Masterclass with Mila Turajlić
Trusting the Process: The Director in the Editing Room
The creation of a documentary is like the construction of a prototype: for each film, a different path must be charted, and the process of collaboration is found a-new. Inside the editing suite, a remarkable relationship evolves between the editor and director, and each one to the material. Finding the film in the rushes, attuning the senses to its poetry, and challenging its seeming chaos to find structure becomes a journey that is never repeated in the same way for two films. “Scenes from the Labudovic Reels” started off as a project for a single feature film, and over two years evolved into a documentary diptych of two films, each with its own form and storytelling. By looking at what worked and what didn’t, how and when the editing approach adapts to the demands of the story, and how relating to an absent audience is ultimately present in each consideration, learning to trust the process becomes as valuable as the outcome itself.
MILA TURAJLIĆ is a documentary filmmaker born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Her most recent film, a documentary diptych Scenes from the Labudović Reels: Non-Aligned and Ciné-Guerrillas premiered at the Toronto IFF and IDFA in 2022. Her previous film, The Other Side of Everything premiered at the Toronto IFF in 2017 and went on to win 32 awards including the prestigious IDFA Award for Best Documentary Film. It was a New York Times Critics’ Pick and was named one of the best films of 2018 by The New Yorker’s Richard Brody. The film was HBO Europe’s first co-production with Serbia and had a record-breaking theatrical release in Serbia. Mila’s debut documentary film Cinema Komunisto, premiered at IDFA and the Tribeca Film Festival and went on to win 16 awards including the Gold Hugo at the Chicago Int’l Film Festival in 2011, and the FOCAL Award for Creative Use of Archival Footage. Theatrically released in France, UK, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia, Cinema Komunisto was broadcast across Europe.
In her work with archives, Mila researches the intersection of personal and national memories, always seeking to reactivate forgotten histories, through forms ranging from lecture performances and video art to analytical essays. In 2018 she was commissioned by MoMA in New York to create a series of archive-based video installations for their landmark exhibition on Yugoslav modernist architecture. In 2020 Mila was awarded a Fellowship at Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas & Imagination to pursue her long-term artistic research project Non-Aligned Newsreels, a deep dive into the archival materials resulting from Yugoslavia’s ciné-collaborations with the decolonizing world. The project was selected for the prestigious Cph: Lab in 2021, and video works and performances from the project have been performed and presented at the Berlin Biennale, Belgrade Biennale, and IDFA on Stage.
Mila is a member of the TED Fellows 2021 cohort. She was invited to join the Oscars Documentary Branch of AMPAS the same year. In 2021 Mila was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the Government of France.
The discussions will be led by Victor Ede, producer (Cinephage Productions, FR).
Masterclass with Vladimir Gojun
Editing creative documentaries: Understanding what your material offers
During this conversation led by Petra Seliškar, we’ll try to find answers to some important questions:
What is the role of an editor in a documentary film and what is the role of the director? Could you do something else but editing? What does it feel like to be stuck in the last stage of editing? Not sure if the structure needs rethinking? Can’t ‘kill your darlings’ and where and how do you convince the director to forget about the most precious scene?
Who needs assistance in editing when another person is needed in editing? When are you ready to expose your work to intense questioning, reflecting, exchange of views, experience, and creative concerns that would hopefully bring you closer to the best version of your film? When is the film ready to be shown to the audience?
VLADIMIR GOJUN (b. 1979. Dubrovnik, Croatia) graduated in Film Editing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb where he currently works as an Associate Professor.
He’s the editor of internationally acclaimed features (Buick Riviera, Behind the Glass, You carry me, The Miner, Men Don’t Cry, The Frog, All Alone, Murina) and documentaries (Cash & Marry, Houston, we have a Problem!, The King, Russian, My world upside down, Steel Mill Caffe, Everything will not be fine, The Investigator), shorts (Yellow Moon, Breath, Red Light, The Real Truth About the Fight) and experimental films (From to, First gasp). He directed four documentaries (Cycles, Times of Great Depression). He has received numerous awards in the country and abroad for his editing and directing work.