Workshop: Between reality cinema and narration

Many difficulties arise when one wants to create a story out of historical and societal events. When we produce a film, one goal is to make it as appealing as possible for larger groups of people. There are several ways of doing so: to trigger emotions, to adopt a funny tone, to immerse the audience in a great narrative, etc. This is particularly challenging in the case of documentaries dealing with history and society. As a cultural historian, I want to diffuse societal and historical phenomena by way of audio-visual tools in a way which is as accurate as possible. Societal and historical events contain many nuances which have to be integrated in a way or the other in films, but the content of a film must also be fluid and simple. The challenge is to generate attractiveness while keeping a realistic transmission of the events. A fine balance has to be found. In the case of historical documentaries, the type of available material adds a difficulty. Mostly, this genre would include videos of archaeological ruins, statues, ancient inscriptions, historical sites, museums and interviews of experts.With the exception of the interviews, this material is a past, “dead”, material and the documentarist has to find a way to make it alive in order to present it to a larger audience. During the workshop, we will present different types of audio-visual material taken during fieldtrips, related to history, societies and cultures. The main questions are: how to use audio-visual medias to record history and diffuse historical research? How to build a story out of history and ethnograpy? What could be the techniques and tools to create life out of documents on the past? And what are the roles of the interviews? And the voice over? Can we avoid animated reconstruction? 

After the presentation of the audio-visual material, students will be asked to contribute with practical exercises on these questions.

The speakers

Noemie Verdon is a historian of South Asia, at the University of Lausanne, specialist of the history of Afghanistan and Pakistan. She made numerous fieldtrips in relation to her work and has made films about them. She currently travels in countries around the Mediterranean Sea and works on a video project to transmit her research on people and history on YouTube.   

Vladimir Lončar is a filmmaker trained by an RTS (Swiss television) coach in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a qualified teacher of philosophy and history. He currently lives in Belgrade to write a book. He often works with Noemie Verdon on various projects around the world.

Ali Sinaci became a producer to share his passion for artistic expression with artists belonging to different universes. However, the common denominator seems to be the expression of difference as a human wealth, yet to be shared endlessly (

Workshop: Epidemic, pollution and nuclear threat – found-footage film workshop

Welcome to the film workshop of the Alternative film/video festival, where we re-examine some of the postulates of avant-garde film, such as the use of found footage (archival visual material from a wide variety of sources) and ways of editing, i.e. appropriating it into new film units.

During the three-day workshop, we will deal with the motifs of the original material “Epidemic, pollution and nuclear threat”, which was digitized from the 8mm film for this occasion, and try to open the space for participants to experiment and make their own short films, along with examples from the history of avant-garde film in which found footage is an essential element. 


Milica Lapčević, visual artist; Igor M. Toholj and Vladimir Šojat, film authors and editors; mentor Extraordinary Bob (Miroslav Sretenović).

Contact Us

Students' City Cultural Center
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ALTERNATIVE FILM/VIDEO is an international Festival established in 1982. As a meeting place for artists, theorists, critics and audiences, the Festival’s goal is to record and theoretically define movements, promote constructive values and support new creative possibilities in visual media.
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Alternative Film/Video festival

Alternative Film/Video festival