ABOUT 4TH ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 2007
2007 was a groundbreaking year for the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF). Moving to a more ambitious venue, the fourth annual BHFF took place at Tribeca Cinemas, year-round home of the Tribeca Film Festival. Attracting over 400 visitors, the 2007 selection consisted of twelve films, representing a variety of genres and categories ranging from feature, short and documentary film such as "All for Free" (Antonio Nuic), "Armin" (Ognjen Svilicic), "The Border Post" (Rajko Grlic), "Statement 710399" (Refik Hodzic), "In the Name of the Son" (Harun Mehmedinovic) and many others.
It was actor Uliks Fehmiu, one of the leading roles in "Well Tempered Corpses" (BHFF 2006), who announced the audience award winners in front of a packed theatre after the last screening: "Grbavica" by Jasmila Zbanic (BHFF 2007 Audience Award for the Best Short or Feature Film), and "Carnival" by Alen Drljevic (BHFF 2007 Audience Award for the Best Documentary Film).
2007-imgBoth awards were presented in memory of Benjamin Filipovic, a renowned film director, a professor at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, and the former president of the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to his contributions to Bosnian-Herzegovinian cinematography, history, arts and culture and his support of the activities of the diaspora, Mr. Filipovic is credited with providing the inspiration for the first BHFF.
After the awards were presented, audience members, guests and BHFF organizers joined to celebrate yet another successful year for BHFF at Tribeca Lounge.
Event Link Group
Equity Mortgage Partners, Inc
Dr. Amra Spahic-Musakadic
BHFF 2007 PROGRAM
GOOD LUCK NEDIM
(Sretan put Nedime)
2006 | Marko Šantić | 13 min
Upon arrival at the Slovenian border, Amir and Nedim come across a young police officer who is not allowed to let them through because Nedim does not have a proper visa to enter Slovenia. Nedim suffers from terminal cancer and wants to die in his own country, in Bosnia. Amir is determined not to let his brother down. Best short film at the Sarajevo Film Festival 2006; best short film nominee for the European Film Awards 2006, and winner of the "Best Film" at the Confederation Internationale des Cinemas d'art et Essai.
2007 | Ognjen Sviličić | 82 min
Coming from a small town in Bosnia, a father takes his son, Armin, to Croatia to audition for a German film about the Balkan conflict. After scant interest from the director, Armin grows disappointed and withdrawn, while his "backwoodsey" but ambitious father is determined to fight for his son's career. A touching depiction of a father-son relationship ensues, as the warm, human face of the simple father plays off well against the "natural comedy" of the baby-faced Armin. Described as Emir Hadzihafizbegovic's "career high." (Variety.com). This Croatian, German and Bosnian coproduction won the European Network of Young Cinema Jury Award 2007.
THE WAY WE PLAYED
(Kako smo se igrali)
2005 | Samir Mehanović | 13 min
Beautifully shot beneath brooding skies against the canvas of a ruined 14th-century castle, the film tells the story of two young boys, a Muslim and a Serb, playing together on the eve of a war that will make their friendship impossible. This 13 minute short is a powerful statement about children trapped in violent conflicts. Mehanović won the award for the Best First-Time Director at BAFTA Scotland in 2005, and was nominated for the Best British short film at EIFF in 2006, both in Edinburgh.
2006 | Jasmila Žbanić | 95 min
Single mother Esma lives with her 12-year-old daughter Sara in Sarajevo's Grbavica neighbourhood, where life is still being reconstructed after the recent war. Sara's father becomes an issue when she requires a certificate proving that he died a shaheed, or a martyr, so that she can receive a discount for an upcoming school trip. Esma claims that acquiring the certificate is difficult since his body has yet to be found. Meanwhile, she searches desperately to borrow money to pay for the trip. Realizing her mother paid full price for the school trip, Sara aggressively demands the truth. "Textured", "clean and uncomplicated," the film is a winner of the 2006 Golden Bear at Berlin, and a nominee for the European Film Award and for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2006.
