Oscar-winning director encourages young filmmakers at film festival

Dai Mengyi
Danis Tanovic encouraged young filmmakers to devote themselves to telling heartfelt and sincere stories, recalling his experiences during his directorial debut "No Man's Land."
Dai Mengyi

Danis Tanovic encouraged young filmmakers to devote themselves to telling heartfelt and sincere stories, during a master class the Oscar-winning director attended via livestreaming at the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival.

Tanovic recalled his experiences during his directorial debut "No Man's Land," a masterpiece that won the Bosnian director the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002.

"No Man's Land" is a war film set in the midst of the Bosnian War in the early 1990s when Tanovic was a war correspondent, witnessing the cruelty and absurdity of the war.

"It's the experience as a journalist that inspired me to finally write the drama," he said. "It took me only seven days to complete the script, following an entire year of brainstorming about all the details of the story."

"It took about 27 days to shoot the film after the storyboard preparation and scriptwriting were completed," he added.

Tanovic, 52, believes filmmaking is learned by practicing, and is calling for young filmmakers to "dare to try" and "tell heartfelt stories."

"The only suggestion I would offer young filmmakers is to follow your heart and put that into practice," he said. "The story is the core of a film, and telling a good story is the filmmaker's duty. However, I wouldn't limit the choices of young people by rudely concluding which type of genre is better than others."

Tanovic noted that a real masterpiece is art that is capable of changing real-life issues, but "I wouldn't say filming historic drama is the only way to achieve that."

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