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New York City, March 2024 — The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF) in New York City is excited to announce the lineup for its 20th jubilee edition. After receiving a large number of films for consideration, a total of fourteen films were selected for the festival’s final competition program. This year, the festival will also feature a retrospective screening of the newly restored Life of a Shock Force Worker (1972), directed by the legendary Bahrudin Bato Čengić. The 20th Annual festival will include a series of interactive Q&As and conversations with filmmaker guests, running from Wednesday, April 24th through Saturday, April 27th in person at the SVA Theatre in New York City. 


SVA Presentation 1
Wednesday, April 24, 2024 - 7:30 PM


Bosanski lonac

2023 | Pavo Marinković | 103 min

Feature Narrative

Faruk Šego, a Bosnian writer living in Austria, is suddenly left without a residence permit due to stricter emigration rules and his own negligence. In order to not be deported, Faruk must prove to the authorities, that he's made a cultural contribution to Austrian society. His last chance is an off-theatre group that can stage a play he once wrote as a young man. The ensuing adventure brought on by Faruk's reluctant return to the theatre could transform his life and force him to realize what is truly important.

Followed by Q&A 

SVA Presentation 2
Thursday, April 25, 2024 - 7:00 PM


2023 | Mirza Ajnadžić| 23 min

Short Documentary

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The film documents a transformative journey, during the realization of the project "Music in My Suitcase". The lens captures not just musical notes but also shared stories. The focus is on the musicians and the dedicated team of the Kuma International organization as they conduct workshops, erasing borders with people on the move who happened to be in B&H. This documentary is more than a musical chronicle; it stands as a testament to leading by example. It is a visual poem, resonating with warmth and creativity, illustrating how acceptance of others not only enriches our lives but adds intrinsic value to our shared existence. This is a passionate advocacy for the integration of diverse cultures, urging society to recognize the potential that people on the move bring to our collective tapestry.

Followed by Q&A 

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Sok od višnje

2023 | Mersiha Husagić | 90 min

Feature Narrative

Cherry Juice, which takes the viewer from Hamburg to Sarajevo, tells the story of two people for whom cinema means everything. Selma, a Bosnian screenwriter from Sarajevo, has written a screenplay processing her experiences as a refugee in Germany from the Yugoslav War. But four weeks before the shoot is scheduled to begin, the project is canceled. While drowning her frustrations in alcohol, Selma fails to inform all of the crew members of the shoot’s cancellation, while an Hamburg-based actor named Niklas is preparing his role for the film—only learning upon his arrival in Sarajevo that the film is no more. Spontaneously, he decides to stay in Sarajevo, where he crosses paths with Selma, and their worlds collide: the pessimistic, reserved Bosnian and the optimistic, charming German, both connected by the same dream of making movies. They spend New Year's Eve together and experience an exciting and life-changing night.

Followed by Q&A 

SVA Presentation 3
Friday, April 26, 2024 - 6:00 PM


Crvene bermude

2023 | Saša Peševski | 9 min

Short Narrative 

On the way home, Ema meets an older man who tries to touch her inappropriately in the elevator. Ema saves herself and manages to reach her mother, who tries to explain what happened to her in the best and most painless way.

Followed by Q&A 

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Ocean Without a Floor

2023 | Amna Hadžić | 10 min

Short Narrative

Albertine, a retired novelist with dementia, reconnects with her younger self by
remembering the memories of both happiness and loss. Her granddaughter reads from
Albertine’s old journal with the hope of helping Albertine retrieve a lost memory of an
important person from her past, evoking the person her grandmother used to be. As
memories continue to resurface, Albertine tries to make sense of the past she relives.
Faced with a choice between accepting or suppressing part of her past, the decision
she ultimately makes will change the way she sees herself.

Followed by Q&A 

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2024 | Zulfikar Filandra | 22 min

Short Narrative

A group of workers is fired from a factory. While some of them prepare to strike, unconvinced and depressed worker VELID (35) wanders around the small town and encounters two young filmmakers, a local and a foreigner, who are shooting a film about the condition of workers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The directors offer him a nice amount of money and Velid agrees to an interview. After the interview, Velid is convinced into acting in a love scene with a girl, while screaming anti-government slogans. As the filming progresses, Velid becomes angrier, and the directors become more disrespectful.

Followed by Q&A 


Srce od kamena

2023 | Tina Kalinić | 15 min

Short Narrative

Mirjana returns home to attend her mother's funeral. Now, surrounded by stone in a place where time seems to have come to a halt, she must face her father and his expectations as well as her own emotions and feelings of guilt. 

