"Breaking News" with Tomáš Bojar

On November 4, in the place, where only selected documentaries are always shown, – at the "Mir" Cinema, the presentation of the film "Breaking News" was held. Director Tomáš Bojar brought a film about Czech journalists’ everyday life, which has become even tenser due to the important statement by President Miloš Zeman. After the screening, the director answered the questions from Minsk audience.

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Tomáš Bojar takes part in the Main Documentary Film Competition of MIFF "Listapad" for the second time. He came to us for the first time in 2016 with the work "FC Roma". A few years later, the director brought to Minsk a new film "Breaking News".

Tomáš Bojar says that he has always been interested in the work of journalists. As an eight-year-old boy, he wanted to know how news is made. Who are those people who tell us all about the latest events?

"It has always been interesting for me to see behind the curtain of this world. Many years later I got such an opportunity: for about a year I was attending a news agency: I was observing, adapting to the environment. Filming was to start in a year", the Czech director turns his mind to the beginning of the story. The statement by Czech President Miloš Zeman appeared to be the change of events: he was going to announce whether he would run for president next time. The President restricted access for journalists to the place where he would tell about his decision. The information was not available for the majority of mass media. Naturally, each newsroom wanted to get it and tell the news first.

f80a2007d22d53c8e00bc3016fb93a3d.jpg"The journalists were very excited", Tomáš says, "they understood that they would not be allowed in there, there developed such a tense situation. These events gave an idea for filming. Eight cameras filmed a working day in newsrooms. I decided to do a test shoot. But when I saw the footage, I realized that we wouldn’t retake. Thanks to Mr. President. If it were not for him, I would have never thought of such an idea".

There are large editorial offices on several floors on the screen. They are empty. The majority of journalists are not there. Everyone is at the briefing discussing the upcoming high-profile events. The editor of a TV channel suggests recording the President’s speech on a mobile phone with a hidden camera in order to publish the material faster. Because the official permission for shooting was denied. "Quality will be lost", says one of the journalists, apparently the one who will shoot. However, eventually he agrees.

Journalists from the newspaper discuss the texts of the authors, come up with as many headlines as possible for every occasion: if the president agrees and if he refuses to run for office again. The editor reads journalists’ drafts, gets distracted for approving the president’s photo published in any event.

"I wanted to reflect the human nature of those who work in the news", this way the director explains his choice of topic of the film, "to give an inside look, so that viewers could see themselves whether there is any manipulation in presenting information or not".

The viewers wondered – what scenes were not included in the film? What did editors and journalists not allow showing? Tomáš Bojar thanked for the question and said that he had an agreement with the protagonists: to finish filming and only after that to discuss what will be in the film and what should be cut out.

"When everything was filmed and we were looking through the material together", the director recalls, "I was surprised at their positive response. They liked looking at themselves from the outside. However, they asked to remove one scene, the one in which the editor-in-chief and his colleagues were gossiping about one of the partners. I suppose that it was brave from their part to agree to the filming. Today everyone is afraid of people of cinema, people do not want to cooperate with them. I am glad that they not only took part, but also didn’t regret it". This way the director summed up and thanked everyone for watching.

Text by Alexandra Tkacheva
Photo by Igor Chischenya

The founders of the MIFF "Listapad" are the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus and the Minsk City Executive Committee. The organizer is Visual and Performing Arts Centre "Art Corporation". 

The general sponsor of the Film Festival is bank card "Shchodraya"  Mastercard.

The official sponsors are "Kinovideoprokat" of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Falcon Club Cinema Boutique, Air Company "Belaviа", "Beltelecom", official ticket agent "Bycard". Powered by Belteleradiocompany, Film Studio "Belarusfilm" and Advertising Agency "Forte".

Use #listapad25 to combine all the materials and publications on the 25th Film Festival "Listapad" on social media. Follow the news on the official web site www.listapad.com, and on social media FacebookInstagramVKontakteTwitter