Final words from Students’ Film Club from University of Łódź


Polish team provided their students’ perspective on all masterclasses, case studies and school encounters during Visegrad Film Forum. It was their first visit of the event. What they think about the VFF?



Visegrad Film Forum gives a possibility to meet experienced filmmakers in person in less formal ambiance than during big film festivals. Although the VFF is open to the general public, the event is targeted mainly at a very special audience – students of film schools. It was an interesting experience for someone who had studied film theory to confront the way of thinking of film industry with students who are concentrated on the practical side of filmmaking. A big advantage of this year VFF’s edition is that some of the main guest speakers were representatives of so called below-the-line film crew. Thanks to that VFF differs from hundreds of other film events and should consequently build its brand on this uniqueness. The organization was very professional, changes in the program are inevitable during film festivals, but the cancelled master class was smoothly replaced with another interesting programme and viewers were quickly informed about the change via social media. It’s a pity that some of the master classes weren’t accompanied by the screenings, as probably only few of the foreign students had a chance to watch “Wasteland” before and consequently couldn’t follow the Q&A with the producer and scriptwriter. A press conference at the beginning of the VFF should be considered.


This was my first time at Visegrad Film Forum and it turned out to be a very interesting and inspiring experience. Although I’m not planning to become a filmmaker myself this event was an excellent possibility to look into the backstage of the filmmaking field. I highly appreciate the opportunity to exchange experiences between practicing and aspiring students. I think it is rewarding to both them as well as people like me, specializing mostly in the theory of film.  I think that the part that needs improvement the most are school encounters. I would recommend reconsidering the form of comparing the schools, because if they represent such different styles, budgets, topic, genres etc. there is nothing to compare really. However, the use of app was a very good move, as it encouraged the participants to ask some more complicated questions in spite of their lack of confidence or fear of speaking in English in public.


VFF seems to be an event which still tries to find its own niche. Having said that, the variety of choice that the forum gives to its participants is really impressive: screenings, masterclasses, case studies and school encounters all amount to an offer which other bigger film events are boasting. The only thing I would suggest when it comes to the overall impression that VFF left on me is that I think the forum should try to focus its interest on a more specific idea (if it’s to integrate the students of schools from different countries, the professionals with the students or something else). Of course I’m not at all objective here but I was really impressed by the technical prowess of Piotr Dylewski’s “Constructor”. That one was definitely my favourite feature. “About My Sister”, on the other hand, was a really interesting and intimate documentary portrayal of a family and personal crisis.


Although I am not really associated with cinematography and during my studies (linguistics for business) I’m not studying film at all, I found this event very interesting. For such an amateur like me, who have watched mostly blockbusters, it was a great experience. Despite the fact that not everything was so obvious to me at first, the guests who run master classes explained everything in an approachable manner. Among the things that need to be improved for the next edition of VFF, I would suggest more careful selection of people who lead school encounters or their better preparation. When it comes to favourite event my choice is Menandros and Thäis. It was a ridiculous, irrational and entertaining story. Moreover, we could meet two very charismatic women, the producer Anna Tydlitátová and the editor Zuzana Walter.


Visegrad Film Forum expands the horizons of and popularizes European cinema movies, which are rarely distributed in other countries. The Forum presented interesting topics and even more interesting people. Additionally, the event offered the possibility to know the work of other international film school students. I loved the master classes where experienced filmmakers shared their knowledge with students and younger filmmakers. So many interesting information are not found even in press interviews! Each event was very educative and allowed us discovering new areas of the cinematography. 


The Visegrad Film Forum was the first event like that outside the Poland in which I’ve taken part. It gave me an opportunity to listen to filmmakers about cinema and their experience with making movies. The Forum was well prepared with diverse meetings allowing me to broaden my knowledge in different fields. I am really happy and I appreciate that I could take part in it. For me the master class with Colin Arthur was the most interesting meeting. The fact that he was the most experienced person gave me opportunity to get to know a lot of interesting facts about movie industry. Also he was easy going and he had a great contact with the audience.


Visegrad Film Forum was first such a big event, which gave me possibility to meet filmmakers from many countries. It is also relevant that despite the Forum is generally directed to students from film schools, it is also opened to common public.  I appreciate the fact that all events were held in less formal atmosphere than it is customary in many film festivals. Another good solution was that, we could see both  professional productions and students films, which proofed, that money is not so necessary to achieve great effects. My favorite event is definitely the master class with Colin Arthur about creating characters and special effects before CGI era. Colin Arthur was very well prepared and gave a lot examples from his and other authors works. And the last but not least, Colin Arthur  showed that he has a great sense of humour and also some kind of healthy distance to his work and his jokes made all audience amused.


VFF is an excellent chance to broadening horizons and to meet many inspiring and charismatic people which know world of the film from the inside. Fascinating meetings (especially with L. Ferrario and Tomas Hruby Stepan Hulik), friendly atmosphere and good format of the event. Also parties were great (especially Thrilled Thursday and Forbidden Friday). My favourite event was master class with Ludovica Ferrario. This event was like entering the unknown for me until now for me of world of special effects which are staying used at productions, where they seem to be unnecessary (the way it was in case of The young pope). The way into which Ludovica Ferrario gave its lecture was on the highest level (many photograph and fragments of the films and series)


It's great that events like this Forum can take place. It's a great chance for film students to exchange experience with other young filmmakers and to meet more experienced professionals. For most of the time it all worked out fine but I didn’t like that the Q&As with the students were not prepared as well as similar Q&As with the professional, esteemed guests. Also, it was hard to compare shorts from different schools, since the background (budgets, years spent on a practical course etc.) of these didn’t have much of a common denominator.