PRESENTED BY:   

VOICE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, INC.

  WITH SUPPORT BY:  

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

"This year's program reflects a rich range of themes and aesthetic approaches, which attest to Bosnian and regional cinema continuing to expand transnationally. We are proud to feature such a diverse group of films, and as always, to support women filmmakers in particular. Aside from showing a host of new films, we are also excited about screening one of the gems of prewar Bosnian/former Yugoslav cinema, Ademir Kenović's Kuduz, to celebrate the 30th anniversary since the film's original release."

PRESENTATION 1

Reprise/Response | Luck | The Invisible Hand of Adam Smith  

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES:

In this block, we feature three short films that show a range of aesthetic and thematic approaches deployed by Bosnian filmmakers. In the short documentary Reprise/Response, a generational gap is explored in a performative way in which members of an older generation read the opinions of the younger generation. This approach stages an illuminating dialogue across age difference. In Luck, we follow a man seemingly down on his fortunes, in a story that is fairly representative of the lives of many Bosnians today. In a twist ending, however, things are revealed to not be what they initially seemed. Finally, The Invisible Hand of Adam Smith is an impressive technical feat that dynamically depicts a domino effect of a single monetary exchange.

Screening Time:

 Wednesday - April10, 2019   7:00 PM 

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 Damir Avdagić, Ivo Škorić and Erol Avdović

REPRISE/ RESPONSE

(Repriza/ Uzvraćanje)

2018 | Damir Avdagic | 23 min

Short Documentary

US premiere

Four fifty-something-year-old people of Balkan origin read a transcript of a conversation between four twenty-something people, also of Balkan origin, who discuss the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the friction they experience between their own and their parents’ generation relating to this history. The participants then react to the content by commenting on the guilt, shame and legacy of communism in the wake of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

LUCK

(Sreća)

2018 | Nedim Karalić | 26 min

Short Narrative

US and international premiere

 

This film follows Armin, a forty-year-old man living a stable, but unfulfilling life as a married, employed man. To bring some excitement into his life, he often visits the betting shop, where his lover Selma works, and places long-shot bets. When he actually wins on one of those bets and stands to receive a large amount of money, everything gets far more unpredictable, starting with his loss of the winning ticket and nightlong search to find it.  

THE INVISIBLE HAND OF ADAM SMITH 

(Nevidna roka)

2017 | Slobodan Maksimović | 15 min

Short Narrative

US premiere

 

Somewhere in Europe a Greek owes to a French, who owes to a Slovenian and she owes to an Italian, who owes money to the Greek. A German owes no one, she just wants to get a good night’s sleep. The Brit is looking for an exit.

PRESENTATION 2

Rooster | Good Day's Work

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

Martin Turk’s feature drama Good Day’s Work is both bleak and comic as it follows a  hardworking family man’s quest to provide for his family. The plot and circumstances make sure that no good deed goes unpunished and the film perfectly depicts the naivety of simple, well-meaning person caught in the middle of a dysfunctional system.

Our feature presentation is preceded by Sabrina Begović–Ćorić’s short narrative Rooster, which offers a strikingly candid portrait of domestic abuse by focusing on the victim’s conflicting feelings about reporting her abuser. Through small gestures and through what is largely left unsaid, in its brief running time the short manages to convey a broader picture that addresses a critical social issue and the silencing that often accompanies it.

Screening Time:

 Wednesday - April 10, 2019 

 9:00 PM 

ROOSTER

(Pivac)

2018 | Sabrina Begović Ćorić | 15 min

Short Narrative

US premiere

On International Women’s Day, police inspector Danijel is ready to reveal his romantic feelings to his colleague Stella, while Anđa, a victim of domestic violence is ready to finally report her abuser to the police. While trying to help Anđa with her struggles, Danijel is missing a chance to carry out his plan. What are we willing to endure, just to stave off loneliness?

