The Fast Forward Festival: opening in Berane, closing in Kotor, and three new films in Podgorica

The FAST FORWARD Festival marks the fourth day with the opening of the Berane edition, the closing of the Kotor edition, and the screening of three new films in Podgorica.

Tonight in Berane, in the “Cultural Center”, starting at 18h00, the Berane edition of the FAST FORWARD Festival will be officially opened with a feature-length documentary Mamula All Inclusive, directed by Aleksandar Reljić, who will address the audience after the screening. The film brings a powerful story about the struggle to preserve the memories of the innocent victims of the Mamula concentration camp, former camp survivors, non-governmental organizations, and citizens who are against the power of capital and everything that money can buy.

After that, from 20h00, the film Hope Hotel Phantom, directed by Bojan Stojčić from Bosnia and Herzegovina, follows. During his stay at the Hope Hotel in the USA, where the Dayton negotiators stayed, passing through the corridors and rooms of the hotel, the director senses their aspirations to turn a country in the Balkans into a democratic system that 27 years later shows all the flaws of short-sighted policies.

The closing of the FAST FORWARD Festival in Kotor in the cinema “Boka” today is marked by the screening of three films.

From 18h00 the audience will be able to watch the film Three Minutes – A Lengthening by the Dutch author Bianca Stigter. She skillfully manages to turn the three-minute film of the same name from 1938, directed by David Kurtz, into a series of scenes that she gives symbolism and movements to, reviving the life of the Jewish inhabitants of the town of Nasielska in Poland before the Holocaust.

From 19h00, the film Hope Hotel Phantom will be shown to the Kotor audience, giving a precise sketch of what the Dayton Agreement was supposed to represent, as well as the implications it produced in reality.

The Kotor edition closes with the multi-award-winning film Prison 77. The film dives into the Spanish penitentiary system in Spain through the role of young Manuel, who is sentenced to an excessive sentence of 20 years in prison. Through his role, one can see the power of the movement that unites all prisons in the fight for freedom and changing prison laws, forever changing Spanish society.

At the same time, three premieres are presented to the Podgorica audience at the Cultural Information Centre “Budo Tomović”.

The program starts at 18h00 with the movie Mara. Directed, scripted, and edited by Belarusian director Sasha Kulak. The film follows the mass anti-government protests in Minsk through the story of the young activist Mara who encounters reality on the streets through a collision with the oppressive mechanisms of a regime.

The film Three Minutes – A Lengthening, by Bianca Stigter, is on the program from 19h00.

From 20h00, follows the film Family Time by Finnish director Tia Kuovo. A realistic story about a Finnish family that gathers for Christmas dinner and that, through the relationships of the members, reflects all the problems and misunderstandings in which the family as an institution of society is stuck. The director’s debut seeks answers to questions we can all identify with: are we all doomed to remain stuck in the same family patterns, and can we ever change that and finally become a happy family?

This year’s edition of the Festival was supported by the Ministry of Economic Development of Montenegro and the Municipality of Kotor, and support was also provided by the Municipality of Berane, CIC “Budo Tomović”, Cultural Center “Nikola Đurković” and the Centre for Culture Berane. Partners of FAST FORWARD are BELDOCS, Sarajevo Film Festival, and Human Rights Film Network. The commitment to social responsibility was also reflected in the business sector this year, so we highlight the sponsorships of Hotel Cue, Gostiona 1928, PG taxi and Compania De Vinos Montenegro. Media sponsors of the Festival FAST FORWARD 2023 are television Nova M, Adria TV, Gradska TV, Gradski radio and portal, Prva TV, E TV, Radio and portal Antena M, daily newspaper Pobjeda, daily newspaper Dan, portal CdM, portal Analitika, Radio Berane, Radio Kotor, and Play radio.

Vlado Laličić, Project Assistant