Slovene filmmakers continue protest against Film Fund, Culture Ministry (update)

By Mateja Princic

    Slovene filmmakers, some of whom boycotted the 10th Festival of Slovenian film in Portoroz earlier this month, are continuing their protests against the Slovene Film Fund and the Ministry of Culture.

    The Association of Slovene Filmmakers is demanding the resignation of Igor Prodnik, director of the Slovene Film Fund, and former vice director Stane Malčič, from all functions that have to do with film, according to a statement issued Oct. 16. The association accuses them of misuse of power over Slovene film production, which has declined sharply.

    The association seeks the naming of a "crisis staff" from the Ministry of Culture and including its own representatives, which should take immediate steps to resolve the crisis in film production, Associatio President Igor Koršič said in an interview with FNE.

    The group also demands that a new board of directors of the Slovene Film Fund be named containing only experts.

    Film organisations from Germany, Ireland, Austria, Hungary and Denmark have sent letters supporting the association's demands directly to Slovene Prime Minister Janez Janša. The group says so far there has been no response.

    The filmmakers also criticised the Festival of Slovene Film in Portoroz that was held Oct. 7-14, saying it was planned without consultation with experts and that as a founder of the festival, it wants to retain control.

    Koršič said major changes are needed for next year.

    "It lasted too long, there was too little information about it, there was no appropriate programme," he said. "What's most difficult to understand was the jury was mainly from abroad. It's like a disqualification of the Slovenian film profession."

    For the first time this year, the jury consisted of one Slovenian and two members from abroad. The festival screened 89 short, medium-length and full-length films, including 18 films from 17 European countries.