2006 | Refik Hodžić | 54 min
The story of a father trying to find out what happened to his son who slipped out of his hands and dissapeared during the Srebrenica genocide in 1995 is, in fact, a story of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country permanently scarred by war crimes and their legacy, where the perpetrators enjoy impunity and privileged positions while the victims struggle to come to terms with their experiences. Refik Hodzic is founder of XY Films, an independent film production company in Sarajevo specializing in documentary films on war crimes committed during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, and currently the spokesperson for the Registry of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
2006 | Alen Drljević | 71 min
Bosnian refugees seeking safety in Montenegro during the war were mercilessly picked up and transported to Bosnia in May 1992, where they ended up in the notorious, Serb-run prison of Foča. Only one or two people lived to tell the tale. Most relatives have heard nothing from their loved ones since then. Images of the annual carnival in the sunny seaside town where it all took place form a wry contrast to the large-scale acts of betrayal that few in Montenegro want to be reminded of. Winner of the audience award for best documentary at the Trieste Film Festival 2007. Official selection in the competitive program of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2006.
2006 | Džemal Šabić | 6 min
Winner of the European Documentary Network Talent Award in 2006, and a nominee for the Prix Europa 2006, Two Sisters is a documentary vignette about a 58-year old Bosnian woman, who leaves her job and life in the capital, turns her back on her loves and suitors, and returns to her village to tend to her ailing sister. In the words of the director, it is "a documentary about the best in people and human relations."
MUM AND DAD
(Mama i tata)
2006 | Faruk Lončarević | 65 min
This "truly original first film … with an assured and an impressive consistent style" is a winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Sarajevo Film Festival. An elderly couple live alone in a flat in Sarajevo, with their everyday rituals: drinking coffee, playing cards, watching TV. The husband (Dad) has had a stroke and although he is still physically strong, he has difficulties communicating. The wife (Mum) is a lively elderly lady who takes advantage of the situation to set straight some old quarrels. To convey the intimacy of the relationship and the inevitable conflict, the young talent Faruk Loncarevic chose the daring form of a voyeuristic, reality-show style.
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
(Za kim zvono zvoni)
2005 | Džemal Šabić | 10 min
In this visually powerful commentary on loneliness and desertion, all inhabitants of the village Poljani in central Bosnia have fled their village during the war, in 1993. About 1700 of them have found their peace and homes in other villages, cities and countries. Ana Susnja has been the sacristan in the village chapel in Poljani for 28 years. Today, 10 years after the war, Ana still sounds the bells, waiting for any of her neighbors to come back to the village. Winner of the Grand Prix award at the Trento Film Festival (Italy).
ALL FOR FREE
2006 | Antonio Nuić | 94 min
Thirty-year-old Goran lives in a small town in Bosnia. Unlike his friends, whose lives were greatly transformed by war, Goran came out of the war virtually unscathed. He lives on an inheritance from his parents and drinks his days away. One day, his friends are killed in a bar brawl. Shaken out of his routine, Goran decides to sell all that he owns and travel from town to town, giving away free drinks to the inhabitants. Rakan Rushaidat won the Best Actor award for his role as Goran at the 2006 Sarajevo Film Festival, while Variety.com praised it as havng "…the whimsical dignity and sadness that makes it recognizable as a Bosnian film from a mile off." (August 30 2006).
IN THE NAME OF THE SON
(U ime sina)
2007 | Harun Mehmedinović | 25 min
Captured in battle by Serbian Forces, Tarik, a Bosnian, and his friend Milan, who defected from the Serb forces, are marched to their execution in a forest in Bosnia. As they reach their destination, Milan is recognized by their executioner: Pavle, his father and an officer of the Serbian army. Pavle, in agony over Milan's treason, shoots his son, but spares Tarik. Years later, Pavle appears on his doorstep asking for favor: "I want you to kill me." Suddenly, Tarik is stuck between his need for revenge and his humanity.
THE BORDER POST
2006 | Rajko Grlić | 94 min
In the spring of 1987, at a small border-post on the Yugoslav-Albanian border, yet another generation of conscripts suffering the usual amount of boredom is counting days to the end of their military service. But the usually-drunk commander makes an unpleasant discovery related to his groin pain. Not wanting his wife to find out about the embarrasing disease, he declares a state of emergency, claiming that the Albanian army is preparing an attack against Yugoslavia. The situation slowly runs out of control... Speaking about not so distant past with no nostalgia and no hatred, Border Post is a comedy about people on the verge of tragedy. Official selection for the European Film Awards 2006.