GOOD DAY'S  WORK

(Dobar dan za posao)

2018 | Martin Turk | 76 min

Feature Narrative

US premiere

After missing the interviews for a sorely needed school caretaker job because he stopped to help an injured cyclist, Armin is feeling increasingly desperate. To his surprise, he is offered a butcher position, but quickly finds that he is not cut out for the job. Instead, he becomes the security guard position for the slaughterhouse. On his first day, he learns that his coworkers are stealing from the owner. Once again, he decides to do the right thing, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 director Nebojsa Slijepčević 

PRESENTATION 3 

Srbenka

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

In one of the most important documentaries to come out of the former Yugoslav region in recent years, director Nebojša Slijepčević chronicles the rehearsals for Oliver Frljić’s play “Aleksandra Zec” in Croatia. In its unrelenting focus on uncovering what lies under the surface of collective national denial, both the play and the documentary are works of utmost regional importance, tackling the uncomfortable questions about ongoing ethnic divisions and denials of culpability when it comes to coming to terms with the past, but also with the present.

Screening Time:

 Thursday - April 11, 2019

 6:30 PM 

SRBENKA

2018 | Nebojsa Slijepcevic | 70 min

Documentary

Not an international/ US premiere 

This documentary explores the implications of a historical event, the murder of Aleksandra Zec, a 12-year old Croatian Serb girl on the eve of the conflict in Croatia through a controversial play on the subject. As the actors prepare for the play, including a 13-year Croatian Serb girl playing the lead, lingering wounds and divisions along ethnic lines are revealed, in this examination of how the generation after the war copes with the region’s troubled history.

PRESENTATION 4 

The Chaotic life of Nada Kadić

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

Marta Hernaiz Pidal’s film is a moving drama that seamlessly blurs fiction and documentary in chronicling the life of a single mother whose young child is diagnosed with autism. Social stigma, lack of appropriate medical care, as well as absence of meaningful institutionalized support for such families is explored through an intimate portrayal of the everyday life and struggles of Nada and her daughter Hava, who find solidarity in unexpected places and small yet meaningful acts of kindness.

Screening Time:

 Thursday - April 11, 2019

 8:45 PM 

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 director Marta Hernaiz Pidal 

THE CHAOTIC LIFE OF NADA KADIC

(Kaotični život Nade Kadić)

2018 | Marta Hernaiz Pidal | 85 min

Narrative Feature

US premiere 

Nada Kadic, a single mother who just found out that her daughter is on the autistic spectrum, embarks on a journey through the Balkans in search of peace with her past and acceptance of her new reality.

PRESENTATION 5

Sisters | Danusa's Mara 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

This block features two insightful documentaries about women’s experiences and perseverance. Sisters is a visually striking documentary that recounts a harrowing ordeal that two teenage sisters went through decades ago in Bosnia when they found themselves stuck in a snow-covered canyon for eight days. Through evocative reenactments and the sisters’ own vivid narration, the film viscerally depicts their miraculous struggle to survive, and their will to live. And in Danuša’s Mara, we follow Marica, a self-taught performer of traditional Bosnian music, whose day job is a cleaning lady. Marica’s passion for the almost forgotten folk music is contagious, and testifies to the importance of an individual’s dedication in preserving invaluable cultural heritage.

Screening Time:

 Friday - April 12, 2019

 6:30 PM

SISTERS

(Sestre)

2018 | Zdenko Jurilj | 42 min

Documentary

Herzegovina was in the grips of an unusually harsh winter on the snowy morning in 1985 when teenage sisters Sima and Drazenka decided to walk to Mostar to help their mother clean the hallways of the building where she worked. In the blizzard, the sisters fell into a deep pit, where they lay for the next eight days before being found, barely alive. This black-and-white documentary explores their incredible story.

DANUSA'S MARA 

(Mara Danušina)

2017 | Davor Borić | 31 min

Short Documentary

US premiere 

Marica Filipović, known as Danuša’s Mara, is almost single-handedly preserving folk music in central Bosnia and Herzegovina by playing traditional instruments and teaching others about them. A self-taught phenomenon, this documentary explores her public persona invites others to interrogate the public role of women in Bosnian society and the value of musical traditions.

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 Bojan Bodruzic

PRESENTATION 6

The Museum of Forgotten Triumphs 

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

In this highly personal and deeply emotional documentary, Bosnian-Canadian director Bojan Bodružić puts together a collage of home movies, as well as archival and original footage filmed over the span of 15 years to offer an intimate portrayal of his grandparents’ lives. From their memories of World War II, to life in socialist Yugoslavia, the disintegration of the country and the siege of Sarajevo, the grandparents are living witnesses to key historical events retold through a personal family story that will resonate with many viewers.

