#Intothespotlight: Super Festival – about the beginnings, this year’s edition and future plans

Super Film Festival for Teenagers has reached its sixth edition. This means there have been six years since teenagers have their own special place where they can see their films on the big screen and six years since youngsters from all around Romania gather in Bucharest in order to reunite the Super family. We were curious to find out the story behind the festival - how it all began, what were the main challenges they encountered, how does their team work and what are the future plans for the festival. Teona Galgoțiu, co-organizer, answers our questions and tells us what are the main highlights of this year's edition.

How and when did the idea of a film festival dedicated to teenagers appear and how did it materialize?

In 2013, Luca Istodor wanted to organize a screening with his film and some other ones directed by his teenager friends, but a teacher said that he will accept the event only if he will agree on the films that will be part of the screening. To be able to escape constraints, Luca looked for another place to host the screening. So, this is how the first edition of Super took place: a film screening featuring a few films made by Luca and his friends, hosted at Cinema Studio. We met at Cinema Studio and decided to organize a festival where teenagers all over the country will have the chance to show their films and discuss about them, without any teacher’s acceptance or review.

What were the challenges in creating a film festival with and about teenagers in Romania?

We had financial problems, obviously. But, it was more difficult to reach our target: teenagers all over the country that were making films, because our Facebook page had a small reach and we did not have a budget to invest in distributing promotional materials. It was hard to organize the event because we were a small team. But, all these challenges helped us get better and better because we had to figure out on our own what works and what doesn’t. Even though it seemed that we were fighting with the windmills, we were sure that we were going in the right direction.

How do you think Super festival developed since 2013?

Firstly, our work as a team keeps getting better. Each of us coordinates a department and the volunteers are more enthusiasts year after year. We trust them with bigger responsibilities. And the crucial thing is the awareness. We have Super Ambassadors all over Romania. I think that most of the Romanian teenagers passionate about film know about Super, which is the most important thing for us. This was our objective.

Can you please share a special moment from the festival’s history which proved you that you’re doing the right thing?

I get emotional every time I hear about teenagers that made films specially for our festival.  So, we managed to engage both young experienced directors and teenagers who never made films. This is the best thing which proves us that we are doing the right thing. This event is more than a festival, is education through cinema.

How long does it take to organize an edition and which are the biggest challenges you encounter?

As soon as one edition ends, we start working slowly for the next one. We always have new ideas that we plan to implement in the following edition, so we organize ourselves rapidly to start developing them. The challenge is to find sponsors, especially with all the new additional projects.

What are the novelties of the 6thedition of Super?

This year we organized the first workshops focused on poetry and creative writing. And we are very proud that we managed to launch our first collection of poems composed of the texts written by the participants.

Please tell us three additional events connected with Super Festival which should not be missed.

Unfortunately, one of them just took place: Supercapitol Celebration – a screening event featuring all the poem-films received based on a call we did. During the event we also announced the winners of the contest and the attendees had the chance to pick a random poem and recite it. The second recommendation is the Super exhibition which successfully opens the festival every year. And do not miss the Super parties where you will have the chance to meet the young directors and the team behind the festival.

Why everybody should attend the 2018 Super edition?

I think the supreme reason is the chance to discover what interests and sensibilities have the teenagers nowadays. Regardless you are a film fan or not and no matter the age, it is important to be in contact with the young generation. Every time I see the films submitted at Super, I feel both inspired and scared, because it seems the teenagers are getting smarter and more mature. Maybe in a few years, we will have films made by babies…

How do you imagine the festival after another 6 editions?

I really think that we will have 10 more additional events. And better films, because this is the trend. And I hope that we will have the budget to bring to Romania all the directors competing in the international section of the festival.

The sixth edition of Super Festival starts today, 7th of June and ends on the 10th of June. More details about the program can be found on their website.

Interview by Romina Banu

English translation by Andreea Andrei

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