Sarajevo Film Festival closes its doors until next year

Sarajevo Film Festival closes its doors until next year

Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) will close its doors officially today but the majority of the events had already finished last night, with the award ceremony.

In the seven days of 23rd issue of SFF audience had the chance to see more than 230 movies in several categories. The best movie of the 23rd SFF, awarded with the “Heart of Sarajevo”, is “Scary mother”, by Georgian director Ana Urushadze. It is the story of a 50-year-old housewife, struggles with a dilemma – she has to choose between her family life and her passion for writing, which she has repressed for years. She decides to follow her passion and plunges herself into writing, sacrificing everything to it, both mentally and physically.

The best actor award, “Heart of Sarajevo” received Şerban Pavlu, for his main role in the movie “Meda or The Not So Bright Side of Things”, and the best actress award was received by Ornela Kapetani, for her role in the Albanian/Greek movie “Daybreak”. It is  story about Leta, who is in a difficult economic situation, and has not been able to pay the rent for several months. When she and her one-year-old son are thrown out of their apartment, they move in with Sophie, an immobile elderly woman whose daughter has recently employed Leta as a caretaker. In order to keep her job and their new roof, Leta has to keep Sophie alive at any cost.

The best director award of the 23rd SFF went to Romanian director Emanuel Parvu, for his movie “Meda or The Not Ss Bright Side of Things”.

According to tradition, with honorary “Heart of Sarajevo” were awarded Oscar winning director, Oliver Stone, and famous actor, John Cleese. Both of them were delighted to receive this award since it cames from a Festival established in one of the hardest periods of BiH history, survived all difficulties and has become one of the most important events in the region. Earlier, several actors and directors received this award. Among them are Robert de Niro and Morgan Freeman.

This year important support came from European Union Delegation to BiH.

“The EU is proud to once again be a partner of the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF), one of Europe’s most prominent festivals”, stated Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to BiH, Khaldoun Sinno.

While visiting premises of the CineLink Industry Days organised as the part of SFF, Sinno noted the EU’s continuous interest to acknowledge and support the hard work and commitment of cultural professionals and artists in BiH who encourage innovative practices in their fields and promote progress.

“In the past several years, Sarajevo Film Festival emerged as an important platform for businesses and film professionals from South-East Europe (SEE) to show their work outside of their countries, and bring it closer to the rest of Europe. Recognising the importance of such an initiative, the EU continues to support CineLink, the industry-oriented programme of the Festival”, announced the EU Delegation to BiH following the SFF events.

The EU Delegation to BiH emphasize that, initiated in 2003, CineLink has become one of the most successful platforms for the development and financing of feature-length fiction films in Europe. Every year, it gathers thousands of film professionals in Sarajevo who are looking for new projects, presenting their work and ideas, discussing the burning issues in the field and networking.

“The CineLink Coproduction Market also presents around 15 ‘hand-picked’ feature fiction projects in development and financing stages to around 70 select international professionals mainly from SEE and other European countries. Through the Creative Europe programme and other initiatives, the EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a long-standing supporter of the preservation and promotion of cultural institutions and heritage in BiH, said the press release.

Today, the festival audience will have the opportunity to watch awarded movies once again and then the SFF will be officially closed. As the organizers said, preparations for the next issue of the festival will begin right after the closing ceremony.