Deadline for abstract submissions: March 10th, 2018.

Following on the second International Conference on Balkan Cinema that took place in Belgrade in 2017, The Great War(s): Our Story aims to explore the cinematic narratives of the Great War and of the other conflicts in the area. The 3rd International Conference on Balkan cinema will focus on exploring the cinematic heritage of the Balkans and the one made about the Balkans by foreign film makers; as well as the ways these highlight the connections between different war narratives that coalesce into “our story”. The ambivalence of the term “our” refers to our/Balkan stories; our as belonging to one of the Balkan states. It also includes our other defined identities as of victims or perpetrators; civilians or soldiers; women and children in devastated cities and in the wasteland of the countryside’s or men on the front; the generations of participants or to the post generations. The war narratives speaking from any involved parties eventually challenge the history or work with it; or bring together diverse often confronting and competing national histories… However, a lot of other stories are relevant for the Balkans although not connected directly with war.      

“G.Oprescu” Institute of Art History in Bucharest hosts the event partly in commemoration of 1914-18 war but also as the opportunity to analyse and map out rich range of insights provided by cinematic images of war or told in different cinematic narratives of wars – from the Balkan Wars to the wars of the breakup of former Yugoslavia. War has been recorded, and narrated as a good story since the invention of cinema. The special relation between logics of perception of the war and of cinema is extensively argued by Paul Virilio. The war is one of the perennial cinematic topics told through a wide range of genre guises- from documentaries to fiction films, war spectacles, historical films, melodramas, musicals etc. Documentary footage of war is the key component in historiography, from “classic historism to post-modern narrativism”. The cinematic narratives of war are also source of entertainment and pleasure as well as the material for the recognition of trauma, suffering, and victimisation. Nowadays highly popular archival documentaries or docufiction demonstrate the transformation of the films of history into the “memory making films“. They argue the cinematic narratives of the past and present wars to be both important factors of the politics of remembering and forgetting and the constituents of collective/inidividual/national memory and identity.

Being part of the series the conference aims to further develop transnational scholarship, transcend Balkanism and exoticism, and offer critical explorations of historical and contemporary manifestations of South Eastern European cinemas. It also helps the building of the transnational community of scholars working on the cinemas of the Balkans, South/Eastern Europe, the border and neighbouring region as Central Europe or Near East, works of diaspora or communities in exile in a time span from early cinema on nitrate stock to contemporary digital cinema; and film’s thematic span from the Middle Ages to today.

A range of possible themes for conference papers includes, but is not limited to:

  • The First and Second World Wars as the cornerstones of cinema in the Balkans
  • War and conflict- a typical Balkan topic?
  • Representation and Self-representation of the Balkans. War and archive
  • Changing concepts of war, changing narratives of war.
  • History and memory in cinematic war narratives
  • Intertextuality and transmediality of the past, present and future
  • Representing/deconstructing “the nation” on screen
  • Cultural memory and Balkan cinema
  • Reading and re-writing film (hi)stories
  • History, Military and Film Archives
  • Multidirectional memory in cinema

Keynote speakers

Prof. dr Dina Iordanova

University of St. Andrews

Prof. dr Nevena Daković                     

Faculty of Dramatic Arts, University of Arts, Belgrade

Dr Dominique Nasta 

Université Libre de Bruxelles

Conference language: English and French

Presentation time: 20 minutes

Extended submission deadline: March, 10th, 2018

Admission notification date: March 25th, 2018

Proposal length: 250 words + short CV (Abstract proposals, names, affiliations and short CVs should be sent as ONE Word document) to the address

Organized by

“G.Oprescu” Institute of Art History, Bucharest  

With the support of

Romanian Academy

Romanian Cultural Institute

Romanian Guild of Filmmakers (UCIN)

Romanian Film Archive


Filmicon. Journal of Greek Film Studies

Programme Committee

Prof. Marian Tutui (PhD, “G.Oprescu” Institute of Art History)

Lydia Papadimitriou (PhD, Liverpool John Moores University)

Dr.Ana Grgić (University of the Arts London)

Dr. Gergana Doncheva (Institute of Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

Dr. Aleksandra Milovanović (Associate professor, Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade)