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"Circus Columbia," feature film by Oscar-winner Danis Tanovic, "The Cell Phone Movie," documentary film by Nedžad Begovic and "Short for Varnesa B," short film by Jons Vukorep won Golden Apple awards at the Ninth Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF™), which took place May 3-5, 2012 at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City.

"Circus Columbia" won BHFF 2012 Jury Award for the Best Feature Film. "The Cell Phone Movie" was awarded BHFF 2012 Jury Award for the Best Documentary Film and "Short for Varnesa B" won BHFF 2012 Jury Award for the Best Short Film. "The Fuse: or How I Burned Simon Bolivar," a documentary by Igor Drljaca received BHFF 2012 Jury Special Mention. This was the U.S. premiere of "Short for Varnesa B." and New York premiere of "The Fuse: or How I Burned Simon Bolivar."

These four films were selected by the official BHFF 2012 Jury, an expert panel of judges comprising award-winning filmmakers Refik Hodžic and Steve Nemsick, as well as an accomplished Bosnian-American fiction writer, Aleksandar Hemon. Additionally, "Circus Columbia" won the BHFF 2012 Audience Award for Best Picture. All winning films were presented with "The Golden Apple" awards at the awards ceremony on May 5, 2012.

All in all, the ninth annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival screened 16 short, feature and documentary films. The program was compiled among more than 30 films received from Austria, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and the United States. The selection of films that were featured at BHFF included the world premieres of "Gold Diggers," "Framed," "Searching for the Devil" and "If I Don't"; U.S. premieres of "A Short Story," 85 Seconds," "The West in the East," The Neverending Story." The Ninth Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival also screened feature films "Jasmina," "Circus Columbia," "In the Land of Blood and Honey," as well as documentaries "A Cell Phone Movie," "The Witness" and "I came to Testify."

Among the guests at the ninth annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival were young filmmakers who came all the way from Bosnia, Canada and Slovenia: Naida Begovic, set designer of "Jasmina" who also appears in the "Cell Phone Movie"; Davor Mamuzic, director of "Framed" and Samir Bajric, director of "Searching for the Devil." Other guests who came to this year's film festival included BHFF 2012 Jury members – Alexandar Hemon, Refik Hodžic and Steve Nemsick; Kasia Grabowski, Australian actress from the "Gold Diggers"; Pamela Hogan, director of "I came to testify" and Indira Kajoševic Škoric, PhD, co-director and co-founder of RACCOON, Inc. - Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network.



2010 | Danis Tanović | 113 min

Divko Buntic returns to his former home after a 20-year exile in Germany. Returning with an attractive young girlfriend, a flashy new Mercedes, a pocketful of cash, and a lucky black cat, things are looking good for Divko. When his cat goes missing things begin to fall apart: trouble with his girlfriend and the fledgling relationship with his estranged son are strained as the entire town scrambles to find the cat and collect the cash reward being offered. Divko's personal tumult mirrors the country's situation at large with signs appearing that the Bosnian War is coming. As the war looms, tensions run high and Divko must decide whether to stay in his newly reestablished home or retreat.


(85 sekundi)
2011 | Ada Sokolović | 2 min
Short Fiction


A short film based on my actual experience during the Siege of Sarajevo in 1993. The film is a minimalist approach to storytelling about moments that can change one's life. "85 seconds" shows the power of one of those moments.


2011 | Davor Mamuzić | 2 min
Short Fiction

Arriving home after hard day at work, an exhausted man gets a rare glimpse of the future with the magical frame that appears at his doorstep. Screening at the 2012 BHFF will be the World Premiere of this intriguing short film.


2011 | Jons Vukorep | 11 min
Short Fiction

Bosnian actress, Vernesa Berbo, leaves war-torn Bosnia and settles in Germany where, as an illegal immigrant, she tries to continue her acting career. The only roles she is able to get are roles depicting Eastern European women as, for example, a Polish cleaning lady, Romanian asylum seeker, Russian prostitute, or a Bosnian refugee, roles which take her back to her own personal nightmare. The film has screened at the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival as well as Courtmetrage, Brussels Short Film Festival. Screening at the 2012 BHFF will be the U.S. Premiere for "Short for Vernesa B."


(Kratka priča)
2011 | Ibro Hasanović | 10 min
Short Fiction

An enigmatic character tells the story (a prophecy originating from Eastern Bosnia) that has been transmitted orally for over half a century. The story relates to a prophecy that was given to the people of a village in 1941 by a local imam, based on the mystical book "Kasida." The book has predicted the main tragedies that happened during the second part of the 20th century in former Yugoslavia and predicts more to come in the 21st. Screening at the 2012 BHFF will be the U.S. Premiere for "A Short Story."


