25th Edition of Sarajevo Film Festival kicked off

At this year's jubilee edition of the Sarajevo Film Festival, to take place from 16 to 23 August, the domestic titles and the Croatian minority productions will be shown in both competitive and non-competitive sections and some of the films will also have their world premieres in Sarajevo. Furthermore, the Croatian filmmakers will also participate in the Festival industry sections.

A record breaking 270 films from over 50 countries of the world will be shown at the Festival. Along with a number of guests, including the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo winners – the Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski, French actress Isabelle Huppert and Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, the jubilee SFF will feature as many as 68 world premieres, 12 international and many regional ones.

Croatian Films at the 25th SFF

On Friday, 16 August, the Festival was opened by a world premiere of the film The Son, by Ines Tanović, a Bosnian-Herzegovian director, which will be shown in the competitive feature film section. The film is a co-production of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia and Montenegro. The Croatian co-producer is Zdenka Gold of Spiritus Movens. 

Two Croatian titles have been included in the documentary film competitive section: short documentary-experimental film Yet Another Departure directed by Renata Poljak (made in a co-production of REA Association). The projection at the SFF will be its regional premiere. The second title is If Only Dreams Came True directed by Višnja Skorin (the production signed by 3D2D Animatori), the projection whereof at Sarajevo will be its world premiere. 

Competing for the best short film of the Sarajevo Film Festival are Tina by Dubravka Turić (Zagreb film production) and two minority co-productions: The Last Image of Father directed by Stefan Đorđević (the Croatian co-producer is Danijel Pek of Antitalent) and animated film Natural Selection by Aleta Rajič. The main producer is Studio Neum from Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in addition to direction, Aleta Rajič also signs the screenplay and animation. The author of sound and music is Vjeran Šalamon and Vinko Brešan (Zagreb film) is a Croatian co-producer.

The student film competitive section will include the projection of the short film Elephant's Graveyard by Filip Mojzeš which will also be its world premiere. The film was produced by the Academy of Dramatic Arts of Zagreb and deals with a mother and son relationship. Besides, the film The Shift directed by Damir Markovina will also have its world premiere. 

The BH film section will introduce the debut feature-length documentary Little Star Rising directed by Slađana Lučić, made in a Croatia-Bosnia co-production. Film tells the story about Nudžejma Softić, a woman who put on her running shoes at the age of 28 and by 30 turned from a non-swimmer into the first European woman to compete in the Ironman triathlon wearing a hijab. It tells of one woman’s personal and professional transformation into a force of change in her community. Slađana Lučić also signs the screenplay, Vjeran Hrpka was responsible for the camera, the producer is Tamara Babun, and the film was produced by the house Wolfgang&Dolly in a co-production with Al Jazeera Balkans. The titles My Grandpa is an Alien by co-directors Marina Andrea Škop and Dražen Žarković, Ulysses: Episode One directed by Dino Topolnjak and minority co-productions Stitches by Miroslav Terzić and Lorem ipsum by Filip Lončarić will also be screened in the same section. 

The showcase In Focus, introducing the last year best achievements of the regional cinematography, will show the award winning film God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska. The film is a Macedonia-Belgium-Slovenia-Croatia-France co-production with Zdenka Gold (Spiritus Movens) as a Croatian co-producer. 

Zagreb Film Festival (Best of Checkers) will present five short feature titles: I Can Barely Remember the Day by Leon Lučev, Soviet Space Dogs by Nikica Zdunić, Steppe Fox by Andrija Mardešić, Tina & Sendy by Hani Domazet and White Room by Mladen Stanić

Sarajevo Film Festival also includes outdoor projections where, in the Summer Screen section, the audience will see the film programme theme-based on music and pop-culture in general. The programme also includes the title Heavenly Theme by the director and screenplay writer Mladen Matičević about Vlado Divljan, a great figure of the regional music scene. It is a long documentary with feature film elements, featuring the most important authors of former Yugoslavia who have, specifically for this occasion, recorded and perform in the film new versions of the songs by Vlado Divljan. The film is a Serbia-Croatia co-production and will be seen in Sarajevo under the starry sky. 

The jury of the Feature Film Competitive Section will be chaired by a Swedish director and screenplay writer Ruben Östlund and decisions on the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo and other awards will also be made by Bero Beyer, Rotterdam International Film Festival Director, Funa Maduka, Netflix director of international original films and acquisitions, Jovana Stojiljković, actress from Serbia and Teona Strugar Mitevska, director from North Macedonia. 

Documentary films will be evaluated by a jury composed of Emilie Bujès from Switzerland, artistic director of Visions du Réel, International Film Festival Nyon, Orwa Nyrabia from Syria, artistic director of International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and Nenad Puhovski from Croatia, the founder and director of Factum and ZagrebDox.

The Israeli director Nadav Lapid, a winner of the Golden Bear award at the 69th Berlinale for the film Synonyms, has been announced as a member of the jury in the Student Film Competitive Section.

For more information about this year edition of the Sarajevo Film Festival please visit its official website.

CineLink, Talents Sarajevo and International Casting Directors Network Masterclass

Film professionals from Croatia also participate in the Industry Section of the Sarajevo Film Festival. In particular, four Croatian projects will be shown in the CineLink programmes (Pula, by Andrej Korovljev, Death of the Little Match Girl, directed by Goran Kulenović, The Counsellor by Višnja Skorin and the series Home by Darija Keršić), while six Croatian film-makers will participate in the Talents Sarajevo programme (the actress Tara Thaller and the actor Marko Braić, the director Sara Jurinčić, the screenplay writer Dora Šustić and the producers Tamara Babun and Tina Tišljar).

Besides, four local actors also participate in the workshop dedicated to young rising stars. The workshop has been organised by the International Casting Directors Network and Sarajevo Film Festival, and the Croatian participants include the actresses Judita Franković Brdar and Anja Matković and the actors Goran Marković and Marko Petrić.

For more information about CineLink click on this link, and workshop details are available here

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