Followed by Q&A 

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2023 | Sead Vergara | 12 min

Short Narrative

A humorous look at an ordinary day in the life of two video store clerks, that will be interrupted by the arrival of two customers.

Followed by Q&A 

SVA Presentation 4 
Friday, April 26, 2024 - 8:15 PM

Slike iz života udarnika (1972)

1972 | Bahrudin Čengić | 78 min

Feature Narrative

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Bahrudin Bato Čengić’s legendary film is a story about the life and times of shock force worker Alija Sirotanovic and his comrades that commemorates the coal miners’ dignity and sacrifice. The story begins in 1947 and follows the life of these workers from the moment they join the shock force movement until their retirement. The idea of the film is contained in the following opening statement: “People of a country that is still recovering from the devastation of war are trying to lay the foundation for socialist revival by investing extreme personal effort and sacrifice, determined to go beyond their own limits.” The shock force labor movement was part of those efforts. This film is dedicated to shock force worker, coal miner Alija Sirotanovic and his known and unknown comrades. The film is a collaboration between several notable names of New Yugoslav Film: the screenplay was co-written by Bato Čengić and Branko Vučićević, and the director of photography was Karpo Aćimović Godina.

Followed by Q&A 

SVA Presentation 5
Saturday, April 27, 2024 - 2:00 PM

Tražeći pravdu

2023 | Ado Hasanović | 24 min

Short Documentary

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Law students of Leiden and Sarajevo universities try to understand the role of justice before and after having interviewed some survivors of the Srebrenica genocide. Was justice served then? And did the international community do enough in the process of raising awareness around this tragedy?

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Hope Hotel Phantom

2023 | Bojan Stojčić | 22 min

Short Documentary

In November 1995, the leaders of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia & Serbia met in Dayton (Ohio) to broker a peace agreement that would end four violent years of war in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Negotiated at the Hope Hotel located on the grounds of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Dayton Agreement locked Bosnia & Herzegovina into a simulacra of democracy, through the proxy of a site that was a simulacra in itself: a military base on the other side of the world, an intimidation to the signing parties.

27 years later, in July 2022, the filmmaker flew to America from BiH and booked himself a room at the Hope Hotel. There, he filled the same beds & conference halls as the people who had once shaped his future — a phantom in the echoes of this historical event: a dream turned nightmare.


Povratak u Jasenovac

2023 | Admir Rahmanović | 12 min

Short Documentary

A meditative short documentary that returns to the site of one of the greatest World War II atrocities in Yugoslavia, in order to probe complicated questions about the nature of remembering, bearing witness, as well as forgetting. While depicting the contemporary landscape of the former concentration camp grounds of Jasenovac in haunting black and white photography, the film asks what it means to “never forget,” and how these words continue to have ongoing resonance today.

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Forensic video essay built as a performative research into the first international criminal tribunal case to enter convictions for rape as a form of torture and for sexual enslavement as crime against humanity.

While working solely with visual archive and testimonies, Silence of Reason acts as a memory itself: elusive, fluid, rejecting framing, and moving in all directions, both spatial and temporal. The singular experiences of violence and torture by women from the Foča rape camps during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina become our collective memories, surpassing time and space.

Silence of Reason

2023 | Kumjana Novakova | 63 min
Feature Documentary

SVA Presentation 6
Saturday, April 27, 2024 - 5:00 PM


In Sarajevo, a teenager seeking validation claims that she had sex for the first time during a game of "truth or dare" among middle schoolers. Trapped in her own lie, she invents a pregnancy and becomes the center of a controversy that spirals out of control.

Followed by Q&A 


2023 | Una Gunjak | 94 min

Feature Narrative


Džepni anđeo

2021 | Siniša Grabež | 25 min

Short Narrative Films

SVA Presentation 7
Saturday, April 27, 2024 - 7:30 PM

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In a far-fetched scheme inspired by local resistance, an American aid worker living in Sarajevo reached out to the world’s biggest band, U2, to see if they could help raise global awareness of the devastating conflict. The band agreed and across the summer of 1993, their ZOO TV Tour featured live satellite interviews with local Sarajevans who described their plight to the concert-goers. When these interviews came to an end, the band pledged to perform in the city once the conflict was over.

Kiss the Future

2023 | Nenad Čičin-Šain | 103 min

Feature Documentary

Followed by Q&A 

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