ABOUT 8TH ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 2011
At the eighth annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF™), which took place May 13 and 14, 2011 at Tribeca Cinemas, "Belvedere," feature film by Ahmed Imamovic and "Much Ado in Mostar," documentary film by Steve Nemsick, won Golden Apples - The Audience Award for the Best Short or Feature Film and the Audience Award for the Best Documentary Film, respectively.
In 2011, BHFF Executive Committee received films from Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United States. In total, eleven films were showcased. The organizers were impressed by the high turnout and positive energy during the festival with audience members traveling from as far as Chicago, California, and Canada.
"Belvedere", a feature by Ahmed Imamovic, tells an intimate story of a widow yearning to forget the tragedy of war who spends most of her days caring for her extended family and searching for the remains of her husband and son. These activities offer a precarious hope, which is one day tested when her nephew gets selected to participate in a reality show in a former enemy enclave.
"Much Ado In Mostar" is a documentary that focuses on a group of Bosniak and Croat teenagers from both sides of the divided city of Mostar, coming together to perform Shakespeare's "Much Ado about Nothing". Their collaboration sends an inspiring message of peace, unity, and healing to its audiences regionally.
The selection of 11 films that were screened at BHFF included the U.S. premieres of "Sex Bomb," "Mother," "Munira," and "Rock n'war." Of note are also "Bijelo Dugme" ("White Button"), and "Piran – Pirano."
The festival also featured Q&A sessions with Steve Nemsick, Claire Wasserman, the producer of "Much Ado in Mostar," and Rešad Kulenovic, the director of "Snovi." The audience awards ceremony took place at the Tribeca Cinemas lounge on Saturday, May 14. Steve Nemsick, who was present, said: "This festival blew me away. It's a sophisticated, film savvy crowd and the outpouring of support following the screening is something I'll never forget. Truly independent film needs help and thanks to the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival, I'm finally getting it! It's events like these that matter, that can make a difference."
The ceremony was followed by a closing party, featuring a performance by "Burek The," a band that seeks to capture the glory of the "new primitives" movement was popular in ex-Yugoslavia in the mid-'80s, and explore ex-Yu folk and disco of the late '70s.
Among the numerous guests were directors Steve Nemsick, Refik Hodžic and Rešad Kulenovic, producer Claire Wasserman, poet Sasha Skenderija, actors Daniela Dakich and Senad Bašic, artists Nebojša Šeric Shoba and Aida Šehovic, as well as H.E. Mirsada Colakovic, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations and Ivan Barbalic, Permanent Ambassador of the Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations.
Blogger Joe Bendel noted the following in his articles about BHFF 2011: "Bijelo and Rock 'n' War rock hard, closing this year's festival on a high note. A sold-out screening, the BHFF appears to be growing nicely, bringing films by and of interest to Bosnians to a wider audience beyond the local ex-pat community." In his second article, he noted the following: "Piran was an excellent selection to launch this year's BHFF, one of the friendliest and most provocative New York festivals." To read both articles, visit jbspins.blogspot.com
The executive committee is grateful for the support of the Major Sponsor, World TV - Provider of International Television, Burek The, Tribeca Cinemas, Marshall Restaurant, Drom, tireless volunteers, individual donors, and BHFF media partners – Radio M, InfoBar, BATV, Focus Magazine, Voice of America, Radio Voice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and EuroChannel.
World TV (Major Sponsor)
BHFF 2011 PROGRAM
2007 | Chris Bessounian | 14 min
Goran, a promising young soccer player, becomes a soldier as the war begins. Goran's life transitions from one of a talented athlete to that of an executioner, virtually overnight. He becomes increasingly detached from his task, until his soccer coach and life-long friend, Asim, is led in front of him. Selected as the Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival's Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion.
2010 | Goran Vojinović | 101 min
Antonio, an Italian, a Bosnian Veljko and a Slovenian girl, Anica, face the terror of war as children. Half a century later their paths cross again as Antonio returns to Piran to see his place of birth once more before he dies. The last days of war, fear, despair, love, and inexplicable emotions come alive again. This intriguing feature premiered in the US at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, and was screened at festivals in Slovenia, Italy and at the Cairo International Film Festival, while Mustafa Nadarevic won the award as the Best Actor at the South-East European Film Festival in Paris.
