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Countries of former Yugoslavia choose Oscar candidates

Serbia goes for crowdpleaser period piece Montevideo, Slovenia opts for high-brow art with Silent Sonata, Macedonia selects Karlovy Vary prizewinner Punk’s Not Dead, Bosnia delves back into war with Belvedere, and Croatia chooses rural comedy 72 Days.

Five of the territories of the former Yugoslavia have selected their Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award candidates.

Serbia will send Montevideo, God Bless You [pictured], directing debut of the regionally famous actor Dragan Bjelogrlic, which sold over 500,000 admissions in Serbian theatres. The period piece set in the 1930s tells the story of the Yugoslav national team which went to compete at the first football World Cup in Uruguay, reaching semi-finals. The film describes forming of the team, which consisted solely of players of one Belgrade club. The sequel about the team’s participation at the championship itself is currently in post.

Slovenia has chosen Janez Burger’s Silent Sonata (aka Circus Fantasticus), an impressive allegory with top-notch technical credits without any dialogue. The film won eight awards at the Slovenian Film Festival in Portoroz last year, including best film and best director, and played in Rotterdam, Goteborg, Dublin, Sofia and Melbourne.

Macedonia has opted for Vladimir Blazevski’s Punk’s Not Dead, a low-budget road movie about a punk band trying to get together again after 17 years for one last gig in the Albanian-dominated part of Macedonia. It won best film in the East of the West competition of Karlovy Vary.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has chosen Ahmed Imamovic’s Belvedere, a mostly black-and-white film telling the story of a family living in a refugee camp with consequences of the Srebrenica massacre. Belvedere was also in Karlovy Vary’s East of the West competition. Bosnia is the only former Yugoslav country with a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, for Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land.

Finally, Croatia has selected Danilo Serbedzija’s 72 Days. The rural comedy about a family in feud with everyone around them (and among themselves) stars the director’s father Rade Serbedzija (X-Men: First Class, Quarantine, Eyes Wide Shut) who won Best Actor for his role at the Croatian national Pula Film Festival last year. The film also won Best Supporting Actor for Serbia’s Bogdan Diklic, as well as the audience award.

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