The 18th Interaction: Student Film Camp announces the beginning of filming of documentaries on the topic “Brain Drain”

On Sunday, 6 August, with the arrival of 15 participants, students of film academies from 12 countries (Argentina, Brazil, French Polynesia, The Netherlands, India, Israel, China, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Serbia), the 18th Interaction: Student Film Camp has begun. The students first gathered at the Cultural Centre of Belgrade and after the introductory workshop, traveled to Čačak, Užice, and Požega, where, divided into three crews, they will shoot three short documentaries.

The Užice crew is guided by the Israeli-Swiss director Yarden Malka Bonet from Tel Aviv, who graduated from the film department of the Minshar School of Art in Tel Aviv, with a focus on directing and editing of feature and documentary films.  

The leader of the Čačak crew is Coralie H. Gourdon, a documentary film director, and editor from French Polynesia. Currently, on a gap year from her studies, with the support of the French National Centre for Cinematography, she is directing her short documentary film in Egypt.

The third crew of participants, which will be in Požega, is led by Bohao Liu from China, who graduated in film directing and dramaturgy from the University of New York and the London Film School (LFS). His graduate film, the short documentary “Eagles Rest in Liangshan”, from 2021, won a Student Award at the Oscars, an Emmy Award, and a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award. Also, his short hybrid film “When a Rocket Sits on the Launch Pad” was shown at the Berlinale in the competition selection Generation 14plus in 2023. He is currently finishing his doctoral studies in film theory and practice in Paris.

In addition to the three above-mentioned directors, participants of this year’s camp in the camera, editing, sound design, and production sectors are the cinematographers, Camilo Villamizar Plazas from Colombia, Jovana Berar from Serbia and Manas Krishna from India; Luisa Navka, a student from Germany; Ignacio Banjol Leal from Argentina and Mariana von Zeckendorf Asis from Brazil, as cinematographers and sound designers; and Tai Inbar from Israel, Pablo Biedma Nuñez from Spain and Navash Ali Tiruvallur from India, as editors. The organizational team consists of students of production from Belgrade, Nikola Pavlović and Nikola Petrović, as well as Tara Milošević, a student from the Netherlands.

In Europe (along with other countries of the Western Balkans), Serbia is at the top of the list when it comes to emigration of the young, educated population. The census from 2022 shows the largest decrease in the number of inhabitants in Šumadija and Western Serbia (196,906 people). Čačak, Užice, and Požega are confronting the problem of brain drain within both internal and external migrations, which threatens these regions with severe demographic and economic consequences. The participants of Interaction 2023 will discuss the topic “Brain Drain” through documentary film while interacting with residents of these three cities.

After finishing the shooting of the material, on the 14th of August, all three crews will gather in Čačak, where they will edit their films until the 21st of August. The film production takes place under the mentorship of Israeli film director Efim Graboy. The Camp participants are supported in all phases by the Interaction camp team, as well as members of the local Interaction council (Jasminka Đurić Lalović, Dušan Darijević, and Zoran Filipović Fipa) in all three cities.

From the 16th of August, in Čačak, all Camp participants will gather with participants of the Workshop, and the Teen Doc, IVA.lab, and Meet2Talk programs. Finally, the 2nd Interaction Short Docs Festival will be opened. The NFC “Filmart” realizes the project Interaction 2023 as part of the project “The Cultural Capital of Serbia 2023 – Čačanska rodna”, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Serbia, the Film Centre of Serbia, the City of Čačak, the Western Balkans Fund (WBF), Cinnamon Films and other partners and sponsors. The media sponsors are the RTS, Radio Beograd 2, SEEcult, and the Danas daily.