ABOUT 3rd ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 2006
On May 19, 2006, the Third Annual Bosnian Herzegovinian Film Festival was launched at the Anthology Film Archives Theatre in New York with the screenings of several short films and one feature, including two films that quickly became audience favorites: the feature “Go West” about a gay interethnic couple caught in the Bosnian war, and the short “I See You,
In addition, the film lineup included several notable and internationally recognized features, such as the two debuts by young Danijela Majstorovic dealing with the under-explored themes of the exploitation of women in the Bosnian post-war reality; and the genre-defying“Totally Personal” by Nedzad Begovic, Bosnia’s candidate for the Oscars in 2006. For the first time, the festival included in its selection several short animated films.
The Festival was visited by Uliks Fehmiu, one of the protagonists of the feature “Well Tempered Corpses” by the suddenly departed prominent Bosnian-Herzegovinian filmmaker, Benjamin Filipovic.
In total, the Festival featured 24 films that were viewed by some 400 guests.
BHFF 2006 Audience quotes
“The two shorts and two documentaries I saw were all very different, but all gave me a glimpse of the quality of art that comes out of Bosnia. I appreciated both the drama and the comedy, and I think that I was not only entertained, but also educated. The BHFF was the first exposure I have had to anything Bosnian outside of news commentaries about religion, politics and violence, and in that sense, was long overdue. I would definitely attend next year.” – Diana Dopfel
“Festival Bosankohercegovackog filma je bio pravo otkrovenje! Konacno nešto što ima veze sa Balkanom šta mogu da podelim sa prijateljima Amerikancima. Izbor filmova je bio takav da je Festival mogao da zadovolji sva ocekivanja i kriterijume. I humor, i ozbiljna kritika, i stanje stvari sa terena i specifican sentiment...Ocigledno ima istine u odgovoru na pitanje šta uradi Bosanac kad mu se gleda dobar film? Jeste, snimi ga....” - Marija Šajkaš
BHFF 2006 Guests' quotes
“Da nije ovoga festivala, ne bi ni mene bilo u ovom filmu ("Dobro Ustimani Mrtvaci"). Ja sam se na vasem prvom filmskom festivalu upoznao sa Benjaminom Filipovicem." - Uliks Fehmiu, “Well Tempered Corpses”
“BHFF NYC is one of my favorite film festivals, because it is a showcase of great talent, a great community of friends, and a cultural event all in one. I hope to remain a part of this festival in years to come." - Gates Gooding
Sarajevo Graduate School of Business (SGSB)
Harriman Institute, School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University
Balkan Radio 387.
Media partners included:
Voice of Bosnia and Herzegovina
BH Radio 1
Balkan Radio 387
Peta Strana Svijeta.
BHFF 2006 PROGRAM
Alen Drljević | 2005 | 13 min.
Nominated for the Best Short Film for the 2005 European Film Academy Awards, "Paycheck" is set in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. Not far from Sarajevo, which, on the surface only, is seemingly back to regular life, an illegal bet shop has been set up. A colorful group of characters place bets on the life or death of motorcycle riders who risk their lives riding through a minefield.
SURVIVED 'N LIVED THROUGH ONE MORE DAY
(Opst'o i ost'o jedan dan)
Alma Becirovic | 2002 | 12 min.
55-year-old Suada Bajramovic lives with her son, her daughter-in-law and her grandson. Her son, Alen, was wounded during the war and returns home to live with her, disabled and unable to work. To support her family, Suada risks her life on a daily basis as a mine expert, clearing the minefields which still cover some parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I SEE YOU MY FRIEND
(Vidimo se prijatelju)
Ćazim Dervišević | 2005 | 23 min.
"I See You My Friend" is the inspiring story of Robert and Halid, two teenagers living in the turbulence of adolescence, shared by many of their generation. The story of their friendship is only seemingly typical, as Robert and Halid are both blind, but together they help each other overcome life's many challenges.
