Elia Suleiman

Source: Sarajevo Film Festival

Elia Suleiman

Sarajevo Film Festival will honour Palestinian director Elia Suleiman with its Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award, and will screen a retrospective of selected works by the filmmaker.

The award will be presented to Suleiman at the 30th edition of the festival, which takes place from August 16-23.

Suleiman was a guest at the festival in 2019, where his film It Must Be Heaven was screened in the Open Air programme. He also served as the president of the jury at the festival in 2016.

Suleiman’s first feature Chronicle of a Disappearance won the Best First Film Prize at Venice in 1996. In 2002, Divine Intervention won the Jury Prize and the Fipresci International Critics Prize at Cannes as well as the Best Foreign Film Prize at the European Awards in Rome. His last feature film It Must Be Heaven won the Jury Special Mention in Cannes in 2019, and the Fipresci International Critics Prize.

Suleiman was named Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France’s Ministry of Culture in 2020, and was the recipient of the European Achievement in World Cinema award in 2022. He also serves as an artistic advisor for the Doha Film Institute.

Jovan Marjanović, director of the Sarajevo Film Festival, said: “With his trademark wit, humour and profound insight, [Suleiman] navigates the complexities of our existence, shedding light on the absurdities of life with unmatched clarity and poignancy, portraying the spirit and identity of Palestine with a unique authorial style. Now, in the darkest of times in his native land, his work serves as a beacon of understanding, reminding us of the power of storytelling to inspire meaningful dialogue.”