2012 | Haris Bilajbegović | 42 min

"The Witness" is a visually powerful reinterpretation and dramatization of Raif Begic's experiences during the war in Bosnia. It is a film about bravery of a survivor who is not afraid to tell his story as a key witness at the Hague Tribunal as well as at the Superior Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina against soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska, later found guilty of war crimes. Screening at the 2012 BHFF will be the World Premiere for "The Witness."


(Priča bez kraja)
2011 | Elvir Muminović | 15 min
Short Fiction

After Emir and Kirsten lose their child in late pregnancy, they decide to adopt a child from Bosnia. At the moment when they arrive to take the child for a trial period, Emir finds out that the child is of the Bosnian Serb nationality. The film addresses the issue of the post war traumas and how the new generation of Bosnians are affected by it. Screening at the 2012 BHFF will be the U.S. Premiere for "Neverending Story."


2012 | Zinka Bejtić | 8 min
Short Fiction

"If I Don't" is a fashion film in narrative form. It reflects on the idea that clothes represent a choice by which we feel, either trapped or liberated. It explores the idea to leave the box we all feel that we are inside and search for and face our fears. It also leads to realization that our fears are imaginary. Screening at the 2012 BHFF will be the World Premiere for "If I Don't."


(Film mobitelom)
2011 | Nedžad Begović | 62 min

A doctor orders the filmmaker to walk regularly to get over an angina. In three years, he covers thousands of kilometers. Taking his mobile phone, he films and records the things going on around him. We hear him talking with his family and friends. We share in his view of modern-day Sarajevo: a polyphonic kaleidoscope, strange and entertaining…This intriguing documentary won the Best Documentary Award at the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival.


(U potrazi za šejtanom)
2011 | Samir Bajrić | 31 min

Shot as a part mocumentary and part documentary, "Searching for the Devil" uses humor and real interviews to address one of the biggest enigmas in human history. Mostly filmed in the area around the town of Kljuc, Bosnia and Herzegovina, , the project is a debut of the director, Samir Bajric. The plot explores the possibility of the true existence, presence and influence of the Devil on mankind. Screening at the 2012 BHFF will be the World Premiere for "Searching for the Devil."


2011 | Pamela Hogan | 52 min

Narrated by Matt Damon, "I Came to Testify" is a moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned and raped by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history's great silence and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law. Their remarkable courage resulted in a triumphant verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war. This gripping documentary has won the 2012 Gracie Award for Outstanding Series.


2010 | Nedžad Begović | 89 min

An asthmatic grandmother (Safa) and her six-month-old granddaughter have arrived with a humanitarian convoy from the war-torn Sarajevo to a peaceful town on the Adriatic. Their neighbor, Stipe, is an alcoholic bum, and bent on making their life hell. During one of her asthma attacks, having no other choice, Safa knocks at Stipe's door and hands the baby over to him. After she passes away, Stipe clumsily begins to take care of the baby girl. Over time, the girl becomes his reason for living. He no longer tries to get rid of her.


(Kako sam zapalio Simona Bolivara)
2011 | Igor Drljača | 9 min

Using personal home video footage, this documentary portrays how a young boy's attempts to avoid a poor grade on a school assignment in 1990's Sarajevo may have contributed to the start of the war. This short documentary has been awarded Canada's Top Ten Short Films of 2011. It has also been screened at the Sarajevo Film Festival, Toronto and Vancouver International Film Festivals, and at the Cinema du Reel International Documentary Film Festival in Europe. It premiered in the U.S. at the SXSW festival.


2012 | Al Mehičević | 9 min
Short Fiction

Three miners trapped underground have captivated audiences around the world. Their devout wives have now become celebrities. A young lady turns up to the site uninvited. The wives want her gone but she has a story to tell – she is having an affair with one of the miners and she wants her share of the fame. One by one, the mistresses turn up to the site as the whole world watches the cat fight unfold. The miners are trapped in more ways than one. Screening at the 2012 BHFF will be the World Premiere for "Gold Diggers."


(Zapad na istoku)
2010 | Nisvet Hrustić | 24 min

A lover of nature is trying to build a weekend house on his own and bring water to it from its source in the forest ¾ of a mile away. Combining Eastern resourcefulness and Western ideas, he uses lumber waste as building material, preserving the environment while facing incomprehension and derision by local community. This captivating documentary was screened at the 16th Sarajevo Film Festival. It has been awarded the Main Prize in the category "People and Earth/Ecological Success Stories" at the 37th International Festival of Sustainable Development Films in Bratislava, Slovakia.


2011 | Angelina Jolie | 127 min

During the Bosnian War, Danijel, a soldier fighting for the Serbs, re-encounters Ajla, a Bosnian who's now a captive in his camp he oversees. Their once promising connection has become ambiguous as their motives have changed.

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Academy of Bosnia and Herzegovina
55-23 31st Avenue 6D
Woodside, NY 11377 

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