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Impressions from the Cinematography and Directing Workshop with Fred Kelemen 

10. 10. 2023.

From September 18 to September 22 Cinematography and Directing Workshop with Fred Kelemen was held in Split for the fourth time. Workshop was part of the International film program Mind the image/Pazi na sliku organized by Kino klub Split. This time seven participants were selected to attend the program: Marija Arakelyan Lučić, Petar Bubalo, Petra Crnjac, Petra Duspara, Alma Mimica, Orly Nurany i Tea Radić. To conclude an intensive, inspiring and productive week, we asked them to share their impressions with us.

Petra Crnjac: There are moments in life that leave you speechless. Where all you can feel is an abundance of fullness. It’s bittersweet, knowing that this moment in time will end but that you were privileged enough to live through it. Kelemen orchestrated a field full of light, where all of us could bloom with knowledge that he has so freely passed onto us. His teachings are different from everything I’ve ever heard. It was exactly what I was yearning to learn, yet couldn’t even imagine was possible. During the workshop, I would be left without words very often — being in stillness, in awe of what was playing around me. It felt like a touch of the divine that I was blessed to experience. It was so beautiful to witness how Kelemen directed us each into our authentic expression and encouraged us to bring our visions to life no matter the challenges we faced. It was an honor to be a part of this workshop, to have met everyone who was there. I hope I’ve shown these people how special I see them through my eyes. You are all very talented and I am more than excited to see your upcoming work. I’ve learned so much from all of you, and I am so grateful to you for that. Thank you Fred Kelemen and Kino klub Split for accepting me as a participant of this life-changing workshop. I will honor it forever.

Alma: First of all, I want to thank Kino klub and Sunčica for organizing this wonderful workshop. Just listening to Fred talking about the film was a special experience. I was particularly interested in his spiritual and philosophical approach to the film. In a short time, we covered topics from the way of thinking about the film, to lighting, timing, recording and technical execution of the project. Working in a team and on other people’s films was very fun and educational, and I will remember Fred’s advice and try to apply it in future projects.

Orly: Fred Klemen is extremely sensitive and generous. He has a peculiar combination of high intellect and deep understanding of human vulnerability. He has the unique skill of seeing light in a metaphysical sense and talking about it out loud, in a way that really gets under your skin and stays with you. He is critical, not judgmental, and very patient – being together on our small film sets was priceless. Overwhelming and tender alike. I am so humbled, grateful and honored by the week we spent together…That’s a lot coming from a pessimist! Also massive thank you to Sunčica and Marin who invest in the community that is Kino klub Split. For seeing the value in a physical film hub next to making their own films and still hosting very kindly this precious time we had: An incredible group of people gathered listening to the calm tone of voice of Fred Kelemen, as we tripped together into ourselves.

Marija: It is hard to find words for the beautiful 6 days spent in the camera and directing workshop led by Fred Kelemen. Fred goes to the heart of the essence of film art and illuminates the question of “how” in the making of a film. Starting from darkness and gradually building the light within it, he took us to a metaphysical realm where we touched life itself. Theoretical concepts and practical exercises emerged together, with the magic of each participant’s results being vibrant. While we talked about film, this art transcended into something much deeper, mystical, and poetic. This whole experience is a creative nourishment to an artistic soul. I left Split filled with warmth, more creative, motivated, and enlightened. I am thankful to Kino klub Split, Sunčica, and Marin for making this magic possible, to all participants who were supportive and helped each other and, of course, to Fred, who was patient, assisting, and pushed our own boundaries as a cinematic and spiritual mentor. I wish this could be my film school.


Photographed: Petra Crnjac and Marin Tudor


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