ABOUT 12TH ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 2015

The festival was held from Thursday, May 21 through Saturday, May 23, 2015. and saw the biggest attendance since the founding. The year 2015 also marked the last year the BHFF was held at Tribeca Cinemas. The venue shut down in the summer of 2015. The BHFF community has fond memories of being at Tribeca Cinemas, which we called home for nearly a decade.

Golden Apple awards went to:

BHFF Jury Award for Best Feature Film: The Bridges of Sarajevo, an omnibus showcasing the talents of 13 European directors, including Leonardo di Constanzo, Jean-Luc Godard, Kamen Kalev, Isild Le Besco, Sergei Loynitsa, Vicenyo Marra, Ursula Meier, Vladimir Perišić, Cristi Puiu, Marc Recha, Angela Schanelec, Aida Begić, and Teresa Villaverde.

BHFF Jury Award for Best Documentary Film: Pretty Village, directed by Dave Evans and produced by Kemal Pervanić.

BHFF Jury Award for Best Short Film: The Chicken by Una Gunjak.

BHFF Audience Award for Best Picture: Racket, a feature film directed by Admir Buljugić.

All winning films were announced at the festival’s Closing Party on Saturday, May 23, held in The Varick Room at Tribeca Cinemas. 
Jury Award winners were selected by the official BHFF 2015 Jury, an expert panel comprising acclaimed filmmaker and media executive Pamela Hogan, award-winning journalist Almin Karamehmedović, and scholar of cultural and cinema studies Dijana Jelača. Hogan and Jelača attended the BHFF and announced the Golden Apple Award winners in each category during the Closing Party. When asked to comment about their selection for the BHFF Jury Award for Best Feature Film, Jelača and Hogan stated: “While not a traditional feature, we salute this fascinating experiment comprising 13 short films and 13 distinct artistic visions of Sarajevo from 1914-2014. It brings together an impressive list of international filmmakers, who tackle a variety of important themes from Sarajevo's, as well as the region's, past and present.”

Una Gunjak, London-based director of The Chicken, was unable to accept her Jury Award for Best Short Film in person but was delighted to receive the news from NYC: “It warms my heart and I am sending [big thanks] across the pond to you. It is particularly tense for me to show the film to an audience that is not just familiar with the Balkan region - but also comes from Bosnia - to an audience that has the right to judge and question your choices. It's a big test of the heart for me - for the film. I want to say a huge thank you to the jury, to everyone who made it to the screening, to the dedicated and supportive team of BHFF and say how sorry I am for not being able to celebrate with you tonight.”

Kemal Pervanić, producer and protagonist of Pretty Village, also sent a statement from London. He emphasized the importance of his documentary film: “Pretty Village had to be done for so many different reasons. It had to be not only a survivor testimony. It also had to be a piece of art that creates a depository of memory upon which we try to build a civilized society. It's been a privilege to have Pretty Village selected for this year's Festival. To win an award is a massive honor, it's a humbling experience for all of us at Pretty Village.” Pervanić added: “I'd like to congratulate all the other filmmakers whose works were included in the festival. Thank you BHFF organizers, thank you, members, of the jury, thank you, members, of the audience. By watching the film you have lent us your support.”

Admir Buljugić won the BHFF Audience Award for Best Picture for his directorial efforts on the feature film Racket. Buljugić expressed his gratitude from Sarajevo: “I am thrilled that the film Racket won the Audience Award. We make films for the audience so we are very happy that it was received so well.”

