ABOUT 11TH ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 2014
"Finding Family," a documentary film by Chris Leslie and Oggi Tomić; "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker," a feature film directed by Danis Tanović; and "Mum," a short fiction film directed by Ado Hasanović, won Golden Apple awards at the eleventh annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival, held May 1-3 at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City. All winning films were announced at the festival's Closing Party on Saturday, May 3rd, held in The Varick Room at Tribeca Cinemas.
"An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker" won the BHFF 2014 Jury Award for the Best Feature Film. "Mum" won the BHFF 2014 award for Best Short Film, and "Finding Family" won the BHFF 2014 Jury Award for the Best Documentary Film.
These outstanding films were selected by the official BHFF 2014 Jury, an expert panel comprising of L.A.-based author, filmmaker and photographer Harun Mehmedinović; internationally-acclaimed artist Nebojša Šerić-Shoba; and Brooklyn-based filmmaker and multimedia artist Amir Husak. Husak was present at the Closing Party to announce the Golden Apple award winners in each category. When asked to comment on this year's film selection, Mehmedinović praised Danis Tanović's latest feature film: "I think this is Danis' best film and is a pretty good example of the type of film which I'd like to see other directors try. In other words, they should find people who are interesting but are not actors. Forget about writing the script, and let it be improvised and be spontaneous."
Ado Hasanović, whose film "Mum" won the Jury Award for Best Short Film, expressed his gratitude: "I want to thank the Jury for this award, presented at such an important festival of Bosnian-Herzegovinian film in New York City. I share this award with all those who have worked on, participated in and supported my film 'Mum.' I especially want to thank all those who believed in my effort and work!"
In addition to the Jury Award for the Best Documentary Film, "Finding Family" also won the BHFF 2014 Audience Award for Best Picture. The film's director, Chris Leslie, accepted both Golden Apples at the Closing Party. Leslie said he is "absolutely delighted to win the awards," and added that "just having the film screen at BHFF in New York City is a great accolade in itself."
Oggi Tomić, whose life story is the subject of the documentary, was thrilled with the big win: "Wow, what can I say, to have its New York City premiere and be up in competition with great filmmakers and films is an honor in itself, but to win not just one, but two awards is beyond my expectations and I am extremely ecstatic with the result.''
This eleventh annual BHFF screened a total of 16 feature, short, and documentary films, compiled from a total of 33 submissions from 10 countries including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, the Netherlands, Finland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the United States, and Canada.
The 2014 program included the world premieres of "May 31st," "Bosnia in Our Hearts," and "Shunt;" the U.S. premiere of "Tales from a Forgotten City;" and the New York City premiere of "Finding Family." Other films that screened at the eleventh annual BHFF included "Circles," "A Stranger," "With Mom," "Beško," "Vita Mulier," "A Wound That Is Hidden," "Just to take a look," "Trnopolje, A Forgotten Summer," and "We Survived."
Among the guests at the eleventh annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival were H.E. Ambassador Jadranka Negodić and Minister Counselor Adnan Hadrović from the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Embassy in Washington, D.C.; Sixten Björkstrand, director of "Bosnia in Our Hearts"; and Refik Hodžić and Eldar Sarajlić, who led an expert panel discussion after the screening of Block 2 films on the first day of the festival.
The festival would like to thank:
• participating filmmakers, distributors, and production companies
• the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
• Graphic Executions
• Tribeca Cinemas
• Dr. Džemaludin Harba for awards sponsorship
• Bell Book & Candle
• DJL Architect P.C.
• media partners: Eurochannel and Radio M - and all the other world media and websites which have covered us, including 24sata.info, AltCine, Balcanicaucaso.org, Balkanist.net, BHFilm.ba, BHreporter.ba, BHRT, BiHDijaspora.com, Bljesak.info, BosniakAndJewishFriendship.wordpress.com, BrazdaBlog.com, Dnevni Avaz, Doznajemo.com, FilmFestivalLife.com, FestivalFocus.org, Film Festival Lounge, FilmFestivalSecrets.com, Immigrant Magazine, IndiewoodHollywoodnt, Klix.ba, MediterraneanNews.com, NYCineFiles.net, NYLovesFilm.com, Oslobodjenje, Radio Sarajevo, Revija Fokus, RTV Slon, Sarajevo Times, Source.ba, Televizija Sarajevo, UsedYorkCity.com, Vijesti.ba, Vimooz.com, and many others
• Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo / Akademija Scenskih Umjetnosti Sarajevo, Arts Initiative at Columbia University, Columbia University Central and Eastern European Club, The Harriman Institute at Columbia University, Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival (LATFF), Mreža za Izgradnju Mira, NYU's Center for European and Mediterranean Studies (CEMS), NYU International Education Program, Sarajevo Film Festival, South East European Film Festival
• those who have helped finance this year's BHFF: Influenster (Contributing Sponsor) and all other individual donors BHFF Board of Patrons: Selma and Goran Avdičević, Amy Kates, Dr. Muhamed Šarić, Adnan and Nermica Šarčević, Milad and Selma Hadžiabdić́
• Additional Support By: Richard Wraxall, Moore & Barbara Forster, Moore Les & Samira Dinkin, Michael Kieffer, Mersiha Omeragić, Aida Pašić, Natassia Watson, Ellen Zimmerman, Steven Mandel, Stephanie Bowker, Amra Turalić, Lejla Hadžić, Nick Spyers, Benjamin Coleman, Azra Idrizović, Linnea Perelli-Minetti, Annie Boardman, Robert Friel, Shannon O'Toole, and many other individual donors
• the members of the BHFF Team: Alma Subašić, Almir Lucević, Amelisa Dzulović, Anela Pašović, Damir Pozderac, Dino Bešlić, Džemaludin Harba, Jelena Subotić, Leila Rachidi, Milan Džaja, Mirza Medunjanin, Oleh Dubno, Sanida Luković, Shannon O'Toole, Shonda Swissh, Zlatko Filipović
BHFF 2014 PROGRAM
A WOUND THAT IS HIDDEN
(Rana koja se krije)
2013 | Una Kreso | 14 min
Sanja was born in Bosnia, but having fled the war with her family as a young girl, she remembers nothing about her homeland. Eighteen years later, Sanja returns to Sarajevo to discover her roots.
