Interview with a filmmaker: “Silvestar Kolbas” the director of the short movie “The Film Factory”

Interview with a filmmaker: “Silvestar Kolbas” the director of the short movie “The Film Factory”

1.Tell us about your movie, where did the idea of this movie come from?

I started doing photography when I was very young. At that time, the most available photographic material for us was from the local Fotokemika factory.

When I saw that abandoned film factory a few years ago, I experienced it very emotionally. I photographed those empty factory spaces and the objects found in them, using films that were made here. Films had expired and photographic reproduction was often poor. I even liked that because it further testified to aging and transience. Taking the photos took years. That’s how many photos were created that I exhibited at photography exhibitions. But the whole story is told only by connecting the photos into a film sequence.

2.Tell us about yourself, your education, your experience. We would like to know you better.

I was born in 1956. I started photography very early. I graduated in cinematography in 1982 at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. Today I am a full-time professor at the same school. Previously, I worked as a freelance photographer and cinematographer, and as a television cameraman. During my career, I shot several feature and TV films, series and documentaries, exhibited photographs, and published and edited professional works in the field of filming.

Dealing with the visual aspect, I never thought that I would direct films. But at the age of 47, I made my first film as a director.

Afterwards, I directed several personal, self-reflexive documentaries (‘All About Eva’, ‘War Reporter’, ’20 Days in Tibet’) and experimental films (‘Self-Portrait V2.1’, ‘Red Star Cinema’, ‘The Tower’). At the same time, I intensified my photographic exhibition activity.

In the author’s documentary and experimental films, as well as photographic exhibitions, I often use autobiographical sources, but I also problematize visual media.

3.Has this film been previously appeared in any other festivals? If so, which festivals?

28th Sarajevo Film Festival, 2022, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – world premiere

20th Liburnia Film Festival, 2022, Opatija, Croatia – award for the best sound design

18th 25 FPS Festival, 2022, Zagreb, Croatia

22th Un Festival C’est Trop Court!, 2022, Nice, France

4.How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

My younger colleague, cinematographer with golden hands assisted me on the shooting. My son is into sound recording, so naturally he was involved. The editor of the film, a respected veteran, worked with me earlier on experimental forms. He really wanted to edit this film and was impatiently waiting for the footage to be ready for editing. I entrusted the sound design to a colleague who had the reputation of being the best among younger sound designers in Zagreb.

5.How do you usually get funding for your films?

The most important financier is the Croatian Audiovisual Center. Like any fund, they announce tenders, I have to apply and present my project, which is sometimes accepted.

6.How did you hear about Tehran Short Film Festival? How familiar are you with Iranian cinema?

Tehran International Short Film Festival is very famous and highly ranked, and it is not a problem to hear about it. It is also on the lists of Internet sites for applying to festivals.

Considering the rich tradition and the number of Iranian films, I can hardly say that I know Iranian films well. But I have something seen, at least from the part that is shown around the world. In Iranian cinema, sometimes there is a wonderful combination of poetic and social-critical views, and it delights me. This also applies to feature films, classic and contemporary, as well as documentaries. I really like movies of Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidi, Asghar Farhadi, Jafar and Panah Panahi… Among documentary filmmakers, I appreciate Ziba Mir-Hosseini and Firouzeh Khosrovani, for example.

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