We were also joined by a great number of special guests and we thank them for supporting the BHFF:

Muamer Čelik, director of Toy Car 
Aleksandar Hemon, co-writer of Love Island
Rialda Zukić, director of Bad Blood
Irena Škorić, director of Dear Lastan!
Darko Herič, director of photography for Dear Lastan!
Denis Butkus, actor in A Quintet
Tanya L. Domi, Columbia University’s Harriman Institute; Emerging Democracies Institute
Jadranka Negodić, Bosnian-Herzegovinian Ambassador to the U.S.
Adnan Hadrović, Minister-Counselor & Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Seeking Truth in the Balkans filmmakers and Q&A panelists: June Ellen Vutrano and Erin Lovall - directors and producers of Seeking Truth in the Balkans
Richard Dicker, Director of The International Justice Program for Human Rights Watch 
Jennifer Trahan, Associate Clinical Professor of Global Affairs at NYU Belinda Cooper, Senior Fellow World Policy Institute

The BHFF team would like to express our deepest gratitude to the local businesses that donated food for Opening and Closing nights of the Festival: Šeher Restaurant, Djerdan Burek Shop and Kafana.

We would also like to thank the incredible media team covering the festival this year: 

Portuguese journalist Ricardo Alexandre Sousa, who has decades of experience covering Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Balkans. He was formerly Deputy News Director at RTP, Portuguese Public Radio and TV. 
Oleh Dubno, New York City-based videographer and BHFF volunteer.
Adnan Šačiragić, Toronto-based photographer and BHFF supporter. 
Mario Marquez, New York City-based photographer. 
Mirza Medunjanin, New York City-based photographer and BHFF volunteer. 

The festival would also like to thank: participating filmmakers, distributors, and production companies the Bosnian-Herzegovinian + Embassy in Washington, D.C. Tribeca Cinemas Dr. Džemaludin Harba for awards sponsorship Trix Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY

Big thank you to our Board of Patrons for their support:
Fuad Sahouri
Amy Kates and Muhamed Šarić
Richard Wraxall Moore and Barbara Forster Moore
Amra Spahić-Musakadić and Vedad Musakadić
Milad and Selma Hadžiabdić

Big thank you to our individual donors:
Jasmina Pozderac
Alma Haverić
Zlatko Filipović
Elvedin Luković
Enes Dedović
Emir Halepović
Shannon O’Toole
Anne Eberhardt
Nedim Alajbegović
Edib Lutrich
Jasminka Bešlić
Sabina Djutović-Alivodić
Tea Temim
Tea Sefer

Big thank you to the BHFF Team for their countless hours and tireless efforts:
Amelisa Dzulović
Damir Pozderac
Demira Pašalić
Denis Bešlić
Džemaludin Harba
Farrah Musakadić
Jelena Subotić
Milan Džaja
Mirza Medunjanin
Oleh Dubno
Sanida Luković
Shonda Swissh
Zlata Ramić
Zlatko Filipović

Big thank you to the media and institutions which have covered us and written about us, including bljesak.info, tacno.net, poskok.info, bhfilm.ba, okano.ba, dnevnik.ba, pogled.ba, bhrt.ba, 24sata.info, vijesti.ba, vazdan.com, enovosti.ba, ba.n1info.com, batv.tv, fokuspress.com, Glas Amerike (Voice of America) na jezicima naroda BiH, unseenfilms.blogspot.com, AltCine, Dnevni Avaz, Doznajemo.com, FilmFestivalLife.com, FestivalFocus.org, Film Festival Lounge, FilmFestivalSecrets.com, Klix.ba, NYCineFiles.net, NYLovesFilm.com, Oslobodjenje, Radio Sarajevo, Source.ba, Televizija Sarajevo, UsedYorkCity.com, Vimooz.com, and many others.

