Ahead of the Jubilee – a retrospective of the awarded films

This year, the International Festival of Ethnological Film celebrates its 25th anniversary. The festival will be held between October 12 and October 16 October. On this occasion, the audience will have to see the most recent international production of ethnological and anthropological film. According to the Festival regulations, the films will compete for the following awards: GRAND PRIX, Award for the best national film, Award for the best international film, Award for the best Non-professional film, Award for the best ID3min film, Award for the contribution to intangible cultural heritage, Award for the best cinematography, Award for the best editing, Award for the best contextual application of sound. All films, divided into three sections: Competition Programme, Informative Programme andNon-Professional (amateur) Programme, will be screened in the Cinema at Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade. Along with the already announced Special Programme (A Museum Professional in the World of Ethnological Film – Vojvodina and Awarded Films of the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation) will be screened at the Yugoslav Film Archive.

Yugoslav Film Archive, as our long-time associate, will once again open its doors to us, making it possible to screen all of the twenty-four films in a small cinema hall at the premises of the Yugoslav Film Archive in Uzun Mirkova Street. The retrospective of the previous IFEF winners will be held on October 7-10, 2016, and will be divided into three sets beginning at 17.00, 19.00 PM and 21.00 PM.



Friday, October 7


Marga for a Soldier (29')

The rich ritual practice of the Vlach-speaking population in eastern Serbia is particularly expressed in the context of death-related rituals. The pomane, i.e. the rituals commemorating the dead, still constitute a sacred space and time in which, as it is believed, a contact is established between the world of the living and the world of the dead, while bloodless sacrifice in the form of food and drink offerings ensures that the dead may enjoy in their eternal abode.


The Last Felting Mill (26')

The tailor's trade – the craft of making folk dress from felt, is one of the old rural and urban crafts that survived almost until the end of the twentieth century. The fabric for folk dress was made of pure sheep's wool through a long processing procedure. In the vicinity of Bajina Bašta, on the river Solotuša, only one felting mill has remained in which felt is manufactured using the traditional method – rolling.


Farmers’ Candles (23')


A Celebration at Ždrelo (44')

The wedding-related ritual corpus belongs to those which are the most readily adapted to changes in their cultural environment. The cultural environment of the Gastarbeiters in eastern Serbia also reveals the ways in which their temporary stay and work abroad are reflect in the changes in ritual practice and the ways of demonstrating status symbols through wedding rituals.


The Experienced Wine Cellar Owner (29')

Cristmas in Polimlje (35')

Christmas is celebrated in Polimlje in a very traditional way. Bringing badnjak (Christmas oak tree) into the home imitates ploughing. During Christmas, people visit cemeteries and give holiday greetings to the dead. Other customs are related to the položajnik and breaking the ritual Christmas bread, known as česnica.


Vision Man (51')

An old hunter, a member of the Inuit people, lives in a time when his culture, which is about 4,000 years old, is coming through changes and is being pervaded by the Western way of life. He is still part of the Arctic world, physically dependent and emotionally attached to it.


I’m alive, I’m not dead yet (35')

On a farm in eastern Serbia two old people live alone. The farm was turned into a small ethnographic museum. Their stories, from bygone years, traditions and beliers are an impressive example of the living tradition in the Kučevo region.



In Western Serbia, there is an old custom of burying people within their own estate. It is almost impossible to find a fields or pastures without one, two or several graves of deceased relatives. Nevertheless, when the old farmer Mirko Simić, from the village of Trbosilje in Jadar, at the foothill of the mountain Cer, wanted to bury his deceased wife, all sorts of obstacles arose: neighbours and the local and state authorities. What was possible for others was not possible for Mirko. The persistent farmer does not give up.

Saturday, October 8



The traces of pre-Christian fire cults can still be found in southwestern Romania. According to popular belief, the souls of the dead come out of their graves at night, on Holy Thursday before Easter. Only huge fires can show them the way back to the underworld.


Turščišće Carnival (47')

The village of Turščišće in Međumurje(northern Croatia) is for carnival masks. In the mid-20th century, a folk play was still performed on Shrove Tuesday.


