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ABOUT 17th ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 2020

A total of 13 films screened Tuesday through Saturday, October 27 through November 1, 2020. This was the 1st virtual BHFF.

 

The 2020 program was incredibly diverse and tackled a range of important social and cultural themes, including family and intergenerational dynamics in contemporary Bosnia, institutional dysfunction and corruption and its effects, and the experiences and perseverance of women. It showcased the work of a number of emerging filmmakers whose innovative works show an exciting range of aesthetic, thematic, and technical approaches.

 

BHFF was proud to bring some of the biggest names in Balkan cinema to Q/A sessions including cast and directors of the movies The Son, Let there be color, The Infidel, Full moon, Don't cry for me Sarajevo, Take me somewhere nice and Sympathy for the devil.

 

The 2020 BHFF jurors were Bojan Hadžihalilović, Aleksandar Hemon and Aleksandra Odić. 

 

Films honored by the festival in 2020 included Best Feature Narrative Ena Sandijarević's Take me somewhere nice, starring Alban Ukaj, who won the award for Best Acting Performance for his role in Full Moon; Nejra Latić Halusić's The infidel, which won Best Documentary and Audience award for the best picture; Sabina Varjača’s The variablesa, which won Best Short Narrative Film, and Guillaume de Fontanay's Sympathy for the devil, which won the Jury Special Mention. 

BHFF 2020 PROGRAM

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THE SON

Sin

2019 | Ines Tanović | 106 min

Narrative Feature

Arman, age 18, was adopted as a baby by a couple who were unable to have children of their own. However, not long after, his adoptive mother gave birth to a son. Arman battles the demons of his past while trying to protect his younger brother Dado, 14, from the challenges of life in present-day Sarajevo, including drugs, weapons, and the siren call of wars in the Middle East.

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LET THERE BE COLOUR

LET THERE BE COLOUR 

Nek je što šarenije

2020 | Ado Hasanović | 15 min

Documentary

In September of 2019, Bosnia's first-ever LGBTQ pride march took place in Sarajevo. The event was considered a high-risk affair due to the threats by the conservative and religious right-wing groups. This film captures this historic event and the atmosphere leading up to it.

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NATURAL SELECTION

Prirodni odabir

2018 | Aleta Rajič | 10 min

Short Narrative

Woman-Doe is a living sculpture trapped in urban spaces of boredom, melancholia, and utopian museums where she works. Despairing and bored, she entertains herself by acting out the behavior of humans: cleaning, drinking coffee, smoking, and sleeping. Problems begin when features of a raging animal appear on her head, in the form of two horns. Her eyes meet with a loner Woman dancing in the rain. Will she use her growing animal powers and human eyes to meet, fight and dance her way out towards her true nature?

VARIABLES

Varijable

2019 | Sabina Vajrača | 24 min

Short Narrative

15-year-old maths whiz Nikola is offered an unexpected chance to escape war-torn Sarajevo when his math club receives an invitation to participate in the 1995 International Math Olympics in Canada. Nikola initially sees the invitation as a reward for his dedication to mathematics and his club in the midst of the siege of Sarajevo.  It is also a chance to experience teenage life outside of a war zone. But escape comes with a price: Nikola must face the possibility of leaving, and perhaps never again seeing, his mother and younger sister. 

SNORTY

Šmrk

2018 | Alen Šimić | 14 min

Short Narrative

Snorty is a man with a past. Hoping to begin a new life, he searches for his place in society.  Unfortunately, trying to fit in and lead a conventional life is easier said than done, as Snorty finds out that the world, as he used to know it, has changed. Attempting to fit in, he says the wrong things and commits the wrong actions, and his place in society appears ever more elusive. Snorty comes to discover that, while society is ever-changing, one man’s change may not always be possible. 

STACK OF MATERIAL 

Gomila materijala

2019 | Sajra Subašić | 7 min

Documentary

Seeking an answer to the question of whether home is a place or a feeling, the filmmaker goes on the search for her parents' house in Bosanski Novi, a place she never lived. During her quest she collects a whole stack of material, creating a visual memento of a forgotten town--a place people left in the 90s due to war and which is still continuing to be abandoned out now, years after the war ended, due to economic and political negligence.

