Kustendorf or “Timber town” is a small village in Serbia, that the Serbian director Emir Kusturica, built for his film „Life is a miracle“. Village is located two hundred miles from the Serbian capital Belgrade, in the Zlatibor district. For this marvellous creation Kusturica recived Philippe Rotthier European Architecture award. In 2005, cinema school was also held in Kustendorf under the name “Art in (not) a transition”, and that was also oriented on the transition of Balkan from communism to capitalism. In this workshop, Kusturica took 30 young film makers from around the world and welcomed them in his village. For the first part of the workshop, he showed them parts from his favorite movies, and made them think about the art of film making and techniques that were used. In the second part students filmed two short films, based on the scenario written in Kustendorf.
But the most important use of this village is for the hosting of annual Kustendorf Film and Music Festival (since 2008). Unlike any other film festival, this one doesn’t have red carpet, and the guests are not obligated to get dressed up. The whole manifestation is in the honor of the movies, that are shown, and which come from all around the world. Movies are projected in “Stanley Kubrick” cinema, which as the name says, is dedicated to this great movie director. Kusturica also named the streets of his village in honor of some great people, he deeply admires like: Nikola Tesla, Diego Maradona, Frederico Fellini, Novak Djokovic and many others. Aside from cinema Kustendorf has ski slope with four trails, hotel “Youth”, variety of shops, main house and a church dedicated to the Serbian saint St.Sava. 2010 statue of a film star Johnny Depp was revealed to him, and he came as a special guest.
This year 17 movies from all around the world, are in the competition, and jury consists from Ethiopian movie producer Maji-da Abdi and Argentinian film producer Jose Ibanez. For the opening ceremony, Kusturica has yet to decide from launching Russian rockets or geese performance (that are also on the posters for this years festival). As for the musical performance this year Kustendorf will host Armenian reggae and ska attraction “Reinkarnejšn” and Moldovan trumpeter Adam Sting, as well as serbian rock group “Partibrejkers”. Kusturica hopes to rise culture in Serbia on greater levels, than they are now and he plans to do this through introducing people to real art, and magic of film making.