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Sarajevo’s New Director Talks “Full Spectrum” Of Lineup – Deadline

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Jovan Marjanović has been with the Sarajevo Film Festival for greater than 20 years and whereas he’s what he describes as “a real little one of the competition” this yr marks the primary version the place he’ll sit as director of the much-loved Balkan occasion, taking the reins from founder and long-time director Mirsad Purivatra.

“We owe Mirsad a lot, however he’s very a lot nonetheless concerned – there was no avoiding that,” quips Marjanović of the much-loved Purivatra, who has lately launched boutique Croatian occasion Ponta Lopud Movie Competition. “He’s a exceptional chief and we are going to all miss him as our chief. I hope I’ve realized sufficient from him to proceed the place he stopped.”

With the Sarajevo Movie Competition, it’s maybe unsurprising that there’s a singular comradery inside those that work on the competition. Based in 1995 throughout a close to four-year siege on the town, few business occasions can converse to the identical distinctive cultural resilience that this comparatively younger competition can. Fashioned out of a want to rebuild a metropolis and artwork sector that was ravaged throughout the Bosnian Struggle (the longest siege of a capital metropolis within the historical past of contemporary warfare), the Sarajevo Movie Competition has efficiently formed itself into the Balkan area’s largest business movie and TV occasion with top-notch programming, a robust business section, instructional and networking platforms.

This yr will see the competition return in full drive after Covid restrictions marred the earlier two editions (it was a web based solely occasion in 2020 and a Covid-restricted model final yr). For the twenty eighth version, a