2015 IMAGE GALLERY

11050842_851680311570354_2086384140028922669_n
11218623_855398511198534_5192461414216867607_n
11040174_855396791198706_5294602433377602716_n
IMG_3268
IMG_3261
IMG_3267
11254315_851327334938985_1235559323486889009_n
IMG_3262
IMG_2970
IMG_2924
11393052_855397857865266_990339579564040222_n
11393025_855398201198565_5322720091297687436_n
IMG_2945
IMG_2744
11392894_855397467865305_4119336664951807641_n
11390512_855398251198560_2091542784724864861_n
11391477_855398177865234_1739918093715815761_n
11351318_851680501570335_6870879751326979052_n
11351359_851680518237000_624069681053117124_n
11350656_855398684531850_2539275410923507316_n
11351315_851680624903656_2045378578091852849_n
11350407_855398504531868_3414017364878371713_n
11329933_855397751198610_8167432716079039868_n
11330040_851681834903535_4213426334354545507_n
11329783_851680408237011_314691838593295404_n
11269651_851680741570311_1843435488728645099_n
11248156_855398644531854_2434192014191374665_n
11251734_855397821198603_4330886916938593870_n
11247712_851681838236868_7105370832904573310_n
11295650_855397394531979_4662574631306263398_n
11246853_854518937953158_6392139794600056990_n
11227912_855398737865178_3336189048184922824_n
11246175_855398047865247_3733687887322753605_n
11235278_855397217865330_7566736743708017298_n
11230726_851680411570344_1734642894118452868_n
11226195_854518791286506_1079504212778474618_n
11224328_855397607865291_6975505789576999331_n
11218930_855397647865287_31558279856806596_n
11224268_851680621570323_2455262968917354196_n
11218801_851680404903678_7214107276925405254_n
11209680_854518817953170_2033041643138891672_n
11214043_855397137865338_3391033892854322687_n
11209679_855397791198606_1994214230232779707_n
11203109_849257951812590_3847809240636132210_n
11150632_855398401198545_3809944839351577985_n
11206030_855398301198555_1564966693006170713_n
11150474_854518887953163_2625692046541453868_n
11149571_855397907865261_1671554155361925062_n
11148654_855398484531870_4946872394270256212_n
11148378_855397311198654_3262604868833319893_n
11140254_855396897865362_1449810277114372403_n
11137128_850842744987444_2039264404658443991_n
11148454_851681924903526_5573177758153566860_n
11140248_855398794531839_3596901099708192304_n
11119118_855398441198541_1977973754257418794_n
11138997_855397057865346_1202968193360326547_n
11119118_855397927865259_6698188598235811093_n
11063710_855397247865327_5248181188653007359_n
11063710_855398374531881_2112647616162237320_n
11054782_855397327865319_6873433916394324786_n
11113822_851680628236989_5911630730855265285_n
11040174_855397194531999_1117212686134514047_n
11009354_855396921198693_2098813757346298667_n
11008637_851681841570201_1748921430435621020_n
11008436_851680298237022_1240100492410452279_n
10645052_851680618236990_2311107644201536363_n
11143259_851680738236978_9215330277874636107_n
10628349_854518754619843_710968342871413297_n
10502274_851680504903668_8075829509729499366_n
10603579_855398117865240_3106744326386093926_n
10501782_854518941286491_2036315807694818186_n
11393052_855398094531909_6364686405453322973_n
10426354_855398337865218_6084089634239293056_n
10421516_855397251198660_1414589001331334986_n
10409745_851680401570345_3337449763863931146_n
10402776_855397381198647_2549920390727799430_n
10402021_851311171607268_6955214817045691797_n
10408759_851680308237021_8911453919550482338_n-2
10388179_855396794532039_8706376220572609244_n
10408759_851680308237021_8911453919550482338_n
10301438_855398611198524_8324112918550496490_n
10254004_855397644531954_8691222315383278936_n
11391676_855397711198614_5698298846014423017_n
10151263_855396954532023_339858565311731108_n
11350515_855397011198684_705982734794506471_n
11228516_855397111198674_4685582532057173279_n
11181844_855398671198518_4867685044637543417_n
11136716_855396784532040_3342853651211098091_n
11053720_855396944532024_1877383719135172373_n

2015 VIDEO GALLERY

BHFF 2015 PROGRAM

THE CHICKEN

(Kokoška)

Una Gunjak | 2014 | 15 min.

