Free Zone Film Festival has for the first time been supported by the Creative Europe programme and its sub-programme MEDIA. The European Commission which is behind this programme, has decided to support the festival with a sum of 27.000 euros, thus recognizing it as one of the most important festivals in our country.
Free Zone, competing with other 77 applicants, has made its way to the list of approved projects which consists of 31 European film festivals. Free Zone is the only festival from Serbia which has been approved for funding in this round of applications, and along with European Film Festival Palić and Beldocs, it is the third festival in country that has received funds from the MEDIA programme.
Regarding the festival’s success in the MEDIA sub-programme, festival director Rajko Petrović has pointed out: ‘For us, this support is important mainly because of the festival’s future and for acquiring a new audience. It is important for further development of innovative programme lines and our year round projects like ‘The Tour’, for educational programmes like Free Zone Junior, which we have been carrying out in primary and secondary schools for 12 years, and since two years ago at universities in Serbia, as well as for the European Film Academy’s Young Audience Award project. Given the fact that we are currently the only festival in Serbia which is active all year round thanks to these projects, I believe that this has contributed to MEDIA’s positive decision, along with the high quality film and accompanying programmes that make Free Zone so recognisable in Belgrade, Serbia and the region.’
Creative Europe’s sub-programme MEDIA encourages the development of the audiovisual and multimedia sector by supporting: the development, distribution and promotion of European live action films, animated and documentary films and television series, the development and promotion of new media content, advanced training for film professionals, the development of new technologies and platforms for distribution of audiovisual content, film festivals and the development of audiences.
The 14th Free Zone will be held from 7th until 12th November 2018, in 9 cinemas in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš. This year’s film programme will include 40 national premières out of a total of over 60 highly acclaimed films and socially engaged documentaries from around the world. Apart from MEDIA programme, this year’s festival has been supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, Movies that Matter, Reconstruction Women’s Fund, the Romanian Cultural Institute in Vienna, the French Institute and the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade.