Charlie Kaufman holds Masterclass, will be awarded the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo tonight
Charlie Kaufman, American screenwriter, director, producer, Oscar® winner, and this year's recipient of the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo, held a Masterclass today at the Festival Center (Bosnian Cultural Center) as part of the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival programme.
Kaufman discussed the manner in which filmmakers choose the themes with which they engage in a contemporary context. He cited the film ADAPTATION. by Spike Jonze, for which he wrote the screenplay, as an example of the first adaptation he was assigned to work on and consciously accepted. For him, the process of figuring out creative solutions was so agonizing and lengthy that he ultimately decided to write about it.
"It's interesting that at the moment when I started thinking about my own thoughts, connections between the question I was pondering and the book started to happen. It seemed almost otherworldly for something like that to occur," Kaufman said.
Visitors had the opportunity to see a clip from the film I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS, based on the novel by Iain Reid, which Kaufman directed. He revealed that his biggest challenge while working on the film was adapting the novel it was based on, as he wanted to construct the narrative as a kind of thought process happening on the silver screen.
Kaufman also discussed the dilemma between art and entertainment, pointing out that market demands have pressured directors to create works of low quality solely for their sales potential.
"It's the same as with food. If you eat unhealthy food, then you'll need it again, and you wouldn't want it if you hadn't tried it. You wouldn't crave it if you hadn't been fed by it your whole life. I think that's what the film machinery does. I find it very oppressive and dangerous. It angers me," Kaufman said.
The Masterclass ended with a screening of Kaufman's short film JACKALS&FIREFLIES (2023), which he made in collaboration with poet Eva H.D., who was a special guest of the Masterclass.
Charlie Kaufman will receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the art of film tonight at 20.30 at the Coca-Cola Open Air Cinema. After the awarding of the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo, a screening of the film ADAPTATION. by Spike Jonze will take place as part of the Open Air programme. The film earned Kaufman the Writers Guild of America Award and an Oscar® for Best Adapted Screenplay.