JSFF | JAPANESE - SERBIAN FILM FESTIVAL PROVIDED A DECADE-LASTING EXCHANGE PLATFORM BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES OF MIXED CONTENT TO BOTH AUDIENCES IN JAPAN AND SERBIA.
"It is the nature of love to give, and not to take." - Natsume Soseki, Kokoro
It is the only long-term principle in any exchange, that you will be valued based on what you give, and what you can share and provide. Once we realize the longevity of anything we are doing together, it is better if consider the people around us as a form of family. Every long-lasting story is built in trust, and it is friendship that gives energy for extra effort, tolerance and support in common doings. The Two country format (on which JSFF is based on) creates an opportunity for cross-cultural exchange, not just between filmmakers but also between audiences, where we can break all the unknowns in process of getting to know each other better.
Friendship is like a well-seeded plant. However, the culture should maintain it. In this article, we explore the power of cultural exchange through film and how the two-country format of the JSFF helps facilitate it.
The exchange of cultural ideas and practices has played a significant role in shaping the world we live in today. Throughout history, artists, creators, and thinkers have traveled across borders, exchanging ideas and enriching each other's cultures. One of the most powerful forms of cultural exchange is through film, which has the unique ability to transcend language and cultural barriers and reach audiences across the world.
One of the most famous examples of cultural exchange in film is the influence of Western cinema on Japanese filmmakers but also the other way around. Akira Kurosawa's films, such as Seven Samurai (Inspired by the work of legendary John Ford) and Rashomon, had later a profound impact on filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola. Lets also not forget that some of the arguably best remakes of Shakespeare's plays by the majority of critics are done by Akira Kurosawa (Ran and Throne of Blood). Kurosawa's use of multiple perspectives, non-linear narrative structure, and dynamic camera movement inspired a new generation of filmmakers, who adopted these techniques and brought them to Western cinema. Of course, he wasn't the only one of that era with such influence, even today we can see the global influence on filmmakers from the principles set by Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu.
Coproductions are being more applied today by contemporary Japanese directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, who has made several films in different countries, including France and South Korea. The two-way exchange of ideas and techniques is undoubtedly leading to a richer, more diverse cinematic landscape that draws from a variety of cultural traditions.
REINVENTING THE VALUE IN DIFFERENT CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT
"If one can find beauty in imperfection, one can find value in anything." - Daisaku Ikeda
However, the exchange of cultural ideas is not limited to the world of film. In architecture, for example, the influence of Japanese aesthetics can be seen in the work of one of the greatest American architects, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Wright was deeply influenced by Japanese architecture, particularly the use of natural materials and the concept of harmony between nature and the built environment. Wright based his own “organic” architectural plans on similarly overlapping geometric modules on sketch work by Japanese print artist, Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849). Wrights understanding in design methodology and Japanese philosophy-rooted approach was also recognized in Japan, where he eventually built 14 projects, including the most significant representation of Japanese influence, The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (1912-1922).
Similarly, in the world of fashion, Japanese textiles and national costumes have had a significant impact on designers around the world. The kimono, for example, has inspired designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and John Galliano, who have incorporated its distinctive silhouette and patterns into their designs. The exchange of ideas between different cultures has helped to create new trends and push the boundaries of traditional design.
The power of cultural exchange extends beyond the world of art and design. It has the ability to promote understanding, tolerance, and empathy between people from different cultures. When we are exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking, we are forced to re-evaluate our own assumptions and biases. This can lead to a greater appreciation of other cultures and a more nuanced understanding of the world we live in.
The two-country format of the JSFF helps facilitate this kind of cultural exchange by bringing together filmmakers and audiences from two different cultures. By showcasing films from both Japan and Serbia, the festival creates an opportunity for filmmakers to learn from each other and for audiences to be exposed to new and different perspectives. The festival also promotes the exchange of ideas through workshops and panel discussions, which bring together filmmakers, critics, and industry professionals from both countries.
One of the most exciting aspects of the JSFF is the potential for cross-cultural collaboration between filmmakers. When artists from different cultures come together, they bring their own unique perspectives and experiences.