Milan Senić, 49, is a Sarajevo-born professional fashion designer. Milan is also a film-lover, but usually he does not have time to watch movies because of his work. Last year he saw an announcement posted on Facebook by a project called the European Film Challenge.
The announcement invited audiences to watch ten European movies over ten weeks on any kind of legal media.
After watching the films, contestants had to share their cinephile experience on social networks and collect points.
The contestant who collected the highest number of points would have the opportunity to experience a major film festival, with costs fully covered by the project.
“As they say: if you want to do something, you’ll find the time; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
A good habit
Milan decided to take the challenge and started to select and watch movies. Before the challenge he was one of those people who wanted to watch more films but didn’t have time for it. “The challenge helped me to re-establish a good habit of watching films on a regular basis. As they say: if you want to do something, you’ll find the time; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
Milan enjoyed the experience of the contest, as he is a big fan of European film. In search of the best European films, he says he found out about a lot of interesting directors and movies. Until then he had generally preferred Spanish, Italian and French films but during the challenge he says he was delighted, for example, to discover Hungarian films that he had not seen before.
His efforts produced results. Milan was lucky enough to win the competition and an opportunity to be part of the Cannes Film Festival. “I had some information about Cannes but when I went there, I was shocked to see how everything was so expensive and beautiful. It was an amazing experience to see that glamour and luxury,” he says.
For most people at Cannes, the Festival is a business trip to meet with producers, directors and other film industry partners. In this sense, Milan had an advantage: he was able to do nothing but enjoy the festival and watch the films.
But he also had an opportunity to benefit professionally from visiting the festival. Cannes is famous as a film festival where fashion is an essential part of everything, and it was an exceptional experience to see it all live. “It was a beneficial professional experience too, as Cannes is very important both for the film and fashion industries,” says Milan.
Promoting European film
Milan was just one of the winners from participant countries who were part of the project. Following the success of previous editions, the project hit the next stage in audience development and community growth.
This includes four main innovative ideas to be applied: a film-influencer programme and content curation platform, cinema-lovers events and a cinephile market study that digests the data gathered in the contest.
The partner countries include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechia, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Portugal, and Serbia.
The European Film Challenge project is funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe Programme that supports the cultural and creative sectors.
Photo Credits: Milan Senić