“Showing Violence and Sex in a Movie Is the Cheapest Way to Create Entertainment”

Daria Trifu
Daria Trifu

Brasov International Film Festival & Market takes place for 11 consecutive days each year in Brasov, Romania. In 2014, the Festival will take place from September 4 to 14.

As our site RMN Stars is the Official Media Partner for the Festival, we invited the Festival founder and director Daria Trifu to discusss an array of aspects about the Festival and the current trends in the global entertainment markets.

Here she expresses her views in an exclusive interview with Rakesh Raman, the managing editor of RMN Stars.

Here’s the interview.

1. Today, when the entire film market is centered around Hollywood, what’s going to be the significance of the Brasov International Film Festival particularly for the participating filmmakers?

Just because everything is concentrated on Hollywood, every window of opportunity for young filmmakers who have an interest in nonviolent themes should be welcome. In Hollywood, of course, there are people who make violent films and, sometimes, films that do not deserve to be made, but there are also amazing filmmakers who make nonviolent masterpieces.

Until now, the previous editions of our Festival have always featured some top Hollywood productions together with movies from young filmmakers from all over the world. I believe that this year it will not be different and, what is important for me, is to offer to our viewers very interesting and beautiful movies, some from Hollywood and some not.

A screening in Brasov, at our Festival, is a free European premiere. The movies screened are exposed to the international media and to international distribution companies.

2. Is it possible for emerging filmmakers who hail from developing markets of the world to challenge the dominance of Hollywood? If yes, how?

The obvious answer is only one: showcasing their talents and their abilities in the films that the Festival will screen, enlarging their network of personally known movie executives who are present at the Festival and contacting buyers and distributors in the Film Market that takes place at the same time with the Festival.

If they have real talent in making the films, they should also create an entourage of people who have real talent in selling and distributing films. The space is great. The internet has multiplied the window of exposure for every film big and small. It is up to the filmmaker and / or to their entourage to understand their right dimension and to make proper financial proposals to the proper distribution circuits.

We have not to forget that Hollywood and the big distribution companies in different countries are always looking for new talent and to increase their roster of actors, directors, writers and producers.

3. What are the main objectives of the Brasov International Film Festival?

To show that it is possible to make financially and artistically very successful films without the element of violence.

Violence is not a necessary element in a successful film. We award nine features every year that are extremely significant from every point of view and that are violence free.

4. When there is already a surfeit of film festivals all over the world, what is the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of the Brasov International Film Festival?

The nonviolent condition is what distinguishes us from most of the world’s festivals.

You can go to Cannes, Toronto, Venice and to other great festivals and see films that are very commercial, that you will see anyway in your country and city very soon and that show a lot of violence. Showing violence and sex in a movie is the cheapest way to create entertainment.

If a naked woman walks on the street or if an act of violence happens publicly, of course every passer-by will turn and look. But what’s the message and what’s the purpose?

To create a story and a movie, to create entertainment with science, poetry and / or with history is definitely much more difficult but it is also fulfilling for the viewers’ minds.

5. What kind of help will you provide to the participating filmmakers so they could make inroads into the global film markets?

We will invite the filmmakers to present their films to the viewers and to the media.

We will accentuate the attention of the media on the ‘movie of the day’. In other festivals, where many Stars are present, it often happens that no media and nobody speaks of the almost unknown filmmaker who presents their film on a certain day.

This is because, on that day, Madonna (or some other Star) arrives at the festival and, of course, the media covers the big name and forgets about the filmmaker of the day. This will not happen in our Festival because we have a clear agreement with the media and they should devote their attention to the filmmaker of the day on each day of the Festival.

Furthermore, we have elaborated a voting system for the Jury (nine feature films, nine awards) that guarantees that no film will have more than one award and that every film will receive one. This guarantees that to every feature in competition it will be given a very powerful marketing tool for the filmmaker and for the movie itself.

6. How will the Brasov International Film Festival help in developing the film-based entertainment ecosystem particularly in Romania?

Romania, as a country, approves every improvement to its ecosystem.

Our Festival is only part of what Brasov Film Center is doing to create an industry in Transylvania. We form our own talent, we invest in them, promote them worldwide and we make film productions on a constant basis. The singular geographical situation of Brasov and the numerous business and political contacts we have all over the world allow us to transform, during the Festival, for eleven days the city of Brasov in a centre of power.

It is, in a small way, what happens in a big way during the days of the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Many selected people, some of whom are scientists, billionaire, political and artistic personalities, etc., can meet between themselves in Brasov during the Festival and start profitable businesses.

Naturally, some of these businesses will regard Romania and they will be in the category of eco-business (biofuel, power plants, etc.). This is one of the ways in which we help the formation of all this.

In second place, we are aware that in one or two years, Brasov that is one of the best places in Europe for a summer and a winter vacation, will have an international airport.

This means that thousands of tourists particularly from the USA, Canada and The People’s Republic of China will be able to reach Brasov easily. Any promotion of the Festival will, of course, also promote the city and the tourism in the city.

It is one of our target, in three years time, to be able to bring to Brasov forty thousand tourists per year coming from Canada, the USA and The People’s Republic of China.

7. How are you going to market the Brasov International Film Festival and what is the role of digital media in your marketing strategy?

Digital media has an enormous importance today in the marketing of every world event. We daily inform our followers (+ one hundred thousand in Twitter, on Facebook, YouTube and on other social networks) of what is happening in our Festival.

We are now partners with FilmFreeway and Click For Festivals, two massive organizations for contacting filmmakers. For example, just recently, FilmFreeway has blasted our Festival to over forty thousand filmmakers worldwide.

We have some very good results until now. We have also produced a documentary of twenty five minutes about last year’s edition of the Festival. The documentary is available for viewing in YouTube and it can be watched by sponsors, filmmakers and the general public.

The name of Brasov International Film Festival & Market has appeared a few times (and it will continue to do so) on the giant Thomson / Reuters TV screen in Times Square, New York City.

Our website is visited daily by people from over one hundred and eighty countries. We cannot compete, budget wise, today with Cannes, Toronto or Venice but we can compete with the artistic value of the movies that we are screening and with the concept of nonviolence.

Every day, a larger and larger share of the world film viewers are showing that they are tired of violent films and they want that film gives them something more than just shootings and blood.

A lot of filmmakers put violence in their movies for financial reasons but they are wrong. The movies that have made more money at the Box Office historically are the family movies, Disney films or movies that speak about kids and pets. In some time, we will also publish Box Office statistics to explain to filmmakers that the element of violence in their films could be very misleading.

8. What is your message for the young filmmakers who are entering this cut-throat field?

Every field where money, power and information are essential elements are cut-throat fields. They could be the business ones from cars to weapons, the political ones of right and left parties, banking and food and so on.

If a young person believes that he or she has the proper ideas to change the world he / she should not be afraid to go in a cut-throat field.

History teaches us something and, when I say history, I can say history of politics, history of business, history of film, etc. There is only one thing sure in the future and it is sure because we know the past: these fields, their politics, their economics, etc. are and will not be steady. They are changing all the time, they are changing every day.

Why are they changing? It is because different people go in these fields every day so, if we want to bring positive change in the film business, the only way is that positive filmmakers, film producers, film distributors and film executives participate and they are not afraid to go in the field.

Film is changing every day and it has not understood completely the lesson and the consequences of the existence of the internet.

Films are more and more watched on TV, on the computers on the phones, etc. Everything is improvable and a lot will change in the next few years. The changes come from people. We constantly need new people in this business and, I will say that we have to look for new people with a positive attitude.


Daria Trifu (pictured above) is the founder and director of Brasov International Film Festival & Market.

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