Sarajevo Film Festival

Saturday, 23 August, 2008: Bosnia News
The Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF), which starts on Friday, 15 August 2008, began in 1995 as an artistic act of defiance against the 1992-5 Serbian, Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia. During the war, about 15,000 people came to see the Bosnian premier of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. It was said they dodged snipers to get there, and that explosions outside reinforced the violence on-screen.

Today, the Sarajevo Film Festival is a symbol of Bosnia’s recovery, as the largest in the region and one of the top ten in Europe. Last August, 175 films, including features, shorts and documentaries, were screened for 100,000 visitors. The SFF aims to encourage the region’s film industry, and between festivals runs a development programme for aspiring local auteurs.

Inevitably, the region’s wars and their aftermath provide them with subject-matter. The 2001 winner was Bosnian film director Danis Tanovic’s anti-war No Man’s Land, the blackest of tragi-comedies (it is set in a minefield) that went on to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. This year, Tanovic returned to Bosnia, in order to found a new political party with the aim of breaking the dysfunctional post-war mould of Bosnian politics.

This year’s nine-day festival opens with Aida Begic’s Snow. Two businessmen try to bribe a group of women, whose men died in the war, to abandon their isolated village and its memories. It came equal first in the Critics’ Week parallel competition for new directors at Cannes in May.

With its accent on the most recent regional feature films, shorts and documentary films, tributes to important regional filmmakers, and the CineLink Co-production Market, SFF represents the main meeting place for all regional producers and authors. It is recognized by film professionals from all over the world as the pinnacle networking point for all wishing to learn more about the possibilities this region of Europe has to offer.

Aside from its focus on regional production, the Sarajevo Film Festival is offering a great selection of world cinematography in 13 different programmes (including: Competition Programme - Feature Films, Competition Short Films, Competition Programme - Regional Documentaries, Regional Off, New Currents, New Currents Shorts, Panorama, Panorama Documentaries, Tribute To, Heineken Open Air Cinema, Special Programme, Children's Programme, Teenarena, Katrin Cartlidge)

From 15 to 23 August the 14th Sarajevo Film Festival will be held in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Here are the feature films in the competition programme:

Buick Riviera, Goran Rušinovic, Croatia and Bosnia, 2008
Delta, Kornél Mundruczó, Hungary and Germany, 2008
Gitmek (My Marlon and Brando), Hüseyin Karabey, Turkey, 2008
Kino Lika, Dalibor Matanic, Croatia and Bosnia, 2008
Lányok (Girls), Anna Faur, Hungary, 2007
Cetvrti Covek (The Fourth Man), Dejan Zecevic, Serbia, 2007
März (March), Händl Klaus, Austria, 2008
Nikoli Nisva Šla V Benetke (We’ve Never Been to Venice), Bla Kutin, Slovenia, 2008
Nokta (Dot), Dervis, Zaim, Turkey, 2008
SonBahar (Autumn), Özcan Alper, Turkey, 2008

Sarajevo Film Festival Jury President: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director/writer, Turkey

Jury Members: Hugh Hudson, director, UK; Marija Škaricic, actress, Croatia; Michael Weber, founder and Director of Match Factory, Germany; and Deborah Young, artistic director of the Taormina filmfest, USA/Italy.

The 14th edition of the Sarajevo Film Festival will host one of the greatest actors of our time, the two-time Oscar winner – Kevin Spacey. The Festival will mark his first visit with a gala screening, in the Heineken Open Air Programme, of The Usual Suspects, the film for which he received his first Academy Award.
Monday, 11 August 2008
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