Alida Dimitriou Award Interview: Simon Intihar


Simon Intihar, director of Kopanje (Diving-In), altcineAction! 2015-16 Alida Dimitriou Award, shares his thoughts with us about the award, his plans about making a new short or feature film, the significance of an online festival for the filmmakers -especially nowadays that film industry is shifting away from cinemas and the internet gives more opportunities and begins to play a role similar to the traditional tv-, the involment of the audience in the whole procedure and his general expectations for what the future reserves.


Simon Intihar Portrait

Simon Intihar, director of Diving In


How do you feel about winning this award?

I feel very overwhelmed. It is always an honor and privilege to be given recognition, especially by industry professionals and cinema lovers, but to win this sort of award is just an insane feeling!


What do you think about the rationale of the Jury, regarding your film?

I found it very flattering as well as very truthful, with a precise understanding of what I was trying to communicate to the audience – like hitting a nail right on the head!


Tell us what you plan to do with this award?

I plan on making a new film, a feature or short, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I plan on making another film.


How helpful is an Online Festival for the filmmakers?

It is very helpful. The whole film industry is shifting away from cinemas, which is a real shame, but it is also opening doors to new unheard voices and it is doing so with the help of the internet and TV. Most of us were watching the majority of the films we saw in our lifetime on TV – on a smaller screen – so the shift from one medium to the other – the internet – never really needed much accumulating, streaming or downloading from your PC really isn’t too far away from watching TV. The cinema experience is still hands down the best way to watch films, but it takes a lot more effort from the viewer and people usually go see the new Hollywood shit movie and not the new and unique piece of cinema, which usually challenges the viewer.


What do you think about the audience involvement – votes and critiques – in choosing the winning films?

It is nice because there isn’t much politics involved, which is usually a good thing and for us filmmakers it’s really great, but also vital to get feedback from the viewers.


What is your opinion regarding the Best Critic Award and its prize “The 5C Project”?

Movies need to be discussed, analyzed and critiqued, as well as interpreted, felt, seen and be heard. Film critique is an essential part of all forms of art and altcineaction! is really sending out a great example by giving this particular profession more attention, and I think several other festivals should try and follow in this manner.


Besides the short you worked in, were there any other films in the competition that you particularly enjoyed and why?

I must admit I didn’t watch many of the films in competition, but out of the ones I did see I liked: Some of us, Google it, The Locksmith, Pledge, Cut-Ups, The day of the bleeding gums, 5 ways 2 die, Metamorphosis, Seven Steps; I enjoyed them for various reasons, but mostly because they impressed me with the artistic choices they’ve made.

What were your expectations and why you have sent your film to us?

I was just hoping to be selected to the festival and have my film screened to a larger audience and get some feedback.


Do you have any recommendations for the next editions of the festival?

Just keep on doing the great work, maybe try getting more exposure throughout the Balkans, so every year the whole community grows even bigger.


What are your plans and expectations for the future?

I hope Donald Trump is sent to an insane asylum, I hope Europe stops refusing refuges, I hope they start cancelling reality shows and programs that make people even more stupid, I hope they legalize marijuana all over the world, I hope more jobs open up so people won’t be broke as shit, I hope we stop privatizing our water sources, I hope the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement is burned and never seen again, I hope the people of my country start opening up their own mental borders and I hope that the European Union stops fucking with Greece!!!