ABOUT FIFTH BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL™ 2008
Celebrating its second anniversary at Tribeca Cinemas, the fifth annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival took place on May 9-10, 2008. Attracting over 300 people, the festival screened ten feature, documentary, and short films by emerging and internationally-renowned filmmakers. Five films had their U.S. premiere at BHFF, including "Esma," "Patria Mia, nomad direction," "Not if you can, but you must," "What do I know" and "The Rhythm of Life."
BHFF 2008 also screened feature films "The Living and the Dead" and "Silent Gunpowder," as well as documentary films "Enter the Dragon," "A Burdensome Job" and "Interrogation."
"Silent Gunpowder" was showcasedd in memory of late Bahrudin "Bato" Cengic, a legendary filmmaker who helped shape Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Yugoslav film industry. He wrote and directed many features, documentaries, short films and television series such as "Playing Soldiers," "The Role of My Family in the World Revolution," "Heads or Tails" and "Silent Gunpowder."
As in years past, "The Golden Apple" awards were designed by the accomplished Bosnian-American artist Aida Šehovic. "Enter the Dragon" by Ozren Milharcic won the BHFF 2008 Audience Award for the Best Documentary Film, and "The Rhythm of Life" by Enver Puška won the 2008 Audience Award for the Best Short or Feature Film.
Among notable guests were DJ Tomo who came all the way from Frankfurt to spin at BHFF parties, Ozren Milharcic and Nino Raspudic ("Enter the Dragon"), Sabina Varjaca ("Back to Bosnia"), artists Aida Šehovic and Nebojša Šeric (Shoba), as well as Mirsada Colakovic (Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations), Jasminka Dinic (Permanent Mission of Croatia to the United Nations), and Matti Lehtonen (United Nations).
Archipelagos Architecture and Design (Official Sponsor)
Trust Realty (Presenting Sponsor)
EventLink Group (Major Sponsor)
Dr. Amra Spahic-Musakadic
BHFF 2008 PROGRAM
THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
(Živi i mrtvi)
2007 | Kristijan Milić | 102 min
The world's first Bruce Lee statue was unveiled in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina on November 26, 2005, one day before Hong Kong's version of the statue. This is a story of believers in the transformative power of martial arts heroes who decide to pursue their dream and erect the statue despite multiple challenges. Can Bruce Lee give hope to an ethnically divided city? This film was screened at Bradford International Film Festival (United Kingdom), Nazareth International Film Festival (Israel), Tartu Film Festival (Estonia), Balkan Black Box Festival (Germany), and The Dialektus Festival (Hungary).
ENTER THE DRAGON
(U zmajevom gnijezdu)
2006 | Ozren Milharčić | 50 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.
2007 | Namik Kabil | 45 min
How much do we remember from the war? Is it hard to talk about it? Do we suddenly start remembering when we talk? This film tries to open up the abysses of denials of the war, which are becoming dominant, yet silent dimensions of everyday life in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. This film won the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary Film at Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Special Mention at ZagrebDox - International Documentary Film Festival (Croatia) and was also screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Helsinki International Film Festival (Finland) and Diagonale (Austria).
2007 | Alen Drljević | 26 min
Inside the United Nations camp during the course of official negotiations in 1995, the Serbian army kidnaps the counter-negotiator, colonel Avdo Pali?. Thus begins the search of his wife, Esma, for her missing husband. She is one of many who are still searching for their loved ones who disappeared during the recent war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This powerful film was screened at Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Trieste Film Festival (Italy), Göteborg International Film Festival (Sweden), Balkan Snapshots Film Festival (Germany) and International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Ukraine)
PATRIA MIA, NOMAD DIRECTION
2008 | Duška Zagorac | 50 min
After 15 years of exile in London, director Duška Zagorac returns to Bosnia to find a sizeable Chinese community settled in her homeland. Like a mirror image of Bosnia's past populations, the new inhabitants are struggling to define their identity. Combining first person narrative and observational documentary style, this is an intimate portrait of people and the city suspended in time; between war and peace, socialism and capitalism, tradition and globalization. The film has screened at The European Independent Film Festival (France).
A BURDENSOME JOB
2006 | Nedžad Begović | 21 min
This is a story about two gravediggers, who despite their daily contact with death and strong empathy with those in mourning try to retain a positive outlook on life. This film has screened at the Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Diagonale (Austria), the Go East Film Festival and the Balkan Snapshots Film Festival (Germany).
NOT IF YOU CAN, BUT YOU MUST
(Nije da se more, već se mora)
2006 | Maša Hilcisin Dervišević | 28 min
This film focuses on the life of people from the remote Bosnian village of Lukomir, with an emphasis on the position of women and the gender relations. Hard life and lack of future prospects force young people to leave Lukomir, which brings into question its existence. The film has participated at numerous film festivals including PitchWise, Festival of Short Film and Interground (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Film Front and International Festival of Ethnological Film (Serbia), FemFest (Croatia), Through Women's Eyes (Macedonia), Rdece zore festival (Slovenia), Festival ArtGenerator (Macedonia), Tartu Festival of Visual Culture (Estonia), EcoVision Festival (Italy), International Meeting and Video Program Humour Works (Slovakia), East Silver (Czech Republic) and Viscult 2007 (Finland).
WHAT DO I KNOW
(Šta ja znam)
2007 | Šejla Kamerić | 15 min
In and around a house love stories intertwine. One love story leads to another. The ghosts of love are left behind to seek the answers to the same question: "What do I know about love?" The story was written as a memento to other people's loves not witnessed by the author. The house in the story is real. All characters are played by children. This film has screened at the Balkan Snapshots Film Festival (Germany), Venice Film Festival (Italy), Zagreb Film Festival (Croatia) and Crossing Europe (Austria).
THE RHYTHM OF LIFE
2007 | Enver Puška | 78 min
After having been imprisoned in a concentration camp during the recent war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Salih, a restaurant owner and a family man, decides that his life will be dedicated to the joy of living. Every day, he is more and more in love with his wife Ema and more concerned about his daughter Maja. Maja is in love with Damir, a supplier of stolen automobiles and a man who constantly cheats on his wife.
1990 | Bahrudin Bato Čengić | 116 min
Based on a novel by Branko Ćopić, this atypical Yugoslav partisan film is set in an isolated Serbian village in the Bosnian mountains at the beginning of World War II. The majority of Yugoslavia is already occupied, but resistance continues in this village where continuous clashes take place between Chetniks, local Nazi sympathizers and antifascist partisans. The film is the winner of Silver St. George for Best Actor and was nominated for the Golden St. George at the Moscow International Film Festival (Russia).