About Festival


Newspapers won’t give anyone more than a brief soundbite, TV news even less, give or take a grimace or two. Reality shows are harassing us into oblivion, just as aggressive narrators of serial TV programs leave nothing unanswered. The internet is increasingly become an all-out exhibitionist venue, while fiction films are getting so redundant that the best special effect is to actually stay at home and talk to your dearest, provided of course that they too are not full of gossip, egocentrism and shallowness.

Creative documentaries are all the opposite. Devotion to stories that need to be deepened, thoughtful choice of characters which have something to say, situations that are universally meaningful, creative power of film language, mix of superior veracity and familiar dramaturgy.

After a quality documentary, the audience feels richer, flattered, refreshed, like after an interesting encounter, like coming out of a cinema, like a small child who believes in the stories he is told, like a moment of wisdom in a time where wisdom is next in the layoff line.

Serbian documentarists have unfortunately remained stuck in the aesthetics of the 1960-70s that made them world famous, leaving our audience short of films which would adequately and respectfully represent our recent past. Due to the passivity and incompetence of TV executives, we have been chronically deprived of meaningful international documentaries as well.

The BELDOCS festival has been struggling to close that gap for the last four years, with globetrotting networking and proactive devotion. This year, we are especially grateful for the financial support of the Fund for an Open Society, as well as to the Stari Grad municipal authority in Belgrade. We are presenting 80 new films, each of which will either delight or intrigue you. In order to support domestic documentary production, we are introducing a Serbian competitive program, and preparing an all-out policy for the development of creative documentaries in the country. Through numerous discussions and debates, we are also promoting a discourse of compassion and understanding, all the while actively distributing selected documentaries. We are preaching to the converted, to non-believers, to the young, to television networks. We are seeking truth, humanity and inspiration, together, between reality and film.

Mladen Vušurović, Festival Director