Debut films and young themes lead selections; Documentary Competition to have seven world premieres

The Sarajevo Film Festival’s 17th edition (July 22-30) will offer eight feature films in the Main Competition, including one world premiere and two international premieres; 24 titles in the Documentary Competition with seven world premieres; and 11 in Short Film Competition, among which four are world premieres.

While the main programme will open with the Gala Screening of a film by a veteran director, the Silver Bear winner The Turin Horse by Bela Tarr, the competition features seven debut films and only one second feature - Catalin Mitulescu’s Cannes Un Certain Regard title Loverboy.

“By definition an action of discovering implies exposure to a view or making something known. It also means a revelation or finding out something previously unknown and recognizing and making it known,” said Sarajevo programmer Elma Tataragic. “The definition of discovery I prefer is a quote by Marcel Proust: ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes’.”

Most of the films are truly youth-oriented. The world premiere is Nejc Gazivoda’s A Trip [pictured] from Slovenia, a low-budget road movie about a reunion of three young people who meet for the first time after their high school graduation. The two international premieres are Aldo Tardozzi’s Spots from Croatia, about two young girls who are forced to spend a night together in a night club; and Seyfettin Tokmak’s Broken Mussels from Turkey, about two children lost in Istanbul. Broken Mussels was developed through Sarajevo’s CineLink and won its Work-in-Progress Award in 2010.

The regional premieres include Bujar Alimani’s Amnesty (Albania-Greece-France), an intimate love story with a tragic end, the winner of the CICAE Award in the Forum of New Cinema section at the Berlinale; Konstantin Boyanov’s Ave (Bulgaria) which premiered in the Cannes Critics Week, a road movie about two young people who invent new identities for themselves; the directorial debut of The Counterfeiters’ lead actor Karl Markovics, Breathing (Atmen), the opening film of the Cannes Director’s Fortnight about a young man’s search for his mother; and Rotterdam opener Wasted Youth by Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel, a story of a police officer and a young teenager set against current events in Greece.

Additionally, Sarajevo will present the world premiere of the first feature film Ascent by Nemanja Becanovic from Montenegro, also developed through CineLink. This film will be screened Out of Competition “in attempt to encourage new talents coming from Montenegro,” as Tataragic said.

The In Focus programme will present seven films: Milcho Manchevski’s Mothers which premiered at Toronto in 2010; Seyfi Teoman’s Our Grand Dispair, developed through CineLink and selected for the Berlinale Official Selection this year; Kamen Kalev’s The Island, also a CineLink title, which premiered in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight section; Slovenian director Vlado Skafar’s debut feature Dad, a participant of the 2010 Venice Days; Bulgarian director Drago Sholev’s Shelter, winner of the Best Film Award at the Sofia Film Festival; Marian Crisan’s Morgen, winner of several awards at last year’s Locarno, also developed through CineLink; and Markus Schleinzer’s Michael from Austria which screened in the Cannes competition.

In the Documentary Competition, the seven world premieres include Bosnian Rhapsody… At The Margins of Science by Vesna Ljubic, A Cell Phone Movie by Nedzad Begovic, A Day On The Drina by Ines Tanovic, Her Cinema Love by Nejra Latic-Hulusic and David Jan Bronsgeest, A Hero For Our Time by Seki Radoncic, Loaded by Alen Drljevic (all from Bosnia and Herzegovina), and Land Of Knowledge by Sasa Ban from Croatia.

International premieres in the Documentary Competition are Agnes Sos’ Invisible Strings – The Talented Pusker Sisters from Hungary, Metin Akdemir’s I’ve Come And I’m Gone from Turkey, Arman T. Riahi’s Schwarzkopf from Austria, Maja Weiss’ Where Has The Working Class Gone? from Slovenia, and three titles from Croatia: Silvestar Kolbas’ War Reporter, Domagoj Matizovic’s Depopulation, and Vedran Samanovic’s The Way Out.

The Documentary Competition’s regional premieres include Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits by Imre Azem from Turkey, My Mate Manchester United by Stefan Valdobrev from Bulgaria, My Vote by Monica Lazurean-Gorgan and Andrei Gorgan from Romania, Old Mountain by Goran Stankovic from Serbia, and Rules Of Single Life by Tonislav Hristov (Bulgaria-Finland).

The Bosnian premieres of Mila Turajlic’s Cinema Komunisto from Serbia, Namik Kabil’s Magnet from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Occident (Abendland) from Austria, Mladen Maticevic’s Run For Life from Serbia and Vladimir Perovic’s Trials, Tribulations & Sustainable Growth Of A Cock from Montenegro round up the Documentary Competition.

The 11 films in the Short Film Competition were chosen from more than 250 titles. The competition features the world premieres of The Counting Device by Daniel Sandu from Romania, Kiyamet by Ivan Ramadan from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and two Slovenian films: The Things We’ve Never Done Together by Martin Turk and Warm For This Time Of Year by Blaz Kutin.