The Sarajevo Film Festival has announced the features and shorts competition, as well as the In Focus sidebar, of its 18th edition, which runs July 6 to 14.
The Feature Film Competition, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, consists of nine films from the region of South-Eastern Europe, including the world premiere of Austrian director Florian Flicker’s fifth feature film Crossing Boundaries. It is a story about a bizarre love triangle, starring Revanche’s Andreas Lust. Flicker is best known for Hold Up which won the Austrian national festival Diagonale Grand Prize in 2001, and gained three of its actors Bronze Leopard awards in Locarno in 2000.
The second Austrian entry in the Competition, a regional premiere, is Ruth Mader’s What Is Love, which plays with fiction and documentary form, bringing five stories which in different ways explore life and relationships in the contemporary world. Mader’s previous, debut feature film Struggle was a moderate hit on the festival circuit in 2003.
Serbian director Miroslav Terzic’s first feature film Redemption Street, a political thriller involiving war criminals and starring Rade Serbedzija, will have its international premiere in Sarajevo.
Regional premieres include Aida Begic’s Children Of Sarajevo, which recently won the Cannes Un Certain Regard Special Distinction; and Radu Jude’s Everybody In Our Family, which premiered in Berlinale’s Forum and won Best Romanian Feature at the Transylvania International Film Festival in Cluj which wrapped a couple of days ago.
Another Berlinale entry, Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska’s The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears, co-produced with Germany, Slovenia and Belgium and starring Victoria Abril, will also have its regional premiere in the Sarajevo competition.
Three Turkish films round up the selection. Belmin Soylemez’s debut feature Present Tense about an unemployed, lonely and unhappy woman who saves money in order to go to the United States will have its international premiere in Sarajevo’s competition.
Another first film, Emin Alper’s Beyond The Hill, co-produced with Greece, won the Caligari Award and Special Mention – First Film in this year’s Berlinale Forum and Golden Tulip at the Istanbul Film Festival. Orhan Eskikoy and Zeynel Dogan’s The Voice Of My Father, which participated at Sarajevo’s co-production market CineLink in 2010 and premiered this year in Rotterdam competition, will be the competition’s fifth regional premiere.
“The selection reflects the state of production in the region, as Turkey is by far the most productive country with about 30 films a year, and the biggest theatrical market as well,” Sarajevo programmer Elma Tataragic told Screendaily. “But it’s more interesting that for the first time we have two films from Austria, a country with half the number of films produced annualy, and the one which has marked this cinematic year so far with films of Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl. I also have to stress that we do not choose films by countries they come from, but by their quality.”
Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner Love will be screened in Sarajevo in the In Focus sidebar which presents regional films which achieved considerable success at films festivals worldwide or at their local markets. Other titles are Benedek Fliegauf’s Just The Wind, winner of this year’s Silver Berlin Bear.
Serbian director Maja Milos’ debut feature Clip, winner of a Rotterdam Tiger; Yorgos Lanthimos’ Alps, which world premiered in Venice last year and won the Golden Osella for Best Screenplay; Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills, winner of Best Screenplay and Best Actress in Cannes; and Bela Tarr-produced omnibus Hungary 2011. In Focus will also pay an hommage to Turkish director Seyfi Teoman who died on May 8, by screening his 2008 film Summer Book.
The Short Film Competition consists of ten films, including two world premieres: Montenegro’s All Of That by Branislav Milanovic and Bulgaria’s The Paraffin Prince by Pavel G. Vesnakov. Nandor Lorincz and Balint Nagy’s 180/100 (Hungary), Jelena Gavrilovic’s Boys, Where Are You (Serbia), Radu Potcoava’s Daddy Rulz (Romania), Catalina Molina’s One Song (Austria), and Marko Djeska’s The Son Of Satan (Croatia) will have their international premieres in Sarajevo, and regional premieres include Barbara Vekaric’s The First Lady Of Dubrava (Croatia), Paul Negoescu’s Horizon (Romania), and Blerta Zeqiri’s The Return (Kosovo).