Screen previews the Sarajevo Film Festival’s industry events, which includes a UK focus, the annual Regional Forum and highlights of the Work in Progress and CineLink projects.

Over the last ten years, Southeast Europe’s most important film event Sarajevo Film Festival has also become its main industry hub.

What started in 2003 with CineLink, a co-production market initially modeled after Rotterdam’s CineMart, has developed into an increasingly wide array of industry events, simultaneously expanding from the region towards Caucasus countries, and in recent years aiming to spread its activities and networking overseas, in partnerships with the Doha Film Institute, the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture, and from this year, Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía (IMCINE).

While the Industry Days peak in the final part of the festival, from August 20-23, its activities started on Sunday [17], with the presentation of the newly established Sarajevo City of Film Fund.

In addition to CineLink, the heart of the festival’s industry section, and Sarajevo City of Film Fund, the programme includes the Regional Forum, Industry Terrace, Docu Rough Cut Boutique and Minimarket.


In its 12th year, the CineLink co-production market can now boast several success stories with developing projects that later won prizes at world’s biggest festivals including most recently Harmony Lessons, winner of Silver Bear at the 2013 Berlinale;  White Shadow, winner of Lion of the Future at Venice 2013; and The Lamb, CICAE Award at this year’s Berlinale and also in competition at Sarajevo.

From Aug 20-23, CineLink will feature 17 projects chosen from more than 200 submissions, divided into two sections: CineLink (criteria being the film-makers’ potential and strength of the story ) and CineLink Plus (based on potential benefit for the project from the development workshops and the co-production market).

CineLink projects include The Gulf by Turkey’s Emre Yeksan, the directorial debut of the Come To My Voice producer; and Nanook by Bulgaria’s Milko Lazarov (Alienation), a project that has generated strong buzz in the region since its award in Second Films Projects pitching at Sofia Meetings.

CineLink Plus features My Happy Family by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross (In Bloom); Lemonade by director Ioana Uricaru (Tales From The Golden Age) with Cristian Mungiu as producer; and Hilal, Feza And Other Planets by Kutlug Ataman (The Lamb).

In addition, there are three guest projects from outside Europe: Soleen Yusef’s House Without Roof
(Kurdistan Regional Government Iraq, Germany), in collaboration with Doha Film Institute; José Luis Valle’sOperation: Baby (Mexico), in collaboration with IMCINE; and Bassam Chekhes’s To All Naked Men (Syria, Netherlands), in collaboration with The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture.

The jury consists of industry heavyweights such as Behrooz Hashemian (Silkroad Production) 
Čedomir Kolar (ASAP Films), Georges Goldenstern (Festival Cannes), Claire Launay and Annamaria Lodato (ARTE France), and Dorien Van de Pas (Netherlands Film Fund).

They will give out awards totaling €58,500 ($78,300) in cash and post-production services from partners including Eurimages, CNC, Arte, Living Pictures, Synchro Film Vienna and EAVE.   

The CineLink Project Book can be found here:

Work in Progress

Seven films in post-production will be presented in the Work in Progress selection, with the aim to assist their completion, subsequent festival presentation and theatrical release.

The selection includes Why Me? by Tudor Giurgiu (Of Snails And Men), The Wounded Angel by Emir Baigazin (Harmony Lessons), Mother by Vlado Škafar (Dad), and The Other Side Of Everything by Mila Turajlić (Cinema Komunisto), selected from the festival’s documentary workshop Docu Rough Cut Boutique.   

The jury consisting of Nelleke Driessen (Fortissimo Films), Tolke Palm (The Post Republic), and
Meinolf Zurhorst (ZDF/ARTE) will award two films €80,000 ($107,000) in services from The Post Republic and €20,000 ($27,000) from Restart.

The Work in Progress Project Book can be found here:

Partner Country: UK

The CineLink Partner Country Initiative, which has run for more than a decade, aims to systematically strengthen the working relationship between the Southeast European film industry and its international counterparts. Most recent partner countries have been Germany, France and Switzerland.

This year’s Partner Country is the UK, and around 20 British producers, sales agents, distributors, agents and festival representatives will be present at CineLink for four intensive days of meeting regional film makers and promoting the possibilities of cooperation with the UK.

The UK focus is arranged in collaboration with the British Film Institute and the British Council with its Connecting Film initiative. 

“Throughout the years we have seen many successful results coming out of the Partner Country project, and we’re excited to see what this year’s exchange will bring,” says Jovan Marjanovic, Head of Industry at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

“Though our film industries are quite different, the challenges today are shared across Europe, so this will give us all a fantastic opportunity to take on current film industry topics together.”

Docu Rough Cut Boutique

The Sarajevo Film Festival/Balkan Documentary Center’s Docu Rough Cut Boutique offers five projects from the region tailor-made coaching, expert advice and access to decision-makers who can have crucial influence on moving the projects forward in their final stage. 

During six intensive group sessions and 17 individual one-to-one meetings, the selected teams and mentors work on the rough cut material. 

This year, Docu Rough Cut Boutique introduces a new formula with 5 + 2 mentors. In addition to the regular five mentors, the selected participants will have the privilege of working with film/story editors, film professionals with rich experience such as US editor Anne Barliant (The Linguists), Macedonian director, writer and editor Ivo Trajkov (The Greatest Water), the European Documentary Network director Paul Pauwels, director and cinematographer Leonard Retel Helmrich (Position Among The Stars),  HBO Europe’s executive producer of documentaries Hanka Kastelicová, UK director Phil Cox (Bengali Detective), and Catherine le Clef, of the French sales company Cats & Docs.

The Docu Rough Cut Boutique selection can be found here:

Industry Terrace

 Established last year, the Industry Terrace serves as the business, meeting and social space for industry guests during the festival. It is also designed to enhance circulation and business with rights and licenses of the films presented at the festival, as well as other catalogue titles.

 This year film professionals will have the opportunity to meet more than 100 key players: sales and distribution companies, TV and VOD buyers, theatrical exhibitors, as well as service and rental offering companies, who will be present at the Terrace. 

In addition, new industry programme Avant Premiere showcases titles in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin languages planned for release in the autumn 2014 and winter 2015 to exhibitors and distributors in the former Yugoslav countries. 

Regional Forum

The Regional Forum is an annual conference on current issues facing the film industry in Southeast Europe, bringing together more than 100 key professionals from 15 countries and their private and public sectors. 

In its sixth edition (Aug 20-22), the Forum features a MEDIA conference organized in collaboration with Creative Europe, and it will be presenting three days of debate on the future of audience development, film education and co-production. 

A number of international experts from exhibition, research, distribution, production and film agencies such as BFI, European Commission and IMCINE will share their insights.

The Forum discussions are split into three panels:

  • ·International co-production – spreading the European co-production model overseas: Eurimages looks to expand outside Europe and potentially to grant associate membership status to non-Europeans, in order to make it easier for countries to co-produce through a reformed convention without having to go to the lengths of striking a bilateral treaty.

  • Reaching the audience:  This panel brings together European experts to explore the different ways films reach spectators throughout Europe.

  • Film literacy – a strategy for audience development:  A debate on how to develop the audience of tomorrow through a European-wide film literacy programme.

More detail here:

The full programme and list of speakers can be found here:


Minimarket is an umbrella platform for short films at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Its aim is to enhance the visibility of the short films taking part in the festival, and to bring filmmakers together with prominent European short film festival programmers, sales agents, and distributors, thus strengthening their promotion and future circulation. 

MiniMarket also organizes special programmes curated by eminent short film festivals, industry screenings, case studies, lectures and a meeting place offering networking opportunities for everyone involved in short films.