The Sarajevo Film Festival’s documentary competition will include six world premieres, seven international premieres, and four Bosnian premieres.
“If we look closely at the credits of several films from this year’s selection, we notice that quite a number of them are developed during various European workshops, and moreover, quite a few managed to get big European broadcasters on board – like the French Arte, the German ZDF or the Finish YLE – or prestigious film funds,” says programmer Rada Sesic. “That also means that the themes from our region, given in an internationally appealing manner, are still in demand in the rest of the world, especially Europe.”
World premieres include Cycles by Croatia’s Vladimir Gojun, well-known feature film editor whose directing documentary debut is about a young man suffering from malign cancer. Also from Croatia, The Flood by Goran Devic, one of the territory’s most successful documentary film-makers, tells the story about two volunteers who remain the only link to outside world when a large part of Croatian plain Lika gets under water due to heavy rains and snow melting. Robert Zuber’s Mila Seeking Senida (Croatia/BiH) explores the story of a Bosnian girl who went missing during the war when she was nine months old, and then is discovered living with a Belgrade family under a new name 16 years later. Biljana Garvanlieva’s The Seamstress (Macedonia/Germany) tells the parable of the children of Macedonia after the collapse of communism and takes a look behind the curtains of globalization. From Greece comes a story about twelve different characters living in one Athens street in Mariana Economou’s Twelve Neighbours, and Years Eaten By Lions by Bosnia’s Boro Kontic is a thorough account of warmongering journalism and propaganda during the war in former Yugoslavia.
Among international premieres, in A Star Is Born (Serbia) the director Vanja Kovacevic sets a task for herself: to fulfill her childhood dream to play drums in a band. Another Serbian title is partially about music- Milan Nikodijevic’s Mica And The Stories Around Her is a portrait of the underground folk music star Mica Trofrtaljka. Istvan Nagy’s Hard Lines (Hungary) examines the effectiveness of a Western European model of juvenile court sanction in the socially stratified region of Borsod county. Alexandru Solomon’s Kapitalism: Our Improved Formula (Rom/Fra/Bel) is a look at Romanian society twenty years after Ceausescu. Huseyin Tabak’s Kick Off, winner of audience prize at the Festival of Austrian Film in Graz, tells the story about Austrian team at the Homeless Street Soccer World Cup in Australia. Doca Kilcioglu’s Married To The Camera is about a very popular Turkish TV programme which aims to marry people in front of the camera. Paradise Hotel by Sophia Tzavella explores life in a decrepit provincial town in Bulgaria.
Four Bosnian premieres are The World According To Ion B by Romania’s Alexander Nanau about the journey and transformation of Ion B from tramp to internationally acclaimed artist Ion Barladeanu; Zeljko Mirkovic’s The Long Road Through Balkan History (Serbia) in which two famous Balkan writers, Miljenko Jergovic from Croatia and Marko Vidojkovic from Serbia, drive together throughout former Yugoslavia; Yeliz Shukri’s and Simon Bacheli’s Murid from Cyprus tells about American Chris Collins, who as a wayward, rock music-obsessed 15 year-old found himself drawn into a deeply mystical Islamic sect; and Croatia’s Nenad Puhlovski examines five different relationships in Together.