Sarajevo Film Festival’s industry days include CineLink Co-production Market, Work In Progress, Regional Forum and Industry Terrace

From Aug 21 to 24 at the Sarajevo Film Festival, the international film industry will hit the town for four days of meetings and networking. 

The industry section of the festival has established itself as the main hub for regional film-makers, but since last year projects from the Caucasus region and the North African and Middle Eastern countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea are also eligible for CineLink, the co-production market which is a backbone of this festival strand. 

From this year, there is also a new initiative, the Industry Terrace. 


CineLink is a development and financing platform for regional feature-length fiction films destined for European co-production.

 From Aug 22 to 24, over 500 professionals from the region and the rest of Europe will gather in search of talented film-makers and promising projects. For the representatives of projects at the Co-Production Market and Work in Progress, meetings are arranged with potential partners – co-producers, fund representatives, commissioning editors, sales agents and distributors. Every year, more than 700 registered meetings are held for the projects presented and CineLink monitors and evaluates the results of the meetings. 

On the last day of the Market, the CineLink Jury awards a number of major development awards.

CineLink 2013’s call for entries attracted more than 90 projects in development from 18 different countries across Southeastern Europe. Out of these, 16 projects have been selected for the CineLink and CineLink+ lineups, criteria being the respective film-makers’ potential and strength of the story on one side and potential benefit for the project from the development workshops and the co-production market on the other.

CineLink and CineLink+ selection includes projects by both newcomers and established directors such as Macedonia’s Teona Strugar Mitevska (The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears), Turkey’s Orhan Eskikoy (On The Way To School), Slovenia’s Jan Cvitkovic (Gravehopping), Serbia’s Miroslav Momcilovic (Death Of A Man In The Balkans), Croatia’s Goran Devic (The Blacks), and Romania’s  Marian Crisan (Rocker, Morgen) and Adrian Sitaru (Domestic).

For the first time, in co-operation with the Doha Film Institute, there are two guest projects from the Middle East: Me, Myself And Murdoch by Saudi Arabian-born writer-director Yahya Alabdahh living in Jordan, and Upside Down by Lebanon’s Ahmad Ghossein.

Work In Progress

On Aug 21 and 22, CineLink Work in Progress will present films in post-production, open exclusively to invited international sales agents, festival representatives, distributors and post-production companies. CineLink Work in Progress aims to assist the completion, subsequent festival presentation and theatrical release of the selected films.

Only up to six projects are selected for presentation, thus creating an environment that boosts the chances that the projects will be completed and taken to the international market. 

Directors and producers taking part in this year’s Work In Progress include Georgia’s Tinatin Kajrishvili (Paradjanov), Greece’s Alexis Alexiou (Tale 52), and Romania’s Tudor Giurgiu (Of Snails And Men).

Besides the six, this year will see two additional projects coming from Sarajevo City of Film, a production scheme developed by Obala art Centar in partnership with Atlantic Grupa and Sarajevo Film Festival supporting the realization of short micro-budget films by emerging filmmakers designed as a link between training, networking and the film industry. The film-makers behind the two projects are Romania’s Paul Negoescu (A Month In Thailand) and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sejla Kameric (1395 Days Without Red)

Two major awards are presented at Work in Progress, consisting of post-production services from Berlin-based The Post Republic (€80,000) and Slovenia’s Restart (€20,000). 

Regional Forum

The Regional Forum is the festival’s major annual conference on current issues for the film industry in South East Europe. It brings together more than 100 professionals from 15 regional countries, from both the private and public sector, to discuss the burning issues in the industry, advocate for and shape up public policies, and network with each other.

This year the Regional Forum will take place from Aug 22-24 and tackle three main subjects:

  1. Streamlining the public funding for co-productions in the countries of former Yugoslavia;
  2. Cultural policies and how to boost the impact of creative industries on local societies and economies;
  3. Business models: film industry between new legislations and new technologies.

Panels will include representatives of regional film funding bodies and national film centres, TV and cable operators, producers and distributors, some of the world’s biggest film festivals, Eurimages, FERA, and MPA.

Full programme here:

Industry Terrace

Industry Terrace, the new initiative of the festival’s industry section, will serve as a platform to encourage business with rights and licenses for the films at the festival, as well as the use of production services in the region.

The presence of sales agents and producers on one side, and festival programmers, distributors, TV acquisition managers and VOD platforms operators on the other, will be used to encourage circulation and business for both festival films and catalogue titles.

Producers with projects in production will get the opportunity to meet companies offering services, who in turn can benefit from meeting equipment manufacturers offering significant festival discounts.

The sessions will take place Aug 23 and 24, when the participants will be able to speak to representatives of the Croatian Radio and Television, HBO Adria, Al Jazeera Balkans, The Post Republic, Restart, The Film Factory, Serbian Film Centre, Slovenian Film Centre, Macedonian Film Centre, Croatian Audivisual Centre, ChakaPro, Digital Cube, and ZONA.

Full programme here: