Seize the Film is an international film festival addressing disability. By tradition, the festival is held annually, late in September, first in Novi Sad in a well-known location ‒ the cinema of the Cultural Center of Novi Sad – followed by Rijeka, Banja Luka, and Kotor. Featuring excellent short films and various art programs and workshops, Seize the Film, alongside its audience, changes perspectives. Seize the Film makes us aware of our limitations and abilities. We always learn that there are things that are not impossible to achieve, as well as those that can be done in unexpected ways. Furthermore, we realize that some things we don’t have to do at all! And all of that for free!
We are the only regional festival addressing disability!
We are present in Novi Sad (Serbia), Rijeka (Croatia), Banja Luka (Bosnia-Herzegovina), and Kotor (Montenegro).
Every year, Seize the Film features more than 30 short films about disability, from all over the world. A jury of film and disability experts selects the very best from several hundred film submissions. The chosen films are highly artistic. Animated, documentary, and feature films. Up to 30 minutes. The quality they have in common is the power to shatter stereotypes and prejudices, and to transform our worldviews. Disabilities are not viewed as illness, but diversity. People with disabilities as human beings. Social challenges as obstacles that we all need to overcome together.
Screenings of films are followed by inspirational conversations with authors, guests, and audience. By addressing issues not mentioned elsewhere, Seize the Film creates space for dialogue and development of critical thinking. The festival supports talented people with disablities and helps them establish themselves as artists. Through music, theater, books, and other art forms, Seize the Film becomes an inclusive bond among artists with disabilities across the region.
The festival organizers take care of availability of its content and always make sure the content is available to everyone. The venue of Seize the Film in Novi Sad is fully accessible (the cinema and toilets are accessible to people with disabilities). Films with subtitles and speech translated into sign language make the festival content fully accessible to Deaf people. The film program is audio-described and synchronized, making it accessible to visually impaired and blind people. Entrance to the festival is free for everybody so that the quality content we offer can be available to everyone.
Every year, selected films are screened in cities all over Serbia and Croatia, to make them available to people not so close to big cities, as culture is what we all need.
Seize the Film in its beginings used to be Seize this day with me, an international film event organized by Novi Sad Association of Students with Disabilities in 2003.
That event became a festival and has been known as Seize the Film ever since 2011 when it took place in Rijeka as well. Banja Luka Film Festival addressing disability became part of Seize the Film in 2017, with Kotor joining in 2019.
Our festival is based on respect for human rights. We want to bring together all sorts of diversity. Develop empathy and social responsibility. Cha(lle)nge ingrained attitudes. Motivate people to take a look at themselves and the socety we live in, in order to build a better world for everybody – together.
We won two awards ‒ In 2018 the Association of Film Artists of Serbia gave us an award for promoting human values and people with disabilities on film!
Seize the Film was voted first by the general public and received an award as part of Change Makers 2022 campaign!
New call for film submissions, unique every year for each edition of the festival, is posted in January/February. Besides films about disability, we also welcome films from authors with disabilities – and they can choose their themes freely.
Call for volunteers is posted in April. Everyone is welcome. It is also important to share our values and be open to new points of view.
Not only through discussions and films that masterfully explore relevant topics, but also through workshops on disability, film, and human rights ‒ our follow-up projects.
Seize the Film audience is given a unique opportunity to be part of an entertaining, educational, and socially engaged cultural event.
*The Seize this day with me! international film festival copyright and subject matter of related rights were recorded and deposited at the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia on October 28, 2008, No. 3998, at the request of Ljiljana Ćumura, the author. The idea of the Seize this day with me! film festival was realized by: Ljiljana Ćumura, Milica Mima Ružičić Novković (Novi Sad Association of Students with Disabilities), and Tatjana Stojšić Petković (the Centre LIVING UPRIGHT in Novi Sad).