I’m a richer man for knowing Mira Furlan
Director Stefan Arsenijević is this year's guest of the Festival as one of the directors of omnibus film, DO NOT FORGET ME ISTANBUL. About working on this film, collaboration with Mira Furlan, and this year’s Festival of European Film, he speaks for the Festival Newsletter.How did it come to the collaboration and how did you become a part of an international crew of the film DO NOT FORGET ME ISTANBUL?
I was invited by Huseyin Karabey, my colleague and friend, whom I met at foreign festivals when we were both promoting our previous films. The concept of the omnibus was that directors would be from countries that are culturally, historically or otherwise connected with Istanbul. Karabey told me that there is an idea for the film, within the project "Istanbul - European Capital of Culture 2010."They invited six directors, and each of us had the task of making a film about Istanbul, inspired by this city, on the topic of memories. So it started, and it was an exciting experience, and one, in fact, unforgettable adventure, for it was the first time I had been to Istanbul ever.
How were you collaborating, living, and helping each other?
We all worked with the Turkish film crew and apart from actors - it was the condition that all other crew members were Turks. All directors lived together in a large flat. A few of us would occasionally joke that it was like one big reality show in which we were thrown into an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people and so we had to shoot films. It was a valuable experience which brought perhaps the most important thing - plenty of new friendships.
You have decided on Mira Furlan?
One of the most important things about working on this film, for me, is that I met Mira Furlan. Before that we only met once. During filming, we had a very intense few weeks of working together, while working in Istanbul. I met a person extremely intelligent, extremely sensitive and I feel like a richer man because of knowing her.
How do you rate this year's Palić Festival?
This year, the selection was exceptional, and because I know most of the jurors, I see that they are having a lot of trouble deciding who to give the award to. As someone who follows the festivals, I think this year’s selection of films at Palić might be the strongest one ever. There are several excellent films.