PRESENTED BY:   

VOICE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, INC.

  WITH SUPPORT BY:  

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

14th ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL - BHFF 2017 PROGRAM

This year's program is incredibly diverse and tackles a number of important social and cultural themes, from economic precarity, disability, gender discrimination, to the ongoing efforts to come to terms with the legacies of the war. We are delighted to feature the work of innovative young filmmakers alongside established regional names such as Oscar-winning director Danis Tanović, or legendary actress Mirjana Karanović.

PRESENTATION 1

 Game | Nika 
 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES:

This film duo brings up the topic of youth in two vastly different but complementary styles. The short film Game subtly probes the question of what it means to remember our childhood games, as well as return to the face-to-face interactions with others. Nika is a fast paced but light hearted drama that nevertheless touches on important themes of youth rebellion, gender norms and social obstacles faced by adolescent girls.

Screening Time:

 Thursday - April13, 2017   6:30 PM 

GAME

(Igra)

2017 | Senad Alihodžić | 7 min
Narrative Short
 INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE 

A man walks to work, going about his daily routine, taking note of passers-by playing various games. He soon finds himself entangled in a unique and surreal game of his own. Game is a nostalgic story of lost time.

NIKA

2016 | Slobodan Maksimović | 92 min 
Narrative Feature
 U.S. PREMIERE 

Nika’s mother’s attempts to end her career as a racecar driver only inflame her desire to carry on the legacy of her father, a professional driver killed in a tragic accident. Frustrated, Nika neglects her studies, withdraws from her family and begins secretly racing anyway. When her father’s best friend tells Nika that he’ll help her get into the Adriatic Cup race if she finishes the school year, Nika accepts. Maksimović’s fast-paced coming-of-age story brings an exciting Balkan perspective to universal themes including rebellion, understanding, and love.

PRESENTATION 2

 Refugee 532 | My Aunt in Sarajevo 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

As a prequel to the feature presentation Refugee 532 is poignant short that tackles the theme of war trauma, displacement, loss, survival and compassion in delicate ways. My Aunt in Sarajevo is a touching family story about transgenerational memory and coming to terms with unspeakable loss.  

Screening Time:

 Thursday - April 13, 2017

 8:30 PM 

REFUGEE 532

(Flykting 532)
2016 | Goran Kapetanović | 14 min
Narrative Short
 U.S. PREMIERE 

Twelve-year-old refugee Sevko finds himself alone in Sweden after having to flee his native Bosnia during the wars of the 1990s. Sevko faces adversity in his new country, including bullying from other refugees, and finds unique ways to overcome adversity while waiting for news from home. A prologue to filmmaker Goran Kapetanović’s My Aunt in Sarajevo, Refugee 532 deals with the emotional and political fallout that occurs in the aftermath of war and conflict.

MY AUNT IN SARAJEVO

(Min Faster i Sarajevo)
2016 | Goran Kapetanović | 58 min
Narrative Feature
 U.S. PREMIERE 

Born in Sweden, 18-year-old Anja is determined to visit Bosnia to discover her roots. Her father Zlatan, now 23 years settled in Sweden with no interest in returning home, is dead-set against the idea. Undeterred, Anja purchases two plane tickets and she and the deeply reluctant Zlatan set off for Sarajevo—Anja to discover her ancestry, and Zlatan to come to terms with his past.

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 director Goran Kapetanovic 

PRESENTATION 3

 Cameraperson 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

One of the most critically lauded documentaries of 2016, Kirsten Johnson’s film is a delicate meditation on the ethical implications of filming the pain of others.

Screening Time:

 Friday - April 14, 2017

 6:30 PM 

CAMERAPERSON

2016 | Kirsten Johnson | 102 min
Documentary Feature

Veteran documentarian Kirsten Johnson intricately pieces together clips from her 25-year career to examine the ethics of documentary filmmaking. From Bosnia to Nigeria to her family’s own farm, Johnson offers a poignant, unflinching look at the relationship between subject and biographer. Johnson’s work is juxtaposed against her personal life as she raises her children while facing the declining health of her mother. Cameraperson asks probing questions while drawing viewers into stories across the world.

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 director Kirsten Johnson 

PRESENTATION 4

 A Good Wife 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

Mirjana Karanović’s directorial debut represents bold filmmaking in which the director and lead actress does not shy away from painful themes and difficult truths.

Screening Time:

 Friday - April 14, 2017

 9:00 PM 

A GOOD WIFE

(Dobra žena)

2016 | Mirjana Karanović | 94 min
Narrative Feature

Milena’s comfortable, middle-class life is shaken when she discovers a video that appears to implicate her husband Vlada in war crimes. In an impeccably-paced psychological drama, Milena debates Vlada’s role in the war, struggling between her commitment to her family and her own moral compass. A Good Wife is Mirjana Karanović’s directorial debut.

