LJUBLJANA: FNE spoke with Nataša Bučar, Head of the Slovenian Film Center, about achieved goals, challenges in developing domestic film industry, the future of Slovenian cinema and her personal taste in films.
Nataša Bučar has extensive experience in management and film industry. She had managed LIFFe, the biggest International Film Festival in Slovenia, for several years. She has gained management experience as the director of the 12th Slovenian Film Festival, deputy director of the SFC, as well as general director of the media directorate at the Slovenian Ministry of Culture. She also worked as a marketing expert in the Kinodvor arthouse cinema, established by the City of Ljubljana.
FNE: How did you start working in the film industry?
Nataša Bučar: My starting point was at the Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe), the biggest international film festival in Slovenia. I worked with the festival for several years.
FNE: What were your main goals when you became the Head of the SFC in December 2016?
Nataša Bučar: Firstly, my goal was to ensure better conditions for film and audiovisual production in Slovenia, and to strengthen the institution and its position, as well as Slovenian film in general, both nationally and internationally.
Another goal was to deepen the connection between the three national institutions in the field of audiovisual creativity - the Slovenian Film Centre, the Slovenian Public Television and Viba Film studio, which with their programmes and activities establish the basic framework for Slovenian audiovisual production.
Thirdly, to successfully start implementing the cash rebate scheme and to strengthen the promotion of film culture in the widest sense, in order to develop a high-quality film audience in Slovenia.
FNE: What have you managed to achieve so far?
Nataša Bučar: With my team, we have managed to ensure some improvements for producers and filmmakers. The cash rebate scheme came into force and foreign productions are starting to recognise Slovenia as an attractive film location.
FNE: As Head of SFC, which achievements are you most proud of?
Nataša Bučar: I believe that the publishing of a study on gender equality in the Slovenian film industry, a pioneer work we have completed earlier this year, was a historical moment.
FNE: What are your future priorities in your area of expertise?
Nataša Bučar: For me, the most important future goal is to ensure more financial resources for films and for our programmes.
FNE: What do you think about Slovenian cinema nowadays?
Nataša Bučar: Slovenian film creativity is in excellent condition. There is a lot of enthusiasm and emerging talent in our cultural space, and our filmmakers keep establishing themselves nationally as well as internationally.
With their visible presence in the world of commercials, our technical crews have gained a lot of experience and knowledge. Our postproduction facilities have been recognised and praised on the international film scene.
The main disadvantages that our filmmakers have to face are the severe financial restrictions. The Slovenian cultural policy still has a hard time recognising the importance of the film and AV industry. Thus, the amount of resources we have had at our disposal for film production has been very meagre, and after the financial crisis the situation has not yet improved.
FNE: Where do you see the Slovenian film industry five years from now?
Nataša Bučar: I look to the future with a great deal of optimism, because I have strong faith in the competence of Slovenian filmmakers and in their potential.
FNE: What sorts of films do you usually watch?
Nataša Bučar: I do watch films a lot, particularly in cinemas and at festivals. I very much enjoy art films, social dramas and films about common people.
FNE: Your favourite Slovenian film?
Nataša Bučar: Hang on, Doggy / Sreča na vrvici (1977) by Jane Kavčič (produced by Vesna Film). It is a film from my childhood.