Local director Danis Tanovic triumphed at this year's Sarajevo Film Festival, winning both Best First Feature and Audience Award for his feature debt No Man's Land.
The jury of UK actress Lena Headey, Croatian writer Miljenko Jergovic, and French fashion designer Agnes B declared that Tanovic's film showed "excellent acting, a shocking but humorous story and effective and precise directing" adding " Tanovic shows that it is possible to transform the horrifying subject of war into a worthy and dignified aesthetic act".
No Man's Land, which was also screened to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Film Festival on Friday night (August 25), had been the much anticipated opening film at this year's Sarajevo's open-air programme on August 17.
In addition, the jury awarded Honorable Mentions to the Japanese film, 19, directed by Kazushi Watanabe and to the Iranian film, A Time for Drunken Horses, directed by the Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi.
Meanwhile, the Prix UIP Sarajevo, presented to the best European short in the festival's New Currents programme was awarded by the European Film Academy's director Marion Doering and UIP Executive Vice President Philip Solomons to Austrian director Virgil Widrich's 12-minute Copy Shop. Widrich's film will now go ahead to the UIP-sponsored short film competition of the European Film Awards to be decided in Berlin on December 1.
Commenting on its decision, the jury composed of Izeta Gradevic, art director of Obala Art Centre and Sarajevo Film Festival, Mirza Pasic, a graduate in Direction at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, and the freelance journalist Marinela Domancic noted that the competition's lineup had been particularly strong and they had taken 90 minutes to make their final decision.
At the same time, a Special Mention was made of the French film Mr. William, Traces Of A Possible Life (Monsieur William, Les Traces D'une Vie Possible) by Denis Gaubert.