by Mrs. Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, a member of the DAH theater, a presentation of a project of the Academy of Independent Studies, a project “United Colors of the Soul” by students and professors from Backa Palanka, and a poetry evening conducted in sign language.

Contributors at this year's festival were: the Yugoslav Film Library/Archive, the Nira distribution company, the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Youth Organization of Novi Sad, attendees of the “I Want to Tell You” school of sign language, members of Belgrade’s DAH theater, and others.

The festival was made possible by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of Serbia, the Department of Cultural Affairs – the City of Novi Sad, The Port of Novi Sad, Tržnica Company, and Erker Engineering.  

Film program:

The third Seize this Day with Me! Film Festival was dedicated to the lives, activities, and achievements of artists with disabilities.  

September 26th
FILMS OF THE “IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR” PROJECT, The Academy of Independent Studies. 
Seven short video pieces were shown. The creators of these pieces were: Bojan Krivokapić (1:01), Siniša Tucić (1:17), Olga Simin (1:05), Jelena Panić (2:37), Hasina Ratkov (2:08), Zoltán Varga (4:02), Ivana Inđin (who made a short documentary piece about those who utilize the daycare program at the Center for Children with Cerebral Palsy of the Southernbacka region 1:56).

September 27th
Director: Stephen Herek
Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas
This film is about a person with a hearing impairment. It is the story of a composer and music teacher and in an American school whose son is born deaf. Filled with insight into parental love and fears, the battle against prejudice, and for acceptance and tolerance, Mr. Holland’s Opus also details an attempt to bring the sound and feeling of music closer to the hearing-impaired through a very interesting game of light.  

September 28th
Director: Daniel Petrie
Cast: Roma Downey, Moira Kelly, Mike Doyle
The film is based on the true story of American author Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan.  It shows the unbelievable strength and endurance required in the fight for human rights.  Along with her teacher, Helen Keller helped the blind and those with poor eyesight worldwide, communicating solely by using her fingers. 

September 29th
Director: Julie Taymor
Cast: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Antonio Banderas
The film is based on the true story of the life of the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo who at the age of eighteen was involved in a traffic accident resulting in injuries to her spine, neck, pelvis, and eleven fractures in her already paralyzed leg. Despite living with pain her entire life, Frida left behind many paintings and drawings which urge us to search for deeper meaning. Frida Kahlo experienced love in her painful body, and her work reminds us that it is one thing to have a beautiful body, another to be beautiful. “Beauty is harmony with the self.”

IT BEGAN… (2005)
Director: Nikola Vučković
The documentary film It Began… arose from work with children and young people at the Daily center at the Center for Children with Cerebral Palsy of the Southernbacka Region. The film is the result of visual art and music workshops held between April and July 2005, and was produced by the “Living Upright Center” in Novi Sad.

September 30th
RAY (2004)
Director: Taylor Hackford
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King
The last day of the Festival saw the premiere screening of the film Ray, the story of the great musician Ray Charles. Charles recently passed away, leaving behind dozens of albums. The film won the Oscar for Best Actor last year.

Additional program

This year, unlike in years past, panel discussions took place every day.

On Monday, September 26th, a panel discussion titled IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR – PERFORMANCE, INTRODUCTORY SOUND, SHORT VIDEOS took place. Panelists were Ivana Inđin, director of the Academy of Independent Studies, and of the Chamber Theater of Music “Ogledalo,” filmmakers, theater members, and partners.  As part of the discussion, the poet Siniša Tucić performed Sneakers accompanied by introductory sound. Panelists discussed the realization of the film, the inclusion of young people with physical and mental disabilities in artistic projects. Morries Leeraert, a journalist from the Netherlands was in the audience. Mr. Leeraert shared some of the Dutch experience in this field. Then, the discussion turned to the lack of media attention given to events in which people with disabilities participate, and to those events dedicated to disability issues.

A panel discussion called TELL ME – SHOW ME took place on Tuesday, September 27th.  Panelists were members of the I Want to Tell You! School of Sign Language and the Association of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Youth of Novi Sad. A recording of a performance of Little Red Riding Hood by a troupe of pantomimists from the Association of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Youth was also shown. The performance won first prize at a pantomimist competition in Spain last year. In addition, a project of the third I Want to Tell You! School of Sign Language was presented, and those present had the chance to see a part of the play The Bereaved Family performedin sign language. Topics discussed included the position of sign language in our country, the possibility of perfecting it, and the acceptance of sign language as a language of the environment vis–à–vis other languages. The discussion concluded with a poetry recital in sign language.  

A roundtable called THE CASE OF HELEN KELLER was held on Wednesday, September 28th, during which a presentation on two theatrical performances of Belgrade’s DAH Theater Research Center – Dance with the Darkness and The Case of Helen Keller – was given. Guests of the roundtable were Sanja Krsmanović-Tasić (actress) and Dijana Milošević (film director and director of the DAH Theater Research Center), both of whom presented their work, and shared their experiences from theatrical performances that examine the lives of people with disabilities.

On Thursday, September 29th, a roundtable discussion called IT BEGAN… took place. During the discussion, a program which was the result of multimedia workshops with children and young adults who participate in the Daily care program at the Center for Children with Cerebral Palsy of the Southernbacka region. All of the guests at the roundtable had participated in the project: children and young adults, caregivers and teachers, the musician Branko Pražić, workshop leaders, and parents. The most touching moment of the roundtable came when all the workshop participants joined in signing “There was Nothing before Color, My Joy”, a song which came to be during the music workshops. Several more songs were performed afterwards. One of the guests was Dejana Bačko, a twelve-year-old painter from Bačka Palanka who paints with her mouth and feet.  She has been painting since early childhood. Her works show expressive color and design. Dejana receives a stipend from the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (AMFPA) in Lichtenstein.  She enjoys painting nature, still lives, flowers, and animals. During the roundtable, the audience had the opportunity to view some of Dejana’s works. Dejana’s mother, Sandra Bačko, participated in the roundtable as a guest. She spoke about her experiences raising Dejana, the obstacles she encountered in everyday life, and the ways in which she overcame them.

A panel discussion called PAINTED SOULS took place on Friday, September 30th. The discussants were Đorđe Arsenin, a professor of sociology at the May 9th Technical High School, and Olja Nagy, a professor of literature at the October 20th High School, accompanied by their students from Bačka Palanka, and participants in project called United Colors of the Soul. During this panel discussion, we addressed issues of working with children with Down syndrome, and creative workshops for young people with different kinds of disabilities in general. 

The panel discussion was moderated by Milica Mima Ružičić and Ljiljana Ćumura.

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

Films are frequently shown, and panel discussions frequently take place every Wednesday, as part of a “Video Lecture” at the Youth Club of Novi Sad. Films from the first two Film festivals are show, and these “lectures” are organized by the coordinators of the Film festival: Ljiljana Ćumura and Svjetlana Timotić. These activities, which make up the POST-PRODUCTION of the Film festival, made it possible for us to inform the public about the position of people with disabilities in society, and foster a greater understanding of people with disabilities and acceptance of differences, as well as to create a healthy environment in our city, and society as a whole.