Welkom, Welcome, Dobro Došli, Hos Geldiniz, Mirë se erdhët, Z dobym prybytsyom, Bun Venit, Dobro Doshle, Dobro pozhalovat', Dobre Dosli, Bien ati ven

Rada Šešić on Eastern Neighbours Film Festival
Cinema of the Eastern Europe has always had an exceptionally exciting aesthetics, named by critics often as Magic Realism or Poetic Realism. Films of the masters such as Dusan Makavejev or Aleksandar Petrovic have made a deep impact on the world cinema scene in the 1960ties and 70tiesnot only in Europe but on the world scene (Once I met a happy Gypsy too, film by A. P. won a Golden Palm in Cannes, films WR or Mystery of Orgasm by D.M. won several important awards, Early Works by Zelimir Zilnik won a Golden Bear in Berlin in 1968.).

Following the tradition of the old masters and cultural/aesthetical milieu of these countries, the new directors are successfully bringing freshness and lucidity into the cinema of Europe. They keep their uniqueness having Eastern European black humor, Eastern European sense of storytelling, yet they are modern in cinematic style and appealing for the world audience. (Several major awards proved that in the last decade, starting from an Oscar to Tiger, Golden Bear, and Golden Leopard etc.).

One more reason to bring these films to the Dutch audience is to share the views with the neighborous. Some of these countries such as Bulgaria and Romania are already part of the EU, soon some other will become too. Who are our neighborous, how they think, what they find important, what is funny for them, what they think of us....? I believe that cinema is the best measurement for the folks' mental and cultural “temperature". While getting immigrants from far away, other continents, let’s first get acquainted with our neighborous, let’s understand them better in order to take a justified position in our potential discussions.

The third reason in getting Eastern European films/music/culture in general and presenting it to the Dutch audience is to broaden our knowledge and mind regarding the Muslims and their culture. Balkan countries such as Bosnia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania, and Kosovo have a quite some number of Muslims. Even the Islamic culture is noticeable in the countries with Christian majority such as Serbia and Macedonia. Do we understand our Muslim neighborous? Why do we fear them? Films and music is impregnated with the notions of the Islamic culture, history and spirit. Why not watch them and enjoy them in order to understand them better? 

Most of the films from our program have never been released in The Netherlands. Some of them were screened at IFFR as a part either of Tiger competition or Time and Tijd section but after Rotterdam festival they were never picked up by either TV or a distributor. So, most of the Dutch audience did not have a chance to see them.

Denis Mujović on Eastern Neighbours Film Festival
Since our Multimedia project in 2006 I have realized that the hype around firstly Balkan music got something of a mainstream movement. It is remarkable that we have been on fore front when this happened and then it sky rocketed on different levels of cultural life: venues, festivals, concert halls, streets, bars you name it. Eastern Neighbours team is consisted of immigrants, refugees, students from these regions and we believe that we can bring to Dutch public the essence of Eastern European art and culture, surpassing the hype about it. We are not going with this wave, we have been before the hype and will stay long after it, because our dedication and love for the films and our background is far stronger than a hype.
I hope our audience will appreciate our work in bringing the best from the Eastern Europe, because there is still much more to discover in coming years with Eastern Nieghbours Film Festival.

Foundation Cultural Aid
Founded in 2005 the Foundation Cultural Aid has presented rapid progress in bridging the European cultures together. The organization tends to justify its presence in the cultural fields and its pluralistic stand throughout composition of diverse collaborative cultural programs and activities. Cultural Aid composes cultural programs which deliver unique leadership, innovation and transform artistic inspiration into commitment. A clear reason for being present in cultural organizational context is that the foundation provides multicultural exchange and cooperation within the European frame. Formulating, governing and executing the high-level cultural designs and programs, is the paramount goal of our functioning.
The current focus (2006 - 2010) stands at exchange programs between "eastern" and "western" Europe. The recent achievements rely upon knowledge, creativity and openness for cooperation in all cultural segments.  Cultural Aid unselfishly offers its capacities to all organizations, regardless the origin, which are willing to make sustainable achievements in terms of knowledge, know-how, exchange, communication, and positioning.

Recent Projects:

11 June – 1 September 2006
Presentation of Macedonian pavilion on 51th Venice Binnale
Palazzo Zorzi, Castello 4930 Venice , Italy

8 September – 29 October, 2006
Eastern Neighbours, Cultural Center Babel, Oudenoord 275 Utrecht, the Netherlands.
13 East European countries are presenting their cultural values on an organized multimedia presentation in the Netherlands. Eastern Neighbours is an international project in which 13 East European identities are presented to the large audience in the Netherlands.

4 May – 18 June 2007
Song of Innocence and Aggression, Cifte Amam – National Gallery of Macedonia
Organizers: Foundation Cultural Aid and National Gallery of Macedonia
Curator: Thom Puckey, Assistant curator: Ana Frangovska

4th – 6th April 2008
Forum Skopje – “A Soul for Europe” / “ “
Cristal Hall – Macedonian Parliament

More information about Foundation Cultural Aid on www.culturalaid.com