Archive för Film

Experimental theatre in Brno

When Theatre Goose on a String started in 1968 it played an important role in the resistance movement against communism in what then was Czechoslovakia. By sneaking in one or two words of the revolution into the performances on stage, the audience and the actors came to play different roles in strengthening the struggle in the real life drama.

Society has changed dramatically since then. Czechoslovakia has become Czech Republic and Slovakia. Communism has ended. The theatre has had to find its role in this new context. And more changes are to wait.

The platform Centre for Experimental Theatre consists of three theatre stages: Theatre Goose on a string, Theatre On the table, and HaDivadlo. They play together around 600 performances (theatre plays, events, festivals, readings) per year for full houses. Of the budget of 2 million euros per year, two thirds (2/3) comes from the city of Brno, the rest is through other income sources such as ticket sales, tours, projects. Sponsoring is zero.

They seem to be one of the few theatre’s of today having full capacity ensembles, with around 150 actors full-time employed. But changes are expected.

In Prague, changes have already happened. The formation of the theatre had to change from a benefit organisation (and thereby owned by the city) to a contracted one. This means that funding is not secured any more and every five years they have to compete with other theatres to get the grants. This has also meant that the actors have lost their jobs to become contractors.

The Centre for Experimental Theatre see the same development in Brno around the corner, and “there is no way to prepare for this”, as our guide Ondrej Navratil tells us. Conversation with the municipality is going on, as so many other cultural organizations they struggle with describing their value and to explain for the event- and tourist focused politicians, that an independent theatre is important.

But the show must go on. In the evening Amadeus, based on the film by the same name by Milos Forman (1984) is on stage. Amadeus’ hysterical laughter fills the auditorium as he enters the stage. He runs it, stops suddenly, looks around over a salon packed with people, and runs laughing out as the play starts. Another full house at the theatre.

The study visit was part of the 22nd Encatc Conference in Brno, Czech Republic, on 17–19 of September 2014.

 

21 september, 2014

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Voices from the Waters

A weekend in Göteborg full of films, seminars, discussions, and art works on the water situation in the world. The inauguration film Friday night, Like Fireflies, a film describing the consequences and human tragedies due to privatization of water resources in Chile, was the first of many important voices shown Friday through Sunday.

The festival, Voices from the Waters, is an initiative from Bangalore Film Society and has been running parallel in Göteborg this year with Nätverkstan, Världskulturmuseet (Museum of World Culture), Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet (Maritime Museum & Aquarium) and funding from Region Västra Götaland.

Today was the final day and the festival ended with a debate on the situation of water with EU Parliamentarian Isabella Lövin, and researchers Henrik Svedäng and Sverker Jagers.

1 september, 2013

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Cultural Statistics

First came shipbuilding. Then came Volvo. Now comes Film Industry to Göteborg.

The text, found on the wall at Gothenburg Film Studios, tells in three sentences the changes that Göteborg, and specifically the North Bank Side of river Göta Älv, has been going through the last forty years.

Shipbuilding was a large industry in Göteborg for a long time and the city was an important international hub for import and export of goods as well as ideas and contacts. Swedish East India Company had its base here and 37 of their ships were built in docks in the city. In the 70s the big crisis hit shipbuilding and many people lost their jobs and the deserted area has now changed into fancy residents. New businesses and centres are created with TV. Radio, IT, and film industry as a growing industry.

Now the car manufacturing industry is in a crisis and Saab sadly had to close down its business last year. Again people have lost their jobs. What will come instead is a question, but also strong in Trollhättan is film, animation, computer games, visual effects and the Science Park.

The impact of these new emerging industries are difficult to define and as hard to nail down into numbers. How can you evaluate and measure the effects of these new more small-scale industries? What indicators are needed? How do our statistical agencies streamline statistics from EU to local level so information can be compared? How do we assure to not only measure quantity, but also qualitative aspects? And how can we be clear of what is not measured, not to loose important aspects of art and culture and leave politicians with only numbers?

This was discussed yesterday at the conference arranged by Region Västra Götaland and CREA.RE with delegates from EU and national, regional, and local level.

21 mars, 2012

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Seminar on ”Feature film production catalyzing social change.. ” in Bangalore


The three year old current culture exchange program between the state of Karnataka, India and the region of vastra Gotaland, Sweden has kept developing and does incorporate collaboration in many art and culture fields today.

Nätverkstan was part of the initiating process concerning this collaboration and is still an active actor in Bangalore.

KMV, the film, culture and media production centre based on sociala entrepreneurship in Bergsjön, a suburb in Gothenburg, has since a year back started to cooperate with Nätverkstan and Mediaverkstan.

During the Bangalore International Film Festival a joint seminar by KMV and Nätverkstan was held with Leif Eriksson from Nätverkstan as the key speaker. The seminar, held at the Department of Information in Bangalore, attracted a large audience consisting primarly of youngsters and young women, most of them active as film makers, or studying film and media production in Bangalore.

