It seems that the world has never been as small as it is today. Everything seems to be within arm’s reach, we believe we can satisfy our curiosity and gain an insight into the events taking place at any chosen point on our planet at any moment. However, this impression is misleading. We do not have a wide selection of choices that would enable us to freely decide which ones we will pay greater attention to. Everything that is within arm’s reach and sight has been previously screened and selected.
In the field of documentary film the selection dynamics are often hidden. This is not a result of various conspiracies, but a result of trivial forces, such as the aesthetic canon, the zeitgeist and especially the financial conditions, which have a decisive effect on the final products. Of course, there is a selection process behind the festival Days of Ethnographic Film – from the 354 received films the selector Naško Križnar selected 27 films that were included into the programme. However, we have to admit that the selection process was strongly influenced by the material conditions, mainly with the availability of projection slots within the cinema. There were many films that fitted the selection criteria, unfortunately not all can be shown due to the circumstances.
The harsh selection criteria could be the most pressing problem in the field of ethnographic films today. Films that fail to make it into festival programmes or conferences often become totally invisible, even though they might be relevant for the field and interesting for the viewers. We do not have a wholesome solution to this problem, however this only motivates us to continue with our mission within the frame of what is available to us. I would like to thank everybody who has supported our project and especially the Slovenian Cinematheque, which has accepted us under their roof this year.