(Trideset i prvi maj)
2013 | Mirza Ajnadžić | 28 min
On May 31, 1992 in the city of Prijedor (Bosnia-Herzegovina), all of the non-Serb population had to wear white armbands when going out on the streets. In the coming days 30,000 people were sent to the death camps, and 3,000 were killed. Since then, authorities in Prijedor have never allowed a commemoration for war victims. Film follows the response to the ban by members of the White Armband Initiative in Prijedor.
2013 | Mirna Dizdarević | 13 min
Vita Mullier is the story of two ballerinas. They belong to different generations, but they share a common fate when it comes to the art of ballet. The two of them are struggling to survive in a city that does not value their art. This is a story about survival, friendship and respect between two human beings.
JUST TO TAKE A LOOK
(Samo da pogledam)
2013 | Damir Bašić | 1 min
Inspired by folklore storytelling, "Just to take a look" is a social commentary on the daily life of an ordinary citizen.
2013 | Faruk Lončarević | 80 min
Berina, a young artist, struggles to come to terms with her mother's terminal illness and the deterioration of family bonds, while also exploring her awakening sexuality. Lončarević's powerful coming-of-age story examines the sharpened dynamics of a family in crisis.
TALES FROM A FORGOTTEN CITY
2013 | Amir Grabus | 27 min
'Tales from a Forgotten City' is an ode to the beautiful memories of Mostar as it once used to be. It follows the dream of music producer Dragi Šestić and his musical ensemble, Mostar Sevdah Reunion. Their dream is to preserve and revive those memories and to remind the people of the rich multicultural heritage of this small city.
BOSNIA IN OUR HEARTS
(Bosnien i våra hjärtan)
2013 | Sixten Björkstrand | 29 min
Bosnia-Herzegovina is a divided country and its citizens have been scattered all over the world. But the one thing that can unite them is football. Three Bosnians from Finland travel to Lithuania to witness the last and crucial qualifying game for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
2014 | Zoran Ćatić | 5 min
"Shunt" is a story of transitions. History and socio-political circumstances force us to adapt continually, but the permanence of memories keeps hope alive.
TRNOPOLJE, A FORGOTTEN SUMMER
(Trnopolje, jedno zaboravljeno ljeto)
2012 | Zabou Cârrière, Taina Tervonen, Jean-Baptiste Delpias | 55 min
Twenty years after the war, three survivors of the concentration camp in Trnopolje, Bosnia-Herzegovina are retelling their stories. Rasma, Nedžad and Mirela all wonder whether it is possible to build a common future while forgetting the past.
2013 | Nedžad Begović | 26 min
Filmmaker Beško is a modern guy who belongs to the new generation of Sarajevo "Walters". In songs dedicated to the Prettiest Girl, Beško recalls the most important details from his 'timeline.' Beško is not interested in how a certain generation used to do something, but how he does something with his generation. He is a responsible guy with passion for cinema, sports, the Prettiest Girl...
2012 | Srđan Golubović | 112 min
In the grips of the Bosnian war in 1993, Serbian soldier Marko witnesses his three comrades brutally attacking Haris, a Muslim civilian. Marko interferes and saves Haris' life, but is consequently killed by his infuriated fellow soldiers. In 2008, years after the war's conclusion, the effects of the conflict still loudly resonate. As Marko's father rebuilds a church, he hesitates to accept the help of one of his son's murderers.
AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER
(Epizoda u životu berača željeza)
2013 | Danis Tanović | 75 min
Nazif can barely support his family with earnings from his work as an iron picker. He searches daily for scrap metal while his partner Senada tends to their home and two young daughters. When Senada becomes critically ill and is refused medical treatment, their harrowing odyssey of survival provides a damning critique of the social conditions that trap them.
2013 | Ado Hasanović | 15 min
A woman, after she was accused of killing her husband, is released from prison after 13 years. She comes home and meets her son and his pregnant girlfriend, who are standing with packed suitcases and plane tickets in their hands... The young couple is ready to move to Australia and start a new life
(U potrazi za porodicom)
2013 | Chris Leslie and Oggi Tomić | 55 min
The film tells the story of one Sarajevo orphan's extraordinary journey as he heads back to Bosnia 20 years after the war. He's searching for answers from his long-lost family. It turns out the family he has waited his entire life to hear from are on the same side as the men who shelled and sniped at him during the 1,300-day siege of Sarajevo.
(Nek je živa glava)
2013 | Amela Ćuhura | 20 min
After he has been exchanged as POW in the forest, Edhem comes to Sarajevo to find his wife Zehra and their daughter Hatidza. His relatives in Sarajevo give him the address where Zehra lives with her new husband. Hatidža opens the door and does not recognize him. There is no more place for him in his family.
(Obrana i zaštita)
2013 | Bobo Jeličić | 87 min
The death of an old friend plunges Slavko into a dilemma. He is unsure whether he, a Croat, should attend the funeral in the Muslim part of Mostar. On the one hand, he feels like it's his duty; on the other, he fears a hostile reaction from his own community. This psychological study is based on the fact that nearly two decades after the war, Mostar is still divided.