The seminar emphasized new ways of funding feature film in the ongoing digital paradigm shift  as well as a case study on ”Bloody Boys”,  the feature film produced by KMV. Topics in the seminar included issues concerning how the film was financed, how amateurs and residents in the suburb collaborated with top actors and crew from the professional part of the swedish film business. An intense discussion was initiated raising questions about filmproduction, social entrepreneurship and media production catalyzing social change.

Another aspect of the discussion also included new ways of nonlinear collaborative postproduction work in the digital flow-work. ”Bloody Boys” was also screened during the fim festival and was sold out on every screening and did receive intense media attention.

Text by Leif Ericsson, film producer and Nätverkstan

The seminar is a cooperation between Nätverkstan and KMV in Bangalore, India. Se more posts here on the exchange in Bangalore.


 

 

27 december, 2011

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Business organization support Film Industry

The UK’s top business lobbying organization CBI is calling for better recognition of the creative industries contribution to British economy, the Guardian says in an article last Friday (March 25).

On a talk at Pinewood Studios (where films like Harry Potter and James Bond were filmed) the CBI General Director John Cridland  gave his support and worry of the British Film Industry and was saying:

The creative industries are a big part of the CBI’s plans for a more dynamic and rebalanced economy, and the country’s future success is tied up with their success. I think they’re a part of the business community that deserves championing.

Read the article here. And read more on posts on UK here.

28 mars, 2011

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Art living on Art • Mombasa, Kenya

Fourteen artists within music, visual art, dance, theatre, sculptor, and cultural organizations from East African countries gathered in Mombasa the past two days for the workshop Money–Meaning (or The Art of living on Art), arranged by the GoDown Arts Centre.

In what during the night was transformed to the hotel nightclub, we during the day used as the room for reflection on how to be able to live on your art and what changes that need to be performed to reach your goals and visions. Lively discussions were mixed with small groups and time for your own reflection. The question of how you balance between money and meaning (the artistic work or integrity) in your daily life led to intense discussions on where the fine borderline is where you feel you loose your artistic quality.

We started of with questions and expectations of the workshop. Things like: More knowledge of how to manage one-self, a sceptical attitude towards the money and meaning concept and a curiosity to know more. Also: Understanding of how to run an organization, how you can survive as an artist, and how to be more business-like within the artfield. Not everything was answered, but getting time to in a structured way reflect on your situation and how to be able to live on what you do, is useful. Two wonderful, energetic, and interesting working days.

Read more of the workshop under category The Art of living on Art on this page.

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30 september, 2010

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Visiting Scholar from Srishti

As part of the project Linking Initiatives, a project between Region Västra Götaland and Karnataka, Arvind Lodaya from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore will be a visiting scholar for one and a half month in West Sweden. His main project is to look c_innovation_web1into the notion of Cultural Innovation and explore this further with partners from different areas. Due to this a seminar is held on May 27th. Read Arvind Lodaya’s discussion note here: arvindlodaya_discussionnote.pdf.

School of Film Directing at University of Gothenburg, and has just come back from another visit in Bangalore to continue and be a partner of the start of a Film School in Bangalore for film directing and artistic film making. Also this is part of Linking Initiatives. Read about the results here: FH/Bangalore201005.pdf.

Read more under the category ”India” or the tag ”Bangalore”.

17 maj, 2010

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Beyond Bollywood in Göteborg

When Bangalore-based film director Girish Kasaravalli introduces his film Gulabi Talkies at the Göteborg International Film Festival and Museum of World Cultures in Göteborg, he very humbly describes his idea as trying to grasp three processes in India that occurred simultaneously: The war between India and Pakistan that affected the relation between Hindus and Muslims, the change in fishing regulations on the coastal villages in Karnataka, and the introduction of private and public cable TV in villages. He wanted to show the effects of these processes in the everyday life in a small village.

The film is one of the films within the theme Beyond Bollywood at the festival. It has lifted the question of independent film making as such, as well as the Bollywood film industry and the specific situation for filmmakers in India. At the seminar after the show of Gulabi Talkies, Girish Kasaravalli and film- and theatre person Prakash Belawadi discuss the situation in India and point out that a theme like ”Beyond Bollywood” creates another misunderstanding. It’s as if Bollywood films are the narrative, everything else is beyond. This is not true, they say. Bollywood might involve a lot of money (often connected to either illegal or accounted activities we learn), but seen in the number of films produced, it’s a small part of films – less than 25 procent – made in India. Yet, it’s seen by the world as the pan-India, while in fact it has very little to do with ordinary life in India.