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 director Mirjana Karanović 

PRESENTATION 5

 I Remember | City of Elephants | Man With the Will of Steel 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

The triptych of short films in this presentation show past, present and future of Bosnia in most distinct and authentic ways. "I Remember" is a poignant short that conveys its powerful story purely through visual means and subtle clues. "City of Elephants" experimental documentary addresses some of the most pressing issues in Bosnia today: notably, dispossession and economic migration that leave many communities deserted. While the "Man With the Will of Steel" offers hope even in the most dire of circumstances.

Screening Time:

 Saturday - April 15, 2017

 4:30 PM

 matinee screening 

I REMEMBER

(Sjećam Se)

2016 | Elma Tataragić | 15 min
Narrative Short

 U.S. PREMIERE 

Filmmaker Elma Tataragic explores the connection between location and memory through the lens of a woman who repeatedly returns to her family home, remembering the moment that the Bosnian War began. I Remember is an examination of the role experiences play in shaping a life.

CITY OF ELEPHANTS

(Stadt der Elefanten)
2015 | Marko Mijatović | 29 min
Documentary Short
 U.S. PREMIERE 

Vareš, a mining town in the mountains of Bosnia that prospered under the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and later under Tito, has fallen victim to poverty and unemployment in the decades since the Bosnian War. Jobs are difficult to find, and wages barely pay enough to survive. City of Elephants delves into the lives of Klara, Dino, and Likic, three of the town's inhabitants, as they discuss their hopes and dreams, finding commonality and even levity as they struggle for their livelihoods.

MAN WITH THE WILL OF STEEL

(Čovjek čelične volje)

2016 | Amar Spahić | 16 min
Documentary

 U.S. PREMIERE 

Nadir Hajro suffers from cerebral palsy but decides to defy his body in the most miraculous way of them all by becoming a professional bodybuilder. Every day and every workout is a new battle for him. Unable to get himself around the gym he begins the exercise with assistance and moves the boundaries of the impossible and with the willpower overcomes the shortcomings of his body.

PRESENTATION 6

 The Dragon | Death in Sarajevo 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

The short film "The Dragon" applies a remarkably effective use of CGI to create a stunning visual masterpiece  of a Bosnian mythical history. "Death in Sarajevo" presents a damning allegory for modern Europe.

Screening Time:

 Saturday - April 15, 2017

 6:00 PM

THE DRAGON

(Aždaja)
2016 | Ivan Ramadan | 10 min
Narrative Short

 U.S. PREMIERE 

This animated short uses visually stunning CGI to illustrate the myths and legends of Bosnia through the journey of a dragon from ancient times through the fall of the Bosnian Kingdom. The Dragon was inspired by carvings found on the sides of large tombstones in Bosnia and the mysteries that lay within. The film was inspired by various Bosnian myths, including the legend of the dragon Aždaja, whose rest in the canyons of Bosnia was ended by a raucous party in a nearby town

DEATH IN SARAJEVO

(Smrt u Sarajevu)

2016 | Danis Tanović | 85 min

Narrative Feature 

 NYC PREMIERE 

On the 100th anniversary of the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, chaos at an iconic Sarajevo hotel erupts just before the arrival of a visiting EU delegation, mirroring the promise and precariousness of modern Europe. Layered with history and social commentary, Death in Sarajevo’s biting satire raises thorny political questions and offers hope for a way forward.

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 director Danis Tanović 

PRESENTATION 7

 No Smoking in Sarajevo 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

Focusing on Sarajevo’s iconic band Zabranjeno pušenje, the documentary establishes the urgency of its subject matter by showing the continued relevance of the band’s tumultuous history.  

Screening Time:

 Saturday - April 15, 2017

 9:00 PM 

NO SMOKING IN SARAJEVO

2016 | Gianluca Loffredo | 75 min

Documentary Feature

 U.S. PREMIERE 

Rare archival footage fills out this retrospective on the iconic Sarajevo rock band Zabranjeno pušenje, No Smoking, and the unique period that ushered in the region’s comic and sharp-edged New Primitivs movement. The film brings together No Smoking’s frontmen, Bosnian Sejo Sexton and Serbian Nele Karajlić, decades after the band’s breakup, in a remarkable homage to one of the most famous bands in Bosnia and former Yugoslavia. Connected by music yet divided by conflict, the band’s story deeply reflects the region’s history over the last 30 years.

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 director Gianluca Loffredo