Short Fiction

As Selma gets ready to celebrate her sixth birthday, she receives an unusual gift: a live chicken. When she realizes that her mother is planning to sacrifice the chicken to feed the the family that night, Selma decides to save it and sets it free. As she watches her mother chase after the chicken outside of her bedroom window, she is left wondering at what cost the chicken’s freedom comes. It is Sarajevo in 1993 is, a ruthless place for young Selma and her family, caught in the midst of a violent war. 

DEAR LASTAN!

(Dragi Lastane!)
Irena Škorić | 2014 | 85 min.

Documentary

 

Dear Lastan! deals with universal issues of love, life, childhood and growing up. The film is also a glimpse into how kids were growing up in the former Yugoslavia, about the fears they had, and what they thought about. For decades, schoolchildren in the former Yugoslavia read one of the most popular children’s magazines called ‘Modra Lasta’ (‘Blue Swallow’). In 1969, the magazine created a character named Lastan. Kids would write to Lastan about the problems they were dealing with, and he would publish his answers to them in the magazine. This film, for the first time after almost five decades, reveals his true identity. 

TOY CAR

(Autić)
Muamer Čelik | 2014 | 17 min.

Short Fiction

Toy Car is a story of the immigrant experience, specifically that of a family from Bosnia-Herzegovina who move to Chicago. The film shows struggles that immigrants go through and is a refreshing and rare-seen look at Bosnian immigrant families. The film is a mixture of humor and sadness, and full of humanity. Toy Car shows what happens when husband and wife drift apart and their two young kids pay the ultimate price by being stuck in the middle.

LOVE ISLAND

(Otok ljubavi)
Jasmila Žbanić | 2014 | 90 min.

Narrative Feature


Grebo and his very pregnant wife Liliane are taking a well-deserved vacation at a popular Adriatic seaside resort. What could possibly go wrong? At open-mic night, Grebo seduces the resort crowd and reminds his loving French wife of the Sarajevo rocker she fell in love with. But the evening’s big surprise is the young couple’s meeting with mysterious Flora. The charismatic young woman will soon put their young marriage to the test. Past secrets cannot stay hidden for long on Love Island. 

BAD BLOOD

Rialda Zukić | 2015 | 25 min.

Documentary

Filmmaker Rialda Zukić returns to her birthplace of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a camera to document what her life could have been had she stayed there after the war. While in Srebrenica, she meets 17-year-old Nikolina (Nina) and 22-year-old Ismeta. She discovers that younger generations of Serbs and Bosniaks still hang out within the confines of their own ethnic groups. 

PRETTY VILLAGE

Dave Evans | 2014 | 70 min.

Documentary

Twenty years after the end of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, concentration camp survivor Kemal Pervanić returns to his northwestern Bosnian village to find a community still at war with itself. The events of that war continue to resonate as Pervanić’s family and neighbours search for their loved ones while their former neighbours remain silent. This important new film is much more than a story about one Bosnian village near Prijedor. It is a universal story of what happens to communities and friendships torn apart by conflict and how difficult it is to rebuild people’s lives.

ON THE VERGE

(Na rubu)
Fanny Hagmeier | 2014 | 7 min. | Documentary


On the Verge is an essayistic portrait of Sarajevo. It shows personal reflections of the profound effect the city has on the filmmaker, while the city is undergoing several changes in early 2014. From the first nationwide demonstrations in decades to the biggest floods in a century - images are intertwined with the daily life of Sarajevans trying to find grip between the city’s extremes.

BRIDGES OF SARAJEVO

(Ponts de Sarajevo)
multiple directors | 2014 | 114 min.

