Sarajevo Film Festival

By on Apr 13, 2010 in Essays

James Nesbitt
James Nesbitt from Five Minutes of Heaven

The 15th Sarajevo Film Festival this year featured visits of such important guests as Mickey Rourke, Gillian Anderson, James Nesbitt, Kerry Fox, Tamar Novas and more. This important regional festival once again created a place to promote film, regional and international cinematography, to affirm young and new filmmakers, and to establish a professional platform as a valid film resource.

The festival opened with The Tales From The Golden Age, directed by Cristian Mungiu at the National Theatre, and the national Competition Program opened with the Croatian film Donkey, directed by Antonio Nuić, which had already received three Golden Arenas at the Pula Film Festival and was a Croatian candidate for an Oscar nomination. The Sarajevo Film Festival this year screened a  number of international and regional premiers. Panorama selector Howard Feinstein opened the Panorama Program with The Fly, a film by Russian director Vladimir Kot.

The festival aims to recognize the talents of filmmakers, and the regional production division supports new Eastern European film productions. According to the jury, the Best Feature Film of the Competition Program was Ordinary People, directed by Serbian director Vladimir Perišić. The jury said that the film “represents ordinary people as a pure moment of cinema, explores the universal pattern of abuse of male youth through the military structure.”  The effect of the Serbian civil war is a familiar subject onscreen and still a relevant one. This movie portrays a soldier’s initiation into military killing.

The Special Jury Award went to Dogtooth (Kynodontas), directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The jury said, “Dogtooth  depicts in a metaphorical way, with elements of clinical humor, how the traditional family structure had to retreat into a fortress of control and safety, inflicting its members with psychological damage that resonates with us all.”

The Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actress went to Aggeliki Papoulia and Mary Tsoni from Dogtooth. The Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actor went to Relja Popović of Ordinary People.

In the competition program for short film, The Heart of Sarajevo for Best Film went to the film Party, directed by Dalibor Matanić of Croatia.

Special Jury Mentions went to Ciao Mama, directed by Goran Odvorčić, Croatia, and to The History of Aviation (A REPÜLÉS TÖRTÉNETE), directed by Balint Kenyeres, Hungary and France.

In the competition program for documentary film, The Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary Film went to The Caviar Connection, directed by Dragan Nikolić, Serbia. Special Mention went to Constantin and Elena (CONSTANTIN SI ELENA), directed by Andrei Dascalescu in Romania. The Human Rights Award went to Heated Blood, directed by Marko Mamuzić, Serbia.

Mickey Rourke
      Mickey Rourke at Sarajevo Film Festival

More festival photos

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Radmila Djurica is a Serbian freelance journalist who has done correspondence work for the Tiker Press Agency and has had articles published in British Sunday and daily newspapers, including the Scottish newspaper, Sunday Post; in Woman Abroad magazine; and at She has served as assistant editor, reading manuscripts for the Reading Writers Service; has published articles with the SCN Television Network in California; is a freelance columnist for the British monthly magazine Code Uncut; and wrote about Serbia's International Bitef Festival of contemporary theatre for Zowie Wowie Magazine, an American e-zine.