Alternatives on Alternative Film and Video Festival 2011


Jean-Gabriel Périot, jury member of the International Festival of New Film and Video, Alternative in Belgrade and winner of many awards   makes films exclusively from the archive pictures and documents that are a confront and comment on current politics, historical events, for instance Hiroshima or socio-economic themes, including unemployment or gay rights. His films use archival footage and images from the news or forgotten Internet files. Périot edits the images together to create a story-montage, but the viewer draws her or his own conclusions about the ultimate meaning of it. The Barbarians (2010) is his last film and begins with a slow montage of photo portraits of world leaders and public figures as static images from summit or press conference. As one image replaces the other and the pictures shifts fast, the effect adds up in another layer of photographs that include citizens, weddings picks or school pictures and speeds up the slide show until you cannot keep up. It slows down again in order to reveal the individual images that strike against society and its structures and police vehicles in order to reveal violence of today. Quite original!


Here is what Jean Gabriel Périot said to us:

Tell us about the competition program, and what criteria and what values you saw in the movies as a jury of this festival?

This is complicated answer: it is certainly different to watch film as a regular part of the audience from judging it as the jury. Because if I do not like film I still have to look at it more closely. I like movie theme or project that fits in the technique or fits in everything. Still searching for the answer to a question whether the movie is good or not. I love when the movie is well done technically. If I like the movie, sometimes I can be subjective, but sometimes I like the movie even if it is not a masterpiece. I like the movies to teach me about something.


Your future plans with regard to the festival? Also on the future of film production?

I'm working on different projects. These projects are different lengths. One project I have started 4 years ago and it is the feature-length documentary based only by archives. However, in some monitored fractions, there are groups of people who became friends with terrorists and now they are making movies. In addition, I just want the material for the film, plus to mention that this will be a political film. However, the question that I will ask why will be why choosing camera rather than weapons. This is very complicated project and all documentation has been around dumped or lost. Memory is lost but everything can be found in the archives. That is what I do. And our producer is collecting money for the project right now. We have just begun the financing process.  Another project is documentary film that will be shooting in jail with the prisoners. This is the first documentary that I will really shoot with real camera. This is new for me. I also work on a new short film and this is an ongoing project.


Your impressions of the festival?

I liked region area not only Serbia. I know about Ljubljana and Sarajevo. What I liked about this program and films on festival is something that I did not expect. That is cinematography of former Yugoslavia, where I discovered a lot, a lot of movies and video, which is truly breathtaking for me and continues to impress me. I discovered new movies, new authors like Galeta, I love his movies, I really trying to discover new cinematography here.


By Radmila Djurica, December 21, 2011