There is a strong urge for simplicity, for stereotypes. Francis B Nyamjoh, Head of Publications and Dissemination in Senegal, quoted before on this site, writes in Cultures and Globalization: The Cultural Economy, that the global cultural entrepreneurs; the large film, music and literature companies are asking only for stereotypical stories from African scene. They don’t want to distribute alternative stories, since this is said not to sell.

At a workshop in Nairobi last September (look under Kenya) many of the participating writers were saying that if you want to sell, you need to write stories of the Big Five, the largest wild animals in the African wild life. Otherwise no one will invest money or distribute your story. Doreen Baingana, a Uganda-born writer wrote a beautiful story of three sisters growing up in modern Kampala a few years ago. The Tropical Fish has won prizes and can be found on searches on the Internet. Anjum Hasan is a Bangalore-based writer who recently published her book Neti, Neti, a wonderful story of being a young woman in modern Bangalore. So, there Is no need among young women in the world of these stories?

Who is continuously reproducing the need for stereotypical stories? The audience, customers, distribution chains, large global entrepreneurs, investors? Perhaps Internet can be an important tool to change this.

Photos and film: Leif Eriksson, Filmhögskolan Göteborg University.

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4 februari, 2010

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Beyond Bollywood

Today tickets are released to the next Göteborg International Film Festival, a festival visited by around 200.000 people every year who during ten days go to films, listen to seminars, hang in the festival tent or take part of many of the other events connected to the festival. For a small city as Göteborg it’s quite a thing to host, as said on the festival website, the fifth largest public film festival in Europe. It’s a time when you can see film otherwise not reachable for the public and from all corners of the world.

This year there is a section ”Beyond Bollywood”, a very concrete result of the three-year cooperation between Region Västra Götaland and the southern state of Karnataka in India. Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world, economically it’s way past Hollywood. According to about.com, fourteen million Indians go to see these ”Masala” films, the films produced according to the format with dance, song, love, a hero and a happy ending. But what are produced beyond Bollywood? What questions are the ones of today’s modern India?

The films showed at this year’s festival aim to show a wider perspective, the other films produced. Reading at Wikipedia, India has two official languages, unofficially up to 300 languages are mentioned. In a republic with over one billion inhabitants, of many religions and beliefs, twenty-eight different states, with an incredible economic growth rate and urbanization that is said to be one person per every other second moving in to the cities, the varieties of stories to be told are enormous. In discussion with filmmakers in Bangalore, the lack of quality film education is put forward as one obstacle as why it’s so difficult for the alternative film industry to grow in India. The festival will be visited by the well-known Karnataka film director Girish Kasaravalli and film maker Prakash Belawadi, where questions like this will be discussed.

For more on the cooperation and discussions on film, film education between Region Västra Götaland and Karnataka, look at the section ”India” on this site.

16 januari, 2010

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Education in cinema II • Bangalore

Gunilla Bursteadt and Leif Eriksson from Film School of Directing in Göteborg are discussing film education in Bangalore with Prakash Belawadi, filmmaker, and N Vidyashankar, Suchitra Cinema & Cultural Academy. What should an education look like with the aim of educating independent filmmakers in the Indian context? How do you secure a multi-level and cross-cultural approach in education?

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The visit is part of the exchange between Karnataka, India, and Region Västra Götaland, Sweden that started in 2007.

11 december, 2009

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Education in cinema • Bangalore

”There is something furiously wrong with the University!”

On the seminar ”Education in Cinema: a framework for studies and skills training” in Bangalore on the fourth of December, cinema and film education was debated. There is a need for film education with a holistic and artistic point of view, not only the handicraft on how to handle technical equipment, one statement was. On the other: Why make a dichotomy between commercial films and non-commercial? Is one more valuable than the other? And finally:

The Film Academy had invited in association with Centre for Film and Drama, and the showcase was the Film School of Directing at the Göteborg University. A unique example of film directing education also in Sweden, and it has been very successful. The audience, with representatives from film society in Bangalore, University,  animation, film associations and filmmakers, agreed  that there is a need for an education similar to the one in Göteborg. The debate was rather on who should take this initiative and why on earth has the University not taken it already? It’s their job to provide good education with different content, but they haven’t done anything so far? Prakash Belawadi, well-known filmmaker and theatre person in Bangalore, is straight forward in his opinion and with persistent states the above quote.

There is a balance between creativity and academy, is the experience from the Artistic faculty in Göteborg. A balance that is difficult sometimes and the only way to deal with it are to guarantee Artistic quality and always keep close contact to the Artistic practice. Not so easy, when you simply get caught up in the structures of the academy as a headmaster or lecturer. As the old saying that you suddenly defend the structure you were opposing once you work within it. It’s difficult to stay oppositional or even critical within the system.

The visit is part of the exchange between Karnataka, India, and Region Västra Götaland, Sweden that started in 2007.

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4 december, 2009

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Authors

Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

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