Džolomari (16')

During the period between the Orthodox Christmas and Epiphany, various masked rituals are performed throughout Macedonia. In thevillage of Begnište in Tikveš, in the night between January 13 and 14, a ritual called Džolomari is performed. The members of the rural community believe that they awaken new energy by performing a long-established series of ritual and magic actions.



Maha Kumb hMela, or the Grand Kumbh Mela, is the greatest religious celebration in the world and it involves a hundred million people. It is held in India, at the mouth of the holy rivers of Jamuna and Ganges, once in twelve years. However, the Great Kumbh Mela is held once in a hundred and forty-four years, when Jupiter enters the House of Taurus. It is believed that drops immortality fall from the ancient sacred cup located in the confluence of two rivers. To immerse oneself in this water means to gain the opportunity for liberation from the eternal circle of reincarnation. The director of the film gained the trust of local yoga tecahers, who helped him film in places forbidden for foreign television crews.



A comprehensive documentary film that explores the Indian religion, philosophy, spiritual tradition and ritual practice along the 2500 km-long Ganges River in India.



Portraits of fishermen – tuna hunters, provide the framework for the story about traditional fishing in Tunisia. Rais Labar is a story about the past and the future of fishing in extremely difficult conditions at Cap Bon.



The Rat brothers are trying to survive working as beluga hunters on the banks of the Danube. They are fruitlessly trying to reach the bright moments of their father, the legendary "King of Caviar", while dreaming of a huge catch and easy money. When the European Union bans beluga hunting in the waters of the Danube, life of the Rat brothers will have to change.

Sunday, October 9


Peace to All (27')

In the Orthodox church of St Nicholas, which is also called Hadir Baba, in Makedonski Brod (western Macedonia), Orthodox Christians and members of various Islamic denominations pray together.



The Wana shamans of the Celebes Sea see "a shadow" in each of us, even at night. The shadow is for them an essential part of our spirituality. Will the shaman Indo Pino manage to cure Claudia in France from cancer?




Zhora (78) i Knyaz (77) were once the most famous Armenian tightrope dancers. They are now the only living teachers who could maintain and preserve this ancient skill despite the trends present in modern society. Although they used to be rivals, they now share the same dream that Hovsep, their only student, will continue their life's work. Now, after the death of the teacher Zhora, Hovsep’s choice has become even more difficult.




In Russia’s Far East, in the rural areas of Kamchatka, the ancient language of the Itelmen and the old way of hunting sables are falling into oblivion. The stories of the Itelmen seek to capture the Itelmen’s language and the techniques of hunting that they no longer use, but still remember. The film records an encounter between two hunters and unbridled nature and villages of Kamchatka with their historical burden of memories, nostalgia, resignation and hope.


Monday, October 10



Seventy years after his grandfather fled from the Nazi Germany to Palestine, Tomer Heymann returns to the country of his ancestors, where he meets a man who will change his life. A forty-eight-hour love affair between Tomer and the German dancer Andreas Merk turns into a serious relationship and Andreas decides to move to Tel Aviv. Once he gets there, Andreas has to deal not only with a new partner but also with the complex reality of the life of a German citizen in Israel. The story follows the triangle among Tomer, his German boyfriend and Tomer's mother, a hard-line Israeli.



The paralyzed Israeli woman Tova, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, is a well-known and successful matchmaker. Although she personally does not believe in love, using her unique approach, she successfully matches couples – especially those with disabilities. Through the annual cycle of this woman and her family, we learn about her suffering, humour, love and immense passion for life.




The Amsterdam Story is a US road-movie about visits to 15 towns in the United States which share the common name – Amsterdam. Two directors of Dutch origin, Roger van Eyck and Rob Robout, travel across the land from east to west coast, on their way from New York, (once called New Amsterdam) to California. Through encounters and stories about Amsterdams and the roads that connect them, this long and random adventure progressively weaves a unique picture of the province and the unknown small cities in the United States. The story grows into an intimate portrait and an X-ray of the country of constant change.



A research into the cultural diversity of the Turkish minority in Russia documented through film. Performers of epic poetry about heroes, horses and the struggle between light and dark forces eloquently speak of the rich tradition of the Altai region’s inhabitants. Everyday life, work environment, art, history and a generally rich culture are tightly connected with the natural environment of the Altai region.