Rudnik Festival of Innovative Cinema

OPEN SPACES – RUDNIK FESTIVAL OF INNOVATIVE CINEMA came into existence with a vision – to become a new focal point in Southeast Europe for daring, unconventional, „made-for-cinema“ non-fiction films, as well as a distinctive meeting place of international and local filmmakers, film activists and enthusiasts in midst of a soothing, picturesque landscape on the foothills of Rudnik mountain.

The concept of OPEN SPACES Festival, in line with the ambiguous nature of its name, seeks to unify within itself a number of aspects and interpretations of spatiality in the filmic context. We see this festival as a being a convergence point for different ideas, formal explorations and understandings of the filmic space in the broader sense, and all the questions and possibilities it carries, but also as a welcoming environment, an „open space“, that embraces innovative cinematic works from all corners of the world that challenge the established perceptions, limitations and formulas of contemporary filmmaking. It is also our intent and mission to fully integrate the environment of the surrounding Rudnik area into the festival itself, thus creating a specific cinematic experience which transcends the cinema screen to become more of a spatial one.

The creative emphasis of the festival lies on documentary, hybrid and experimental works that are willing to make bold and unorthodox choices, to explore atypical narrative structures, to utilize various techniques of visual storytelling, to seek out and highlight marginalized or untold stories and their protagonists, to search for new methods of communicating with the audiences, all the while retaining a distinguishable personal and uncompromising tone and approach.

If you’ve recognized yourself and your movie in some or all of these words, then OPEN SPACES Festival is the right place for you! Submissions are open for short and mid-length films (up to 50 minutes). All selected films will be featured in a single, unified competition programme, with three awards being presented by the jury – the main award of the festival, Zapis, for the Best Film, a Jury Award and a Special Award of the Rudnik Cultural Centre.

Being filmmakers and festival participants  ourselves, we are well aware of the crucial role that festivals have in the preservation and advancement of film as an art form and an industry, serving both as a platform for the exchange of ideas and projects between the different creative forces within the film world and as the sole opportunity for the majority of audiences to discover and experience the more adventurous side of cinema. We have envisioned for OPEN SPACES to go beyond the regular scope of a film festival and become a special kind of gathering point – one where all participants and guests can share a close and dynamic connection, a hospitable and productive environment, but also be able to enjoy their time in Rudnik as a retreat and immerse themselves in the mesmerizing and tranquilizing atmosphere of the mountain. It is this inseparable link between the event itself and the setting in which it takes place that gives OPEN SPACES Festival its name, its foundation and its distinction.

In addition to a meticulously selected and assembled film competition, which will be shown in the cinema of the Rudnik Cultural Centre, get-togethers, hiking tours, workshops and similar activities, the festival will also parallelly host a music programme with performances by live bands in a special outdoor setting, evoking the spirit and ambience of local traditions for celebratory occasions, but in this case with a stylistic twist.

Located about 100 km south of Belgrade, in the heart of the central Serbian region of Šumadija, Rudnik mountain and the eponymous small town on its slopes have, throughout history, mostly been associated with mining and coin minting, with archaelogical evidence of these activities going as far back as pre-Roman times. However, despite this industrial pedigree, Rudnik has also been recognized as a climatic spa and its heavily forested areas make it the closest true „wilderness“ to Belgrade and a perfect summer getaway.

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