A few facts about The School of Documentary Films, Croatia

Also during the eighth edition of One World Romania, I had the chance to talk to film maker, Oliver Sertic, from Croatia, whose film company develops a training programme for begginer film makers.

Tell me more about your film company, Restart: When did you found it? How many documentaries did it produce?
Oliver Sertic: Restart was founded in 2007 by 6 documentary film-makers, editors, producers, some people that are working in the media. The first initiative was actually to make a kind of educational app, because in Croatia we missed it at the time. We still miss th proper education for the documentary film. We actually started as an open hub of documentary young professionals to organize something around education for creative documentary films and video activism. It developed with the years, so in 2009 we opened the documentary cinema. We started the distribution of the created documentaries and the production linked with all of this. Now we are like 14 people working for and with the documentaries, producing films, distributing films and doing the cinema. We have this school of documentary film. It like four months calls for the most of the begginers in the documentary film making and helping them to film themselves in the creative documentar film making and to give them like a push to do it more. Considering the production of documentaries, we have produced so far 20 films, 3 feature documentaries and 16-17 short films (from 5 minutes to 30 minutes). Now we have like 20 films in different developments, different stages of production.
About the School of documentary – who can apply to the four months course?
Oliver Sertic: Everybody can apply. Once a week we have a column apply in all the media we can reach. Basically, we always get around 40 applicants, but unfortunately we can ten only ten. We have two rounds of application: the first one is the written one with several questions, we are trying to find out how people are thinking about the documentaries, what kind of stories would they do, where they go with the thoughts, are they creative enough. Then we have a presenatation in which we are trying to give them sene of what the school would be. The school is cheap, is 200 euros for all, and partly you can volunteer if you don’t have money. After the presentation, we give them a task – they have seven days to make a short documentary about themselves or to present a story they want to see. Comparing these two things, the written part and the visual part, we choose these ten people, that we are working with. For three months we have like three days a week out of which two days are 10 hours working and the third day is just watching and analyzing the film. Then the last month, we are working one on one, mentoring their final exercises, meaning their final films. Then we have an official presentation of these final exercises, but it doesn’t stop for everybody then. After the school is officially finished we have a programme called Restart Laboratory, that is a kind of hub for begignner film-makers. We choose two to three directors from the school that we want to make their first films. Then we produce their first short films through this laboratory. Then we are distributing the films at the festivals.


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