As you may know, I have just spent a wonderfully creative weekend at the amazing Alibi International Crime/Noir Festival in Slovenia, which was the hosted and created by the very talented writer and creative advertising director, Renato Bratkovič. The festival is unique in its concept and originality, and so I was it was a real pleasure to catch up with Renato, to ask him he felt about this year’s event…
Alibi is a unique, noir festival, set in the beautiful Slovenian mountains. What was the initial inspiration for its creation?
Nino, our friend photographer, and I made the film about Gora pod lipo (http://www.gorapodlipo.com) back in July 2015. When the film was finished I realised, what a lovely place this was. I could imagine a bunch of writers writing there, eating, drinking, having fun … I told Lena (she runs the place with her boyfriend Primož) about the idea and she said, “Yeah, sure, create a concept and we’ll do something about it.” After two weeks I had this idea about inviting five writers for a weekend, let them draw titles for their stories, write them and present them in the end. The last weekend in September the first guests arrived.
This is the third year of the festival, how has it has evolved since the beginning?
We try to add little bits every year – the writing workshop concept, where participating writers get their titles and have to write the stories, is unique I believe, but I wanted a film night as well. The first Alibi happened so fast and the film I wanted to present (the first official Slovenian film noir Case: Osterberg) but I was travelling from festival to festival at the time, so we ended up with Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me.
We hosted Case: Osterberg with the screenwriter and the producer last year, and this year we presented a film based upon my story and we invited my favorite director, Damjan Kozole, with his film Night Life.
What are your feelings about this year’s event?
Well, it seems I’m lucky to choose writers who form a brilliant team. And this year was no exception. But most of all, I’m happy I had more women than men this year. Women tend to write even darker stories then men, I think.
Alibi differs from many other literary festivals as the writers create their stories while in attendance – do you believe it is important to celebrate spontaneous creativity?
I believe we need this sense of accomplishment in the end. I mean it’s great if you’re able to visit a festival where you read your own work, but when you find yourself with a task of having to create something on the spot and present your work, you win twice: you get this beautiful feeling of having created something and you have one more story that year. I guess this is what drives my guests to come here and I’m happy about it.
How has the festival evolved over the years, and what are your future aspirations for Alibi?
Well, the workshop concept will definitely remain the core of the festival. In the future I’d also like to have Slovenian publishers as guest – maybe some collaboration between them and our participating writers might come out of it.
My story began with Bistrica Noir literary evening at our local library a couple of years ago, so I’ll try and find a way to get them involved in the festival. And I feel one film night is not enough.
As this was the third year, my plan is to have an anthology with 25 stories published every five years. So in three years, all the writers from the first five years are going to be invited to join us again for the sixth edition when we’re going to promote the book and have some real fun. But we’ll have to find some additional sponsors.
Thank you for your interesting insights Renato!
For further information on Renato please visit:
Artisan advertising and publishing house.