Narrative Feature

13 European directors explore the theme of Sarajevo; what this city has represented in European history over the past hundred years, and what Sarajevo stands for today in Europe. These eminent filmmakers of different generations and origins offer exceptional singular styles and visions. Each director’s intention has its own rhythmic pulse, yet a subjacent baseline unites their voices in a single harmonic motion. Sarajevo is a terribly real city, an idea, a hope and a tragedy. Only genuine filmmakers, each with their own impulse and sensitivity, could be trusted to faithfully portray all these dimensions on the big screen.

THE SARAJEVO ASSASSINATION

Nedim Lončarević | 2014 | 52 min. 
Documentary

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip. And thus began the Great War. Paul Gradvohl, a historian specializing in Eastern European studies, travels to Sarajevo to investigate the true motives behind the assassination. He explores questions raised a century ago by a police investigation that was cut short by the start of World War I. Gradvohl wants to know: Was the attack against Franz Ferdinand a spontaneous act of young nationalists? Or was there someone behind it? And who would have wanted the war, anyway?

SEEKING TRUTH IN THE BALKANS

June Vutrano and Erin Lovall | 2014 | 73 min. 

Documentary

Seeking Truth in the Balkans comes on the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Accords, which ended the bloody war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the greater region, as well as on the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was set up to prosecute genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Since its creation in 1993, all 161 individuals who were indicted have been accounted for. Of the indictees, 74 have been sentenced to a total of 1,081 years, plus five life sentences. The film explores and analyzes where things stand today in the Balkans, and if the prosecution of war criminals in the Hague has contributed as much as once hoped to peace and reconciliation within the region.

MERCY

(Milost)
Benjamin Dizdarević | 2014 | 18 min.
Short Fiction


Mercy is a story about what happens when we are denied freedom to do what we truly love. Eventually, our spirit breaks down and we take drastic measures to get free. It’s also a story about growing up. Nina, a young adolescent woman is living under pressured conditions with her father after the recent death of her mother. Nina is very passionate about art and drawing. Her father, suffering from a strong fear of loneliness - starts isolating his daughter and forbidding her to do everything she likes, including art. Nina begins to suffocate under the pressure and decides to do something radical in order to take the independence into her own hands. 

A QUINTET

multiple directors | 2014 | 74 min.

Narrative Feature


People from different walks of life meet, laugh, fight, love and in a magical way they are all connected via the hub of Berlin. Each film by itself is like an instrument with a specific tonality that filmmakers wanted to use to express their feelings and each one is adding to the harmony and emotion of the entire omnibus film by completing the quintet forming a unit. Using this metaphor, each story has its own rhythm and tune but they all have internally the same musical quality.

REDEMPTION

(Iskupljenje)
Mirna Dizdarević | 2014 | 12 min.

Short Fiction

Redemption is defined as the action of saving or being saved from sin, error or evil. As such, it requires the efforts of those who committed sin, error or evil and those who were victims of it. Olga and Goran, the main characters of this short film by Mirna Dizdarević, are unknowingly linked by a tragic past. One afternoon changes their neighborly relationship forever as they uncover how their lives and destinies are intertwined. Each is forced to confront their fears and grapple with the promise of redemption. 
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” - Mahatma Gandhi

RACKET

(Reket)
Admir Buljugić | 2014 | 80 min.

Narrative Feature

Amil Pašić has been working abroad for three years as a freelance photographer. For the first time after a year he comes back to Sarajevo to visit his father Mufid and finds out that a local criminal Bakir is extorting a monthly racket from Mufid which he categorically refuses to pay. Amil suggests to his father to contact the police to no avail. After his father suffers a heart attack Amil decides to take matters into his own hands. The cityscape of Sarajevo is a fetching backdrop for this rare crime story from Bosnia, by the first-time helmer Admir Buljugić. Taking a page from Jason Statham movies, the story follows a lone hero fighting the local thugs in a desperate bid to protect his ailing father’s business.

   PRESENTED BY:   

VOICE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, INC.

  WITH SUPPORT BY:  

© 2017 Academy of Bosnia and Herzegovina Inc. | Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival