FERA stands in solidarity with Serbian filmmakers in funding allocation controversy
In an open letter addressed today to Ms Maja Gojković, Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, FERA voices concerns over reports of unjustified interference with expert decision and due process in the public funding allocation process.
We are deeply concerned by recent reports of unjustified interference with expert decision and due process in the public funding allocation process of grants to projects by filmmakers Želimir Žilnik, Srđan Dragojević and Goran Marković, as the managing board of Film Center Serbia overruled the decision of its commission to co-finance these three projects after significant delay.
We share the concerns of the film community in Serbia regarding the reliability and impartiality of future funding allocation.
Freedom of artistic expression requires artists and the cultural and creative sectors at large to be independent and free of any governmental censorship, political interference, or pressure from non-state actors. In the audiovisual sector, this entails autonomy from political authorities’ influence and independence of expertise from ideology when assessing or commissioning projects.
In solidarity with our Serbian colleagues, we call on you as the Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, under whose jurisdiction Film Center Serbia operates, to ensure that such interference can no longer be applied as must be the case in a well-functioning support system in line with democratic values and respectful of filmmakers’ artistic and creative freedom.
Klemen Dvornik, Chair of the Executive Committee
Sverre Pedersen, Honorary Treasurer
Bill Anderson, Executive Committee member
Elisabet Gustafsson, Executive Committee member
Hrvoje Hribar, Executive Committee member
Lou Jeunet, Executive Committee member
Birgitte Stærmose, Executive Committee member
C. Cay Wesnigk, Executive Committee member
Martijn Winkler, Executive Committee member
Pauline Durand-Vialle, Chief Executive Officer
Gordan Matić, director of Film Center of Serbia
Serbian Film Directors Association (AFRS)