Film Caravan in Subotica

Filmski karavan - Subotica In cooperation with Žarko Zrenjanin Elementary and High School, the film caravan came to Subotica's Open University on 27 October. Award-winning films from this year's festival were screened, and a panel discussion called Support took place. Jovanka Tešanović, principal of Žarko Zrenjanin Elementary and High School officially opened the event, and Vesna Gavrić moderated the panel discussion.  Other panelists were: Danijela Andrašić (three of whose films were shown at this year's festival), Ruža Hrnjik (mother of a child with Down's Syndrome, and an actor in the award-winning film The Colors of My Heart), Danijela Zvekić (vice-deputy for Social Protection, Subotica City Council), and Milesa Milinković and Ljiljana Žižić (representing the project team). Members of the Association for the Assistance of Mentally-Challenged Persons also addressed those in attendance.

Film Caravan in Rijeka

In cooperation with the Spirit Association (Rijeka, Croatia), screenings of the award-winning films from the eighth annual Seize This Day with Me! Film Festival were held in Rijeka 15-16 October. Denis Pilepić and Helga Paškvan, members of the Spirit Association, moderated the subsequent discussion, and during the evening, they were joined by members of the project team from Novi Sad, who were able to participate thanks to Skype. This interesting, exciting, and useful experience marked the first time that the film caravan made a stop outside of Serbia.

Film Caravan Underway

Filmski karavan - Bečej Every year, under the auspices of the Seize This Day with Me! Film Festival, a film caravan stops in 10 cities throughout Serbia; the caravan includes screenings of award-winning films, and additional programs such as panel discussions, roundtables, etc...
This year's film caravan began at the beginning of October in Bečej, where, during the Youth Work Academy seminar, a lecture titled, Terminology when Working with Young People from Vulnerable Groups: A Retrospective Report on People with Disabilities was given, and the film More Attention Please! about a youth inclusion camp, was shown. Young people from 29 Serbian municipalities and representatives from various youth organizations and youth offices took part in the events.

Award-winning Films

The jury for the eighth-annual Seize This Day with Me! Film Festival consisted of representatives from several different fields: Tijana Petrović, Užice (Disability), Dejan Petrović, Požega (Film), and Lidija Radulović, Belgrade (Media).  The jury gave out awards for the best achievements in film, and the best filmmakers of 2010.  The Best Achievement in Film Award went to Shadow, a film by Vladimir Perović (produced by RTV), and the Best Film Crew Award to the Vukovar Sparkles from Vukovar, Croatia.

Erste Volunteers Event

ERSTE volonteri On Sunday, 26 September, an event called Erste Volunteers took place.  In addition to members of the film festival's project team, representatives from many organizations and institutions participated, including: the Youth Aid Center Association of Maribor (Slovenia), the Athens Cerebral Palsy Association (Greece), the TABU Organization from Vukovar (Croatia), students and teachers from Žarko Zrenjanin Elementary and High School (Subotica), Milan Petrović Elementary and High School (Novi Sad) and Heroj Pinki Elementary School (Bačka Palanka). The Erste Volunteers Event attracted guests from Kruševac, Novi Sad, Bečej, Žabalj, and even ERSTE Bank employees. For three hours, participants took part in creative drawing workshops, glass bottle painting, ecological workshops, etc… The products of their labor were put on display (and sale) as an exhibition during the film festival’s closing ceremony.

Film Workshops

Uhvati sa mnom ovaj dan - Filmska radionica The tradition of holding film workshops continued this year as well, young people from Serbia, Croatia, Greece, and Slovenia took part, so too did attendees of the More Attention Please! Inclusion Camp.  Workshop leaders were members of the Belgrade Educational Media Center who have been active through the years in a series of media-literacy and informal education projects for children and young people, with emphasis on a person's (including a child's) right to be informed, the right to maintain cultural, national, and religious differences, and everyone's right to participate in the media. A product of the film workshops, the short ecological film James Bond premiered at the closing ceremony of the eighth-annual Seize this Day with Me! Film Festival.

Presentation: (Re)defining Disability

David J. Ratcliff

On Friday, 24 September, an interesting presentation titled (Re)defining Disability was given by David J. Ratcliff from the United States.
The presentation focused on the life and work of Kyle Maynard, who was born with congenital amputation of both arms and legs. Despite this, Kyle was an accomplished high-school wrestler, and the first congenital amputee to compete in mixed martial arts. He is also an author and motivational speaker. In addition to the opportunity to hear about Kyle's life and work, those in attendance had the chance to talk to the moderator (who is also a person with a disability), and share their personal experiences.