Screening Time:

 Friday - April 12, 2019

 8:30 PM

THE MUSEUM OF FORGOTTEN TRIUMPHS

(Muzej zaboravljenih trijumfa)

2018 | Bojan Bodružić |  85 min

Documentary

US premiere

After being evacuated as a child in 1992, Vancouver-based filmmaker Bojan Bodružić returned to Sarajevo in 2000 and began to film his grandparents. Over the following years, he recorded their extraordinary life stories. Charming and spirited, the elderly couple share their experiences (starting with WW II and ending with the Bosnian War), even insisting that their grandson finish the film as they fall ill in their twilight years. A first-hand account of the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, as well as a family portrait full of impressions of a country forever changed, the film collates an invaluable collection of memories—both personal and historical—into an affecting work.

PRESENTATION 7

 Nomophobia | All Alone

PROGRAMMERS' NOTES: 

Bobo Jelčić’s latest feature drama, All Alone, stays true to the director’s distinctive style of depicting intimate family stories and the way they connect to and are influenced by the larger social structures. In this film, we follow a recently divorced father attempting to navigate bureaucratic and legal red tape in his efforts of increasing custodial time with his daughter. Along the way, the film exposes legal loopholes as well as institutional dysfunction and corruption that have, unfortunately, come to be expected when it comes to an individual’s relation to the state. Preceding our feature presentation of All Alone, this block also features a short narrative film by Ado Hasanović. Based on a true story, the short narrative Nomophobia offers an unflinching look at the conflict between a mother and daughter, as well as explores the broader issue of generational gaps between parents and their children. With a dramatic ending, the film leaves us with probing questions about the challenges of coming of age in the era of modern technology and social networks.

Screening Time:

 Saturday - April 13, 2019

 4:00 PM 

NOMOPHOBIA

(Nomofobia)

2018 | Ado Hasanović | 14 min

Short Narrative

US and international premiere

After a terrible parents-teachers meeting, Maria tries to put her daughter Jessica back on track. But there is a third wheel interfering in their chat: Jessica's phone, by which the girl is totally absorbed. The mother soon decides to grab the phone, not considering the consequences that her decision might provoke.

ALL ALONE

Sam samcat)

2018 | Bobo Jelcic | 88 min

Feature Narrative

US premiere 

Divorced father Marko is hardly ever alone: he is surrounded by family, friends, co-workers and neighborhood fixers. Yet he is driven to the brink by limited contact with the one person he loves most – his daughter, who lives with her mother. When he starts the legal proceedings to get more time with his child, he enters the Kafkaesque world of a social-services system in meltdown. His fierce, paternal love for his child is both the source of his misery and his greatest joy.

SPECIAL PRESENTATION 8

Kuduz

BHFF is proud to present the 30th anniversary screening of Kuduz, one of the most legendary Bosnian films, and one of the last great movies made in Yugoslavia. Directed by Ademir Kenović and co-written by Kenović and Abdulah Sidran, since its release the film has proven equally popular with audiences and critics alike. Its enduring legacy and place in collective memory has only been further cemented in the post-Yugoslav period. The film’s story (based on true events) is anchored by tour-de-force performances of its actors, and further iconic stamp is given to the film by the memorable visuals created by Mustafa Mustafić’s rich cinematography and Christel Tanović’s dynamic editing. This rare theatrical screening of Kuduz will allow all the elements of this fantastic film to once again shine bright, three decades after its making. Director Ademir Kenović and actress Snežana Bogdanović will attend in person and join us for a post-screening conversation.

Screening Time:

 Saturday - April 13, 2019

 6:30 PM

 Followed by Q&A with: 

 director Ademir Kenović

and lead actress Snežana Bogdanović

KUDUZ

1989 | Ademir Kenović  | 113 min

Feature Narrative

Badema, the local seductress, meets Bećir Kuduz shortly after his release from prison. The attraction is mutual and powerful. Their age difference and the fact that Badema has a daughter whose father is unknown doesn’t manage to keep them apart. Kuduz dreams of starting his own construction business, while Badema works at the lively local cafe. Badema is not meant to be a housewife, while Kuduz longs after such an arrangement. The two of them argue, break up and make up, until the story takes a tragic turn.