‘The States Of Exit’ – Opslaan Als Productions

This is some pretty heavy viewing, nonetheless relevant and interesting for the festival masses, and equally moving for anyone with an interest in music making a difference. Exit festival is the annual four day event in Serbia, in the city of Novi Sad, known for it’s unique setting in an 18th century fortress and stellar international lineups. Never been myself, but by all accounts it’s pure vibes, and something that needs to be experienced.

The States Of Exit is thirty-five minute documentary about the people behind the festival is an astounding success story (to the greater degree) of counter-culture in Serbia, from the days of the Yugoslov Wars and through the ongoing political unrest. The founders and those interviewed working for Exit festival dedicate more time in to painting a bleak scene of the Serbian struggle, and the movements that it inspired then talking about music. The film itself opens with footage from a 2012 rave, an anniversary tribute to Techno Therapy – the 1994 party that helped moved an underground society towards change.

Activists for the most part, I was amazed to learn that the first Exit festival ran for a hundred days, ending forty eight hours before an election. The founders and organisers had the entertainment and music aspects of the festival added later, as a means to instigate change and break the cycle of political and social apathy. These guys created everything (including festival infrastructure) from scratch, with no previous experience.

Even as the festival grew in to a musical pilgrimage the organisers retained their social consciousness, inviting speakers – from politicians to intellectuals – to host their own stages. This too evolved, and now they annually host Share as one of the many side projects. With events running 365 days a year almost, the first circle of Exit employs 4000 people. During the festival they’re generating an incredible amount of money for the Serbian economy annually. This is money they don’t touch, but makes it’s way in to the economy through accommodation, travel, taxi drivers, restaurants and all the rest.

There’s no point giving anymore away, just take a half-hour break to watch the video. For me personally, since the move out of London I’ve felt my self becoming more disconnected with European socio-political issues, and watching this was a kick up the ass. Not just in a desire to stay more plugged in, but as a positive reminder of what can be done in any circumstance.

The use of archive footage is brilliant, contrasted against how casually the talking heads talk about grenades falling, or being locked up days before elections. There’s more dead bodies in the first two minutes then we saw in any WW2 documentary in high-school history.

Presented via DJ Broadcast, we’ve been told this is the first in a series of new short films. Can’t wait to see the rest if this is the quality we’re getting. All the production details are below, big ups everyone involved in bringing this to us.

This is the first in a series of DJBroadcast documentaries, produced by ‘Opslaan Als’.
It zooms in on the Serbian Exit Festival, the people behind it and their continuing struggle to organize a wide variety of events under difficult circumstances. Counter culture as a means of progress in society.
Directed by Kevin Boitelle & Sander van Driel for ‘Opslaan Als’ Productions.
We would like to thank the lovely people at Exit and Ostfest. We could not have done it without you.