Thursday, 23 September saw the premiere of films made by attendees of the Interakcija International Film Students' Camp, which is organized with the goals of promoting young peoples' film achievements; raising awareness of the cultures of other nations, integrating society; decentralizing culture; creating new space for international cooperation; establishing communication and harmonizing relations among various cultural, ethnic, and national environments by promoting teamwork during the creative process, and discussing topics relevant to a society in transition while promoting modern, pro-European concepts of political development that bring Serbia closer to the European Union by organizing cultural manifestations and mass media (beginning public discourse, affirming tolerance, peace, and the importance of different cultural identities.  The leader of the project and organizer of the camp was the independent film center Filmart from Požega, one of the Seize This Day with Me! Film Festival's partner organizations.

Opening Ceremony

Uhvati sa mnom ovaj dan - Svečano otvaranje The eighth-annual Seize This Day with Me! Film Festival was officially opened on Wednesday, 22 September. Ljiljana Ćumura-Žižić (project coordinator) welcomed guests on behalf of the project team, then Milica Đurić (Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Section for the Protection of People with Disabilities); Bojana Petrović (Vice Deputy for Culture, Department of Culture, City of Novi Sad), Klára Tót Glemba (Deputy Provincial Secretary, Provincial Department for Social Policy and Demography, Executive Council of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina), and Sonja Konakov (ERSTE Bank, Communications Department), each addressed the audience. Members of The Center for Gender Alternatives, AlterR, led the program, and Ivana Marković served as sign-language interpreter.    

Tijana Petrović (Muscular Dystrophy Association, Užice), chairwoman of the jury, officially opened the festival.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the audience had the chance to watch last year's winner of the Best Achievement in Film Award, Look Away by Filip Čolović. Afterwards, refreshments were served. 

Press Conference

Konferencija za MEDIJE On Monday, 20 September, a press conference for the eighth-annual Seize This Day with Me! International Film Festival, dedicated to the lives, activities, and achievements of people with disabilities was held at the SPENS Media Center. Ljiljana Žižić (project coordinator), Čedomir Cicović, (festival public relations), and Milesa Milinković (assistant coordinator) welcomed those in attendance and presented this year's program, schedule, expected guests both from Serbia and abroad, additional activities, and donors. During the press conference, a mini session on properly covering activities in which people with disabilities participate (with emphasis on the social rather than medical model of disability), and using proper terminology when doing so, was held. The press conference was attended by representatives from all larger media outlets in Novi Sad and the surrounding area.

Musical Spectacle

Muzicki spektakl - Suboticka grupaAs part of the film festival, films by Danijela Andrašić (Subotica) were screened on Saturday, 25 September, one of which is titled European Song Festival. After the screening, our special guests were members of the vocal ensemble of the Day Center for Mildly to Severely Mentally Challenged Adults, which has been in existence since 2005 at Žarko Zrenjanin Elementary and High School in Subotica. The vocal group, consisting of: Ivan Đelmiš, Sonja Poljaković, Jadranka Raos, Nebojša Živanović and Ljiljana Katić, as well as teachers Róbert Szabó (composer and lyricist of the song), Danijela Andrašić, and Jovanka Tešanović (school principal), represented our country at the 2007 European Music Festival for Mentally Challenged Persons held in Portugal from 7-10 November 2007.  Twelve countries took part in the competition. The Serbian contingent performed the song We Are Different along with choreography and costumes. Around 1000 people greeted the Serbian contingent with thunderous applause and ovations at the conclusion of their performance. The Seize This Day with Me! Film Festival was not only enriched by the film screenings, but also by a performance of the above-mentioned vocal group.  In addition to We Are Different, the group performed Eco Song and Rjabinuška (sung in Russian by Sonja Poljaković).

