top of page
ABOUT 19th ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 2023
The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF) in New York City is excited to announce the lineup for its 2023 edition. From a large number of films submitted to BHFF for consideration, a total of twelve films were selected for the festival’s final program. The 19th Annual festival will also include a series of interactive Q&As and discussion events with filmmaker guests, running from Wednesday, April 12th through Saturday, April 15th in person at the SVA Theatre in New York City. Tickets go on sale soon.
This year's film selection showcases the range and depth of the filmmaking achievements stemming from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the region, and the Bosnian diaspora worldwide. BHFF is excited to announce that, for the first time, the overwhelming majority of the directors featured in this year’s festival are women. Moreover, the stories and themes covered by this year's selected films suggest an enviable range, as do the cinematic styles and formal aesthetics on display. As a small film industry that continues to face issues around funding and infrastructural support, Bosnian cinema is as resilient and as vibrant as ever, despite these challenges. Once again, BHFF is honored to continue to be an important showcase platform for the work of both established and emerging filmmakers.
BHFF 2023 PROGRAM
Aida Begić | 120 min
Merjem-Meri (30), an unambitious housewife and mother of the girl Mila (8), returns to her family after ten years of married life. Soon after returning to her parents' house, Meri realizes that she is trapped in a vicious cycle of provincial laws and rules, as well as in the complex relationship between her ambitious mother and her spoiled younger brother. Her hope of getting custody of her daughter is diminishing every day, because she has no chance to find a permanent job. The only thing that makes her happy, and for which everyone judges her, is going to an audition for a movie that is being made in the neighborhood.
Alma Cocaj | 18 min
As a foreigner passing the quarantine in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the temptation of isolation and the need to communicate with society makes Alma follow her neighbors from the window of her room. At the same time thoughts about the past and childhood flash before her eyes. The only communication she has with her family is by phone screens. Alma’s mother is not happy with her daughter’s new look, after she sees that Alma cut her hair. In an expedition to retrieve her lost wallet and buy cigarettes, Alma has a chance encounter with a seemingly like-minded person.
Neki novi Brodvej
Denis Bojić | 88 min
The film follows six people with Down syndrome in Bosnia and Herzegovina who, overcoming numerous obstacles, are among the first in Southeast Europe to become students in a professional acting school, thus breaking down prejudices and barriers about the possibilities and abilities of people with Down syndrome. An amazing story about the steadfastness of the human spirit and faith in your own abilities will take you on a journey after which you will not be the same.
Farah Hasanbegović | 8 min
Can we be born guilty? Starting from the account of a medical condition, the author uses animation to search for the origin of the elements of the story we tell ourselves about our life. Through eloquent pencil strokes, Ribs is a sensorial mediation on the material dimension of our feelings.
RE-MEMBERING: MEDITATION ON A TRIPTYCH
Amra Hećo | 10 min
A chance encounter with discovered video footage from 1983 of the Bosnian town Tešanj triggers unexpected emotions as the filmmaker recognizes her grandfather who died in the 90s during the war. This opens old wounds but also creates opportunities for healing.
OUR FAMILY GARDEN
Naša porodična bašta
Smirna Kulenović | 40 min
Our Family Garden is a powerful documentary that follows the journey of 100 women from Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, and various European countries who came together in August 2021 to plant 1000 calendula plants in abandoned war trenches on the front line of defense on Zlatište hill, Sarajevo. The women, survivors of the siege, reject constant victimization and instead choose peace and solidarity with all kinds of life in the traumatized ecosystem. Through this artistic-activist project, the film explores the role of women as bearers of new changes and the possibility of healing both society and the environment. With new wars drawing violence into the collective consciousness and environment, Our Family Garden is a timely exploration of the possibilities of overcoming war trauma.
THE HAPPIEST MAN ON EARTH
Najsretniji čovjek na Zemlji
Teona Strugar Mitevska | 95 min
Asja, a 40-year-old single woman lives in Sarajevo. In order to meet new people, she ends up spending her Saturday in a speed dating event. She is matched with Zoran, a 43-year-old banker. However, Zoran is not looking for love, but forgiveness.
A PIECE OF FREEDOM
Sara Ristić | 8 min
During a chaotic cleaning of their apartment because of impending guests, mom Esma is berating her daughter Ena for not cleaning the “proper” way. Ena is sent to buy groceries, but on the way from the market, she gets whisked away into a magical world as she searches for the origin of a mysterious sound.
Isam Karahasanović | 14 min
Armin, a car scrapyard worker, gets robbed at gunpoint by an older man. The two men develop a strange relationship and start acting like father and son while waiting for the police to arrive. As the police arrive and the old man is ready to give himself in, Armin makes a surprising decision.
Aleksandra Odić | 22 min
The encounter between the young nurse and her seriously ill patient Frida, who is the same age, on the borderline between professional distance and the desire for closeness.
A POCKET ANGEL
Siniša Grabež | 25 min
The main rule of angels is that they must not interfere with man's free will. The punishment for disobeying this rule is to trap an angelic being in the transience and decay of the human body. Imbued with love and care for his protégé, one of the guardian angels decides to break this old rule.
MAY LABOR DAY
Pjer Žalica | 113 min
After ten years of absence, Armin comes to Bosnia to surprise his father with good news. But there’s a real surprise waiting for him at home. His father is arrested as a suspect for war crimes. Armin wants to find out the truth, while others find that it’s easier to live in oblivion.
PHOTO GALLERY 2023
bottom of page