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Impressions from the Cinematography and Directing Workshop with Fred Kelemen

09. 05. 2022

From April 11 to April 16 Cinematography and Directing Workshop with Fred Kelemen was held in Split for the third time. Workshop was part of International film program Mind the image/Pazi na sliku organized by Kino klub Split. This time seven participants were selected to attend the program: Ivana Papić (Split, Berlin), Mihael Bažoka (Kaštela), Tina Ljubenkov (Split), Melissa Riggall (London), Daniel Lončar (Supetar), Josip Šimić (Split), Ivan Koroman (Sarajevo). To conclude intensive, inspiring and productive week, we asked them to share their impressions with us.

Ivana: This was the second time I had participated in the Fred Kelemen’s film workshop, and I knew some unexpected magic was going to happen. I decided to challenge myself and film my late grandmother’s village solely in “handheld” style to give it a more intimate feel. In the terrain of karst and stone, under the young spring sun, one can find solitude and poetry. And so my camera flew freely, and it was quite a liberating experience. Among other valuable exercises, Fred showed us films that are going to stay with me, I believe, forever. I met exceptional individuals in the workshop, and our group energy was all about being supportive and fun!

Mihael: This workshop is definitely one of the best lectures I have ever attended. Very interesting, informative and totally changed my attitude around the whole art of film.

Tina: Fred’s workshop was very useful for me to advance my knowledge in the fields of filmmaking. Since I have already mastered the basics I could go a little deeper into the subject of film lighting and related topics. Fred is a person with a unique filmography and a lot of practical experience, so students who already have knowledge can go step further with him, even though he is a great lecturer for beginners as well. The workshop was concrete, focused, practical and generally very motivating to continue with the filmmaking.

Melissa: It was a week of high-contrast light and darkness. Meeting other participants in the dark screening room of the Kino klub, whilst listening to Fred talk about the creation of images that transcend themselves. Hearing words like Beauty, Love, Life that are rarely echoed in directing and cinematography workshops. Letting this settle to some kind of understanding as I follow the smokers out on their breaks in the sun. Laughter and light. Fred listening intently to all participants, and carefully teasing out their imagined worlds and ideas, and letting them flourish.  And then as a counterpoint to talking in the dark, we do very practical things; we venture out to a sunlit verdant park by the sea to do a set exercise to explore the potential of camera movement to instill meaning and transformation. Then, the recreation of a Velasquez painting in the studio, how to recreate this lighting. Lighting and movement of the camera as highly physical acts that are underpinned by ideas and a view of the world. In the evenings we watch films, very different, some open and broad in their meaning, others tightly wrung around the same message. Palms, Vagabond Images, and to finish the week in an exuberant yet minimalist celebration of life, we watch Davandeh by Amir Naderi. Mornings for me were spent hunting images and characters around the Kašuni beach, of which a little film will be made. Against the background of dispirited times, this week was inspiring and refreshing, and broadened up my perception of what camera movement and lighting can do, a move away from filming ´reality´ with supposedly minimal intervention. I shared ideas for my next film, and I learnt how to transcribe these images onto paper in a filmic way. I met a lovely group of artists and friends, all very different in their approach, and I’m eternally grateful to the Kino klub Split and Fred Kelemen for this wonderful opportunity to learn, share, discuss and create.

Daniel: Workshop with Fred Kelemen was great and very inspiring, but also a very intense experience for me. It gave me different insights about creating and transcending things through the images and film. When talking about script, camera movements, lighting or film ideas in general Fred always has a very interesting way of explaining things. I am happy for being able to take part in this workshop.

Josip: I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to Fred and Cine Club Split for this incredible opportunity to learn, exchange ideas and evolve with one of the greats. I am happy to have met some wonderful people that attended this workshop and hope we stay in touch in whatever capacity. If there is one word able to describe what I felt during this week it would be – magic, and I care not if it sounds cheesy.

I sincerely hope this is not the last we see Fred in our city or these kinds of workshops, as a matter of fact, with knowledgeable guest lecturers from every corner of film industry.

Ivan: The workshop was great; although there was a lack of structure to the workshop, the mentor had an incredible wealth of knowledge and the ability to both effectively share it with and inspire the participants (or at least me :). I’ve attended around 15 film workshops so far, and, apart from Aristoteles with Thierry Garrell, this was the only workshop that inspired me to re-do the workshop exercises on my own after the workshop, which already resulted in two experimental montages. The films we’ve watched were great and the “master-classes” very useful and enjoyable; for me, the highlight was the camera movement exercise, where I completely re-discovered the potential of camera movement quite lacking in my previous work. It was fantastic to meet the mentor, the organizers and other participants, and I am sure I will both see again and perhaps work with some of the other participants. I would definitely like to come again for a similar workshop. Thank you!

Read interview with Fred Kelemen here.

Rad Kino kluba Split podržavaju Hrvatski audiovizualni centar, Društvo hrvatskih filmskih redatelja, Grad Split, Nacionalna zaklada za razvoj civilnog društva i Zaklada Kultura nova.

Workshop participants Josip Šimić, Mihael Bažoka and Tina Ljubenkov, Kino klub Split (2022); photo: Dragutin Andrić
Workshop participants Ivan Koroman and Melissa Riggall, Kino klub Split (2022); photo: Dragutin Andrić
Ivana Papić, Kino klub Split (2022); photo: Dragutin Andrić
Workshop participants, Josip Šimić, Kino klub Split (2022); photo: Dragutin Andrić
Workshop participants Daniel Lončar and Mihael bažoka, Sustipan (2022); photo: Dragutin Andrić