ERSTE Volunteers

ERSTEThe volunteer program is a significant part of ERSTE Bank's commitment to social responsibility in Serbia. Volunteering gives employees the opportunity to share their time, knowledge, and energy with those to whom these things are much more significant than money.  Aware of its social responsibility, and believing that companies need to harmonize their economic and social goals, ERSTE Bank began realizing volunteer initiatives whose goals are to improve the quality of life in local communities. ERSTE Bank's Corporate Volunteer Program began in the middle of 2008. In addition to a series of events involving larger numbers of employees, part of the program focuses on individual volunteerism. Recently ERSTE volunteers have taken part in numerous lectures, events, and workshops as either presenters or assistants. For the first time, ERSTE volunteers joined people with and without disabilities alike from Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia during an additional program which was part of the eighth-annual Seize This Day with Me! International Film Festival.  The event took place from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on 26 September 2010 at the Milka Z Hotel (Temerinski put 99, Novi Sad).

Art Tears Down Walls

Umetnost ruši zidove The Regional Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southern Backa County (with its seat in Novi Sad) began the realization phase of the Art Tears Down Walls project whose goals are to offer people both with and without disabilities an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the basics of film language and the chance to edit a short documentary about persons with disabilities which uses a social model of disability, as well as correct terminology, and is free of stereotypes. From the very first meeting, participants are introduced to the on-going Seize This Day with Me! Film Festival and the possibility of having films screened at subsequent film events. The project was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia.

Meeting with Potential Guests

Sastanak sa potencijalnim gostima Last weekend (27-29 August), a meeting was held with potential guests of the eighth-annual Seize This Day with Me! International Film Festival.  In addition to members of the Youth Non-Governmental Organization (ONO), representatives of the Youth Aid Center Association of Maribor (Slovenia), the Athens Cerebral Palsy Association (Greece), the LunaAssociation from Beli Manastir (Croatia), and the TABU Organization from Vukovar (Croatia) were in attendance.  Those present discussed the potential for additional activities during the film festival, such as film, music, and creative workshops for young people with physical and mental disabilities, as well as putting together an exhibition featuring the work of young people from the above-mentioned countries.

Competition Closed

The call for films for the eighth-annual Seize this Day with Me! International Film Festival has come to a close. This year, we received 20 films (12 from Serbia, 2 from Bulgaria, 4 from Croatia, and 1 each from Finland and Bosnia and Herzegovina), 18 of which will be shown during the festival's Main Program, while films made during film workshops were shown during the review portion of the festival.

Everyone is Different, Everyone is Creative

Svi različiti, svi kreativni, Novi Sad,31. 03. 2010.Inclusion days, titled Everyone is Different, Everyone is Creative, were held at the American Corner in Novi Sad in observance of the European Year of Inclusion. Students from Milan Petrović School and participants in the school's pottery-ceramics workshop took part in the event, which included an exhibition of pottery and ceramics made by workshop participants. The exhibition opening was followed by a screening of three films – a project of the International Film Festival Seize this Day with Me! – dedicated to the lives, activities and achievements of people with disabilities. These films brought the idea of inclusion (i.e. its definition, scope, and the extent to which it is present/possible in our society) closer to the audience in an interesting and creative way. These inclusion days concluded with a lecture by Mrs. Erin Richardson from the American Embassy in Belgrade on the topic of "The American Experience in Working with People with Disabilities" which was followed by a very interesting and useful discussion.

Be IN-clusive

BUDIMO IN-kluzivni, Bačka Palanka, 10. 05. 2010.The Bačka Palanka Youth Club and ONO – Omladinska Nevladina Organizacija (Youth Non-Governmental Organization) from Novi Sad organized an interesting forum titled Be IN-clusive in observance of the European Year of Inclusion on Monday, May 10th, in the assembly hall of Bačka Palanka Municipal Parliament Building. The goal of the forum was to acquaint both the local community and the general public with the notion, significance, possibilities, and positive examples of inclusion. The program consisted of a film screening and three presentations: 1.) a presentation by the International Film Festival Seize this Day with Me! dedicated to the lives, activities, and achievements of people with disabilities (moderator: Mrs. Ljiljana Ćumura Žižić, Bačka Palanka), 2.) a presentation on youth exchange between Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and England – a good example of the practice of inclusion of young people from marginalized groups (moderator: Mrs. Jovana Reba, Provincial Secretariat of Sports and Youth, Novi Sad) and 3.) a presentation titled: "Inclusion of People with Disabilities: The American Experience" (moderator: Mrs. Erin Richardson, the Embassy of the United States of America, Belgrade). After the forum, the presenters and audience took part in an interactive discussion. The project was organized with the support of the Municipality of Bačka Palanka, the Embassy of the United States of America, and the Provincial Secretariat of Sports and Youth of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.