agustin karbonere

Argentinian director and screenwriter Agustin Carbonere visited Novi Sad for the first time as part of the Novi Sad Film Festival, where it became evident that his fondness for the people of Novi Sad and the city itself was mutual. El Santo won the Audience Award, marking the first time, after a series of awards, that he received recognition from the viewers, a fact that the director is particularly proud of.

The impressions he gathered from the first festival edition, as he emphasizes, speak in favor of it becoming a significant future festival, with special importance given to the people he met in our city. We talked to Augustin about the nuances that distinguish good from bad films, the key aspects of the creative process, and the director's plans for the future, which he hopes will include the next Novi Sad Film Festival.

Your film won the audience award at the recently concluded Novi Sad Film Festival - why is this award important to you and what do you think is the key to the success of the film El Santo, considering that you have won numerous awards so far? El Santo, s obzirom na to da si do sada osvojio brojne nagrade?

We never won a Audience Award before Novi Sad, and it was something that I was really desiring, because, I make films to dialogue with people with different levels of interest, and culture, and winning a prize like that in a country that it’s different from ours, but at the same time has a lot in common, it was more than satisfying. It was an strong sign, that the film can dialogue with people of other cultures and backgrounds. Also the films that were in the competition with us, were so spectaculars, I love them all. For example the slasher movie from Lithuania, Pensive. To be honest I’m not used to this kind of movie genre, but when I saw it, I was astonished, it’s such a great movie. All of the films were amazing.

El Santo is your debut feature film - how demanding was the work on the first film and how was the process from the idea to its realization?

It’s demanding of course, because you invest a lot of effort and money making an independent film, but it’s so worthy, really, it’s such a beautiful experience, that you even notice the effort. Is super rewarding. In our case, every single element flow smoothly, thanks that we made a solid team with Eva. It’s was a beautiful experience.  

It is said that good writing requires a lot of reading, and what is the situation with directing a film - what is necessary to make a high-quality and artistically valuable film?

I think that being honest and sincere about the vision. Of course there is a lot of sources of inspiration for movies, but the most important thing it’s to be honest. But no honest in a moral way, honest in a profound level, try to explore even your deepest darkest feelings. And the it’s like a virus, you contagious the people you work with. If you try to be condescending, I think it doesn’t matter if you watch a lot of movies, you read a lot, you are skilled working with actors, it’s going to be a horrible film. My other advice it’s to shoot as much as we can, this is a language, and you have to understand it, and practice it. Even if you do shitty things… precisely if you do shitty things.

What impressions did you take from Novi Sad Film Festival, considering that this is its first edition?

I was amazed. It’s going to be an important festival, I’m sure of it. Because the people that created and work on it are passionate. Truly passionated. And for the first edition, the selection of movies was very strong, diverse, and hi-quality. Besides the city itself it’s perfect. It has history and modernity, it has a perfect scale for a film festival. Besides it’s beautiful and people are so friendly.

In the digital era in which we live, what is the importance of festivals like these and, in general, personal acquaintance and contact with people - what do such gatherings bring to you, as professionals?

It’s the most important thing, it’s the real difference. It’s vital to keep great movies existing. It’s the resistance that we need from the algorithmic content. At Novi Sad Film Festival I met very interesting people, and it was so nutritious. For example, Nikola Spasić and his marvelous film Kristina . It’s been so inspiring knowing him and his screenwriter, Milanka Gvoić.

Finally, would you share with us some of your professional plans and wishes for the future?

With Eva Padro, the finest producer in the world, we are preparing our new movie. It's delirious, but we love it. It’s a part of three movies, and all of them have in common that the main character has some sort of gift. The first was El Santoand we are starting with the next one. Of course, I would love to be at Novi Sad’s Film Festival for the next edition.

Photo: V. Veličković