Rajko Petrovic and Eroll Bilibani: exceptional cooperation and achievements of film festivals from Serbia and Kosovo

Đorđe Popović

11. March 2020

Rajko Petrovic and Eroll Bilibani: exceptional cooperation and achievements of film festivals from Serbia and Kosovo

Photos and illustrations: BFPE

Presentation of “Docufest” from Prizren and “Slobodna zona” (“Free zone”) Festival from Belgrade was held on 10 March, 2020. This presentation, which was held in the Cultural center “Parobrod” as a presentation of outstanding individuals from Kosovo and Serbia gathered around twenty participants. The participants had the opportunity to listen to Eroll Bilibani, Director of DocuLab from Prizren and Rajko Petrović, Director of Slobodna zona in the conversation with our colleague Anamari Repić. Besides the presentation of both festivals the topics for discussion were social activism as one of the bases of modern democracy, the role of social activism in cultural life, its influence on local community, as well as the existing very successful cooperation between the two festivals and plans for the future.

Here are some of the tweets that summon up the discussion pretty well:

What started 15 yrs ago in a hall for 200 people, has grown into a festival attended by 20,000 with screenings in three cities, not shying away from difficult issues from the start (#lgbt, dealing w the past), truly multilayered event, says Rajko Petrovic of @slobodna_zona

Millenials have their own way of communication, ‘shortcuts’. We have this great example from Pančevo of young people we took to @DokuFest ‘we were never told to collaborate, it was organic’ argues Bilibani

Bilibani acted in the movie “Vetar” (“The Wind”) by Tamara Drakulić, filmed in 2016, chosen as “Best Serbian film” at @Fest_Beograd

What @DokuFest has and @slobodna_zona doesn’t, and I would love to see, is the music part – ‘DokuNights’ and – very important – where the city itself ‘lives’ with the festival, says Rajko Petrović #ChangingMinds

What @DokuFest would ‘borrow’ from @slobodna_zona is – the audience, both in engagement and numbers #ChangingMinds

This event was organized within the project “Changing Minds: Trust through the Innovation”, which Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence implements together with partner organizations – D4D from Prishtina, NGO Aktiv from Kosovska Mitrovica and Transconflict from Belgrade. It was supported by the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia.