ZagrebDox, one of the most popular documentary festivals in the region of Eastern Europe, celebrates the 10th anniversary of being an important member of the film festival community. DAFilms.com asked festival director Nenad Puhovski how the story of ZagrebDox started and if there is a happy-ending.
ZagrebDox, one of the most popular documentary festivals in the region of Eastern Europe, celebrates the 10th anniversary of being an important member of the film festival community. The DAFilms.com portal is happy to be part of this celebration and to present you the first pilot co-operation, offering 5 short films from the festival section Phone Dox to international audiences from February 26 to March 2 for free. And that is by far not all! In order to learn more about the honouree, DAFilms.com asked festival director Nenad Puhovski how the story of ZagrebDox started and if there is a happy-ending.
This year, ZagrebDox festival celebrates the 10th anniversary of its successful existence. Since that time, the festival has become one of the biggest film events in the region of Eastern Europe. Could you describe its beginning a little bit more, please? Who were the founders of the festival and what was the reason to start the whole project?
The festival was and is organized by Factum, the biggest independent documentary production in Croatia. In a way, it was a part of the same project of raising the awareness of the documentary film in Croatia. At the time Factum (1996) and ZagrebDox (2005) commenced, there was none of the independent documentary production or it was rather irregular. Also, creative documentaries were not shown on television at all, and rather occasionally at other festivals.
Did you prepare anything special for your audiences in order to celebrate this special 10th edition of the festival? Do you observe any changes in the structure of your audiences?
For this edition of the festival, additionally to the 15+ standard ZagrebDox programs, we prepared two retrospectives of the festival itself – one where the prominent critics are choosing their favourite documentary from the past editions of the festival, and the other where we are showing (based on the selection of Tue Steen Müller) the films which were developed and/or pitched at ZagrebDox. Also, for the first time we are offering a program called "Docufiction" presenting films in which real characters are re-acting their actual lives.
For the first time, ZagrebDox presents a new program section called "Phone Dox". Can you explain how the idea of devoting one section of your programme to this phenomenon has occurred?
This is, in fact, the second year that we are showing the Phone Dox selection. However, we have been following this development and its technical, production and storytelling aspects from the very beginning, so that in the first edition we screened "Cell Stories" by Edward Lachman. Also, two years ago, the famous film "People I could have been and maybe am" by Boris Gerrets won one of the special awards at the festival. So, introducing this programme was only a very natural move.
How do you perceive the transformation of the film industry caused by the current strong development of modern digital technologies such as mobile phones and VoD platforms? Do you see the future of the film in these digital devices?
I do believe that these tools are helping literally everybody to express him/herself. However, I am also aware of all saying that owning a pen is not making anybody a writer! The huge amount of trash content is significantly overloading the communication channels and the need for selection, which is exactly what festivals are offering, will become even more important.
How do you imagine festival ZagrebDox in 2024 when the festival will celebrate the 2nd decade of its life?
A wise man said once – the best way to walk is to put one foot in front of the other!
Thank you for your time and great answers, Mr. Puhovski. We wish to the ZagrebDox all the best, a successful new decade and we are looking for a next co-operation with DAFilms.com!
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.