THE INFIDEL 

Ćafir

2020 | Nejra Latić Hulusić | 63 min

Documentary

A young Bosnian, Dino, whose father moved his family from Bihać to a closed commune of the Islamic Wahhabi movement, is trying to rebuild his life after inadvertently giving a ride to a man who later perpetrated a terror attack on the American embassy in Sarajevo. After being accused of involvement in the attack and spending time in jail, Dino renounces his religion and returns to his hometown to start over. But, he struggles with rejection both from his community and his family, who now live in Syria.

FULL MOON

Pun mjesec

2019 | Nermin Hamzagić | 85 min

Narrative Feature

A full moon night. Police inspector Hamza takes his wife to the maternity ward. Her water has broken and her doctor orders an urgent delivery. Hamza is worried but he has to leave her in hospital – he could not have taken the night off at such short notice. At the police station, it seems the folk tales about the full moon’s power are coming true. In the hallway, Hamza meets a boy who is both heralds of doom and guardian angel, and who will put him on trial. One by one, the apparitions arrive at the police station.

MY GRANDPA IS AN ALIEN

Moj dida je pao s Marsa

2019 | Drazen Zarkovic, Marina Andree Skop | 75 min

Narrative Feature

In a single moment, the entire life of a girl Una is turned upside down; her grandpa is abducted by aliens, and her mum collapses and ends up in a hospital. Una, in her basement, discovers that her grandpa is an alien himself whose spaceship hit the planet some time ago, and there's still his pilot, a small grumpy robot. Una and the robot have less than 24 hours to find and rescue her grandpa. This extraordinary adventure will lead to new friendships, the rational robotic logic will be replaced by emotions and Una's selfless love will save her partly alien family. 

DON'T CRY FOR ME - SUSAN SONTAG IN SARAJEVO

2019 | Nihad Kreševljaković | 72 min

Documentary

The famous Susan Sontag's arrival in Sarajevo in 1993 is set on the backdrop of a besieged city, where she first staged the play Waiting for Godo. In an extremely simple documentary form, focusing on interviews with thirteen participants and witnesses of the play, this film presents an especially emotional account of life in Sarajevo under siege, in which the burst of life was ignited by Susan Sontag.

TAKE ME SOMEWHERE NICE

2019 | Ena Sendijarević | 91 min

Narrative Feature

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Alma (Sara Luna Zoric) is on the verge of adulthood when she leaves her mother's home to visit Bosnia, in search of the father she has never met. There, Alma will team up with her apathetic and "patriotic" cousin Emir (Ernad Prnjavorac) and his charming best friend, Denis (Lazar Dragojevic). As Alma attempts to adapt abruptly to a reality she's not accustomed to, she embarks on an adventurous journey from Sarajevo to Mostar. During this road trip of self-exploration into the Bosnian heartlands, Alma will try to both understand and unearth her roots and her own identity.

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL

2019 | Guillaume de Fontenay | 109 min

Narrative Feature

1992, war is raging in what will become Ex-Yugoslavia. Paul is covering the siege of Sarajevo. Flamboyant dandy, loudmouth, adrenaline junkie, provocative cigar-smoker, Paul Marchand is the war correspondent archetype. Racing through Sniper’s Alley in his white Ford, the Frenchman relentlessly tells the apathetic western world about the ongoing massacre. In an urban war zone where everything that moves is a target, Paul tries to live, love, and inform. How much can he endure before he starts taking up arms?

STITCHES

ŠAVOVI

2019 | Miroslav Terzić | 105 min

Narrative Feature

Inspired by true events, set in contemporary Belgrade, STITCHES tells the story of a woman who firmly believes that her newborn baby was stolen from her 18 years ago, while she was told that her baby died. With obsession and perseverance, she is fighting one last time against the police, the hospital bureaucracy, and even her own family, in order to uncover the truth.