This year’s motto #katastrofekk says it all. Twenty-twenty is one big, beautiful catastrophe in every respect. First, we had a couple of fires, then the virus, the Croatian earthquake, the quarantine, government issues, the protests, and the new reality! Officials theorize and wag their fingers at us, saying, “We need to get used to the new reality, the new normality.” No, thank you!
History teaches us that there is hardly any piece of land that has been more exposed to change than the Balkan Peninsula. Nowhere else have this many realities and normalities shifted as here. I cannot imagine how different the morning was from the evening on 28 June 1914, when on principle Gavrilov’s thumb tangoed with the trigger of his gun. And how different was the morning a month later when the First World War began. Or the morning of 6 April 1941 when Belgrade awoke to the bombing of the Axis powers. I do remember the morning of 1991 and it was unsure, abnormal, and full of panic.
In this respect, this year’s catastrophe is quite harmless, quite normal much like the selection of the FeKK YU competition programme. We were blissfully spared coronavirus films that are being and will continue to be made for at least a year or two. Our harvest was thus mostly uninfected and rich, something that will be hard to top next year, considering the circumstances.
We have chosen 26 films produced in 2019/2020 but they withhold from a common 2020 denominator. In this edition, the nearly proverbially exquisite and circumstantially highly productive Croatian animation presents some new creative voices that are just beginning their professional path. They are joined also by some other voices from the ex-Yu republics. If in 2019 the floor belonged to films from Kosovo, 2020 marks a stronger presence of those from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Macedonia. We must of course not forget the remarkable documentaries, successful at festivals, that largely deal with normality, which has been forgotten way before the catastrophe. Neither should we skip the traditional strong fiction films that belong at the top of European shorts.
It would be certainly possible to frame the FeKK YU programme inside some other simplification yet I think, in the end, it will be up to the audience to decide. FeKK YU 2020 is the first non-catastrophic thing in this year and, in the circumstances, one that is quite abnormal.