2011 | Al Mehičević | 7 min
Samantha Who, a former model and playboy bunny, converts to Islam and decides to completely change her life. The only obstacles in her way are the naked photos all over the Internet, magazines, billboards, and her boss Alex. To deal with them, Samantha Who is ready to sacrifice anything and everything.
MUCH ADO IN MOSTAR
2010 | Steve Nemsick | 85 min
Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina is still reeling from a brutal civil war in the 90s. The Neretva river divides the city in more than one way. The east side of the river is overwhelmingly Muslim, the west side is Catholic. War may again be in the future of this country, but a group of kids - both Catholic and Muslim - come together to perform Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. They tour the Balkans to entertain and give a positive example, where they are few and far in between.
2010 | Rudi Uran | 55 min
Munira Subašić symbolizes ten thousand of women who survived the genocide in Srebrenica and the war in Bosnia. Striving for truth and justice, she became the first lady of the Balkans. She became the moral and real authority, the spontaneously chosen leader of the thousands. A housewife turned into a representative, a diplomat, and a president. What happens when in a Bosnian woman the Bosnian stubbornness awakes? This exceptional documentary was screened at multiple Slovenian Film Festivals, in Serbia, at the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival, and it is going to be screened at the Argentinian Film festival, Mujeres en Foco, in May.
WOMEN IN PURPLE
(Žena u ljubičastom)
2010 | Igor Drljača | 14 min
Mirza, a young Sarajevo orphan, earns easy money by assisting a local drug dealer. Dispatched on a job one day, a chance encounter makes him painfully aware of his despicable role - but equally of the possibility of changing things for the better. "Woman in Purple" had its US premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Society and has been screened at many international festivals including the Telluride Film Festival, Brief Encounters Short Film Festival, Tampere Film Festival and was a finalist at Boxurshorts 2011 in Los Angeles.
2010 | Rešad Kulenović | 14 min
Weaving together memories and emotions as the line between imagination and memory, dreams and nightmares are inextricably blurred. It is a cinematic exploration of the aftermath of war, love, and the beauty of a moment. Official Selection of the Cinequest Film Festival and of the European Independent Film Festival. Snovi/Dreams was also screened at the Sarajevo Film Festival. It is currently a nominee for the Student Academy Award
2009 | Elmir Jukić | 15 min
"Mother" is a film about loneliness and about an urge of a mother from Srebrenica to bring her family together once again. She cuts out the photos of her sons and her husband and creates a brand new photo, one that was never taken, a family photo that brings them all together, once again, among the roses in an imaginary heaven. This beautiful short was screened at the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva as well as at the Sarajevo and Zagreb Film Festivals.
2010 | Ahmed Imamović | 90 min
Ruveyda is like most residents of the Belvedere refugee camp: a widow yearning to forget the tragedy of war, fifteen years after the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But unlike those around her, she spends most of her days in a bittersweet routine of caring for her extended family, and searching for the remains of her husband and son. Both of these activities offer a precarious hope, that is one day tested when her nephew is selected to participate in a reality show in a former enemy enclave. Belvedere has been screened at New York's MoMA as part of its Global Lens series, as well as the Santa Barbara Independent and Gasparilla International Film Festivals.
ROCK 'N' WAR
2010 | Damir Pirić | 16 min
This is a story about young people during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina; young people who chose a different model of behavior and defied the evil with music.
2010 | Igor Stoimenov | 90 min
Bijelo Dugme (White Button) was a legendary rock and roll band of the former Yugoslavia that is still enormously popular. Their concerts gathered hundreds of thousands of fans, they sold millions of albums, they were the first to scandalize the region with stories of drugs and unruly behavior… The documentary tells an epic story of sex, drugs, rock'n'roll and of course, politics during the last 15 years of Yugoslavia.