The third Zagreb Tourfilm Festival will be held in the Croatian capital from 4 to 6 June 2014. If you’re a film maker and produce travel related work you still have time to enter your productions into this year’s festival; the closing date for entries is 15 March.
To learn more about the kind of films and audiovisual productions that are entered, I spoke with Spomenka Saraga, the festival’s director.
“We have several thematic categories,” she explained “these include tourist destinations, such as cities, regions and countries, extreme sports, adventure tourism, water-based travel, hotels and resorts, rural tourism, fairs and congresses and work relating to people, events, plus culture and traditions. You can find out more by clicking onto the categories section of the festival’s website.”
“We’re looking for professionally recorded films, videos and television reportage; productions that meet professional standards of technical quality. Applications will be accepted if they fit within one of the categories, meet the stated conditions and are within one of the durations. These vary in length. We’re calling for commercial films and videos of up two minutes, and promotional films, TV reportage plus documentaries of up to an hour in length.”
“Our wish is to educate people and also motivate employees within the tourism industry into promoting destinations in the right way. This also means focusing on target groups as well as inspiring interested parties to search for the new trends,” she said, when asked about the festival’s aims.
“We would also like to induce young people to enter the world of tourism, either as its promoters or as tourism professionals. The Zagreb Tourfilm Festival rewards films and audiovisual productions that promote tourism,” she added.
“Last year we received more than 300 films from 56 countries around the world; anyone can enter so long as the production quality is professional. You can use a range of techniques, including computer animation, plus film or video cameras, or even SLRs capable of filming.”
For newcomers it might be tricky to identify the most important components of travel related films, so I asked Spomenka for tips.
“A few things are important. When I approach a film, I first think of words and phrases that relate to the message. I try to filter out the main concepts and think of ways to express these ideas on the screen. I want to create a film that makes an emotional impact on the identified target audience, with good information and attractive pictures. When you see the movie, you wish to go and visit that country and see it with your own eyes. A movie can be just as good as photos; if you feel and smell the place when you see it then it’s a good film,” she says with enthusiasm.
The ideal length of the films entered in the festival varies according to the format. However, Spomenka believes that videos and commercial films have to be short and informative, so people take them in while travelling or at places such as trade fairs. “But at home, when sitting in the comfort of our armchairs, the length of the broadcast is not so important, so TV reportage, documentaries and films can easily be from between 25 and 60 minutes.”
“I suggest that people try to create short, powerful films,” she answers when I ask what key tips she can offer to new filmmakers.
Further Information and Links to Films
See the Zagreb Tourfilm Festival website for more information and to enter films.
The 2007 film, Unique Dubrovnik, for which Spomenka was Executive Producer.