IF I WASN'T MUSLIM
Damir Nikšić | 2005 | 7 min.
"If I wasn't Muslim' an artistic video piece that recenUy took Sarajevo by storm, is a short monologue in the spirit of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof.' It comments on the complexity of religious and cultural identity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, speaking out against stereotypes and promoting tolerance. This video was an installation at the New Temple Gallery in Sarajevo, a former Jewish synagogue.
Ahmed lmamović | 2005 | 90 min.
'Go West" is a thought-provoking and groundbreaking film about a gay couple. On the eve of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milan, a Serb student from a patriarchal community, and Kenan, a Muslim cellist, fall in love. Trapped during the siege by the Serb forces, the two flee to Milan's home village where they take shelter, waiting for an opportunity to escape to the Netherlands. Witnessing the brutality of Serb militia toward Muslims, Milan disguises Kenan as a woman and presents him
as his wife. As a first film in Bosnia to address issues of homosexuality in the context of recent war and Bosnian social traditions, it has spurred much controversy. The renowned actor Rade Serbedzija plays one of the leading roles.
NOT SO HUMBLE PIE
Bojana Žeželj and Dejan Kovačević | 2004 | 15 min.
Burek, Bosnia's much loved traditional dish, has recently become a favorite of New York City gourmets. The story of burek's popularity in America is dose to the heart of the Bosnian and Balkan expatriate community living in the United States, comforted to find the beloved dish so far from home. Featuring members of the Bosnian community in New York who struggle to preserve their customs and identity while settling into a new environment
ASIM FREE MAN
Rusmir Agačević | 2004 | 22 min.
'Asim Free Man" is a documentary about Asim Safić, who for almost40 years has played rock and country music in a band with his friends in Travnik, a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Asim \Wrks as a garbage truck driver, lives modestly, and has bad memories from the reoent war. In spite of this harsh reality, he rehearses everyday with his bandmates and practices with enthusiasm, finding peace and solace in music.
BOY FROM A WAR MOVIE
(Dječak iz ratnog filma)
Šemsudin Gegić | 2004 | 27 min.
'Boy From A War Movie" tells the story of Alen, a boy whose mother was raped by a Serb army soldier during the war. Alen is abandoned soon after his birth and later adopted. At age ten, he learns the truth about himself and starts identifying with a hero of the Italian movie "Mirko," which is based upon a story similar to his. "Boy From A War Movie" is dedicated to children born under similar circumstances during the Bosnian war, adopted and dispersed throughout the world.
WELL TEMPERED CORPSES
(Dobro uštimani mrtvaci)
Benjamin Filipović | 2005 | 94 min.
Two coroners at the Sarajevo city morgue bet on the number of dead bodies that will come in by a certain time. With an array of unusual circumstances leading up to the delivery of several different corpses, the coroners aren't prepared for the bizarre and colorful group of relatives, friends and associates arriving to claim the bodies. A darkly humorous tale set in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, "Well Tempered Corpses" weaves together stories of a diverse group of people and relaUonships. It is a quirky and audacious look at the pursuit of the tenuous "Bosnian Dream."
Alma Bećirović | 2004 | 14 min.
Panja is a middle-aged, lonely man, whose daily routine suddenly (and positively) changes when tango lessons, broadcast as a radio show, enter his life. This charming film won one of the top awards in the student films competiUon at the goEast Film Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Nedžad Begović | 2005 | 72 min.
Strikingly original, "Totally Personal" is a heart-warming documentary about the experiences of filmmaker Nedzad Begovic, who reflects on his life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, portraying his family, friends and personal events. The film incorporates intimate details of his family's survival during the war: his mother, who used to cut the toes off old shoes and bum them for fuel, and the pear tree in their garden that served as the only source of vitamin C for his children. Despite the tragedy that has befallen their country, Begovic tells his story with an uplifting and wry sense of humor.