Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF TM )
Although Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country in Southeastern Europe slightly smaller than West Virginia, generates only several feature films per year, its filmmakers have gained worldwide recognition, producing award-winning movies on very low budgets. The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF) is an annual event, featuring contemporary Bosnian-Herzegovinian cinematography and films with Bosnia and Herzegovina as their theme. Since its founding in 2003, the BHFF has gained a reputation as an important showcase that provides a platform for the exposure of up-and-coming and internationally-renowned filmmakers, thus contributing to a greater understanding of this country, its diverse culture and complex history.
This vibrant cultural event, taking place in New York City, brings together a wide spectrum of audiences. To date, BHFF has screened close to 100 feature length, short, documentary and animated films viewed by several thousand people. The tenth annual BHFF will take place May 9-11, 2013 at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City.
The idea for organizing the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival was first conceived in 2002 among film enthusiasts from the Bosnian-Herzegovinian diaspora in San Francisco and New York City. The late Benjamin Filipovic, an award-winning film director, professor at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, and president of the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, provided the inspiration for the first film festival.
In 2003, Dr. Džemaludin Harba invited representatives of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian community in New York to a brainstorming meeting regarding a potential festival of Bosnian and Herzegovinian film. This group of volunteers and the Radio Voice of Bosnia and Herzegovina together produced the first annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF) that same year. Following its debut, in 2005 the BHFF became a co-production between Radio Voice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Academy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2003, BHFF was held at the Two Boots Pioneer Theatre. The following year, BHFF moved to larger premises at the Anthology Film Archives, known as an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video. In 2007, BHFF relocated to Tribeca Cinemas, one of New York City's highly regarded film institutions.
The festival is organized by two not-for-profit organizations: the Voice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Inc. and the Academy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Voice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and raising awareness of Bosnian-Herzegovinian culture in the tri-state area and beyond. The Voice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Inc. broadcasts a radio program in the Bosnian language and organizes events for the Bosnian-Herzegovinian community. For more information, visit http://www.voiceofbh.org/.
The Academy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Inc. is a not-for-profit cultural and advocacy organization, which serves as a platform for various cultural, artistic, and professional exchange programs led by its members. These programs are intended to benefit Bosnians and Herzegovinians in New York City and the United States. For more information, visit http://www.academybh.org/.
Since its founding, the BHFF has been supported solely by the tireless efforts of its volunteers.
Audience and Constituency
The Bosnian-Herzegovinian community has had a presence in the United States for more than a hundred years. While official reports from the 2010 census indicate that there are 122,529 Bosnian-Americans in the United States, it is estimated that today there are some 350,000 Bosnian-Americans of full or partial Bosnian descent living in the country. The BHFF embodies a crucial link to Bosnia and Herzegovina for the tri-state diaspora. The festival has been consistently praised for its quality of films, and for the level of cultural exposure it provides. The BHFF helps bring together not only the Bosnian-American and other Balkan communities, but also film and Balkan culture enthusiasts.
Honorary guests have included acclaimed members of the U.S. and Bosnian-Herzegovinian cultural community, such as Sarajevo Film Festival representatives Emina Ganic and Mirsad Purivatra; actors Snežana Bogdanovic, Daniela Dakich, Uliks Fehmiu and Kasia Grabowski; filmmakers Samir Bajric, Naida Begovic, Igor Borovac, Gates Gooding, Chris Ernst, Alison Hanson, Refik Hodžic, Pamela Hogan, Amir Husak, Namik Kabil, Rešad Kulenovic, Davor Mamuzic, Ozren Milharcic, Nino Raspudic, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Steve Nemsick, Džemal Šabic, Sabina Vajraca, Claire Wasserman and late Benjamin Filipovic.
Other prominent guests included Indira Kajoševic Škoric, PhD, co-director and co-founder of RACCOON, Inc. - Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network; artists Aida Šehovic, Nebojša Šeric Shoba and Sara Terry; writers Zlata Filipovic, Alexandar Hemon and Sasha Skenderija; singer-songwriter Jess King and DJ Tomo.
Among notable guests were also H.E. Mirsada Colakovic, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations and Ivan Barbalic, Permanent Ambassador of the Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations and representatives from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the United Nations.
Films selected to screen at the annual BHFF are eligible to win a number of honors including the "Golden Apple" audience and jury awards.
The BHFF will award the 2013 BHFF Audience Award for Best Picture to one film selected by audience members. Films eligible for the Audience Award will be all those screened at the BHFF 2013 that were produced between 2011 and 2013.
Additionally, BHFF Jury Awards are presented to the most outstanding films screened at the festival. Members of the BHFF Jury are accomplished and recognized members of Bosnian-Herzegovinian and American cultural, film and art communities who have significantly contributed to the Bosnian-Herzegovinian film industry and to Bosnian-Herzegovinian culture. Past members of the BHFF Jury have included award-winning filmmakers Refik Hodžic and Steve Nemsick, as well as the accomplished Bosnian-American fiction writer Aleksandar Hemon.
In 2013, the BHFF Jury will consist of aclaimed Croatian director and screenwriter, Goran Rusinovic; award-winning filmmaker and humanitarian, Bill Carter; and acclaimed photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, Sara Terry. They will award following honors to the most outstanding films: BHFF 2013 Jury Award for Best Documentary Film; BHFF 2013 Jury Award for Best Short or Animated Film and BHFF 2013 Jury Award for Best Feature Film. Films screened at the BHFF 2013, produced between 2011 and 2013 are eligible for the Jury Awards.
For more information about past BHFF™ events, please visit:
First annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2003
Second annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2005
Third annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2006
Fourth Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2007
Fifth Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2008
Sixth Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2009
Seventh Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2010
Eighth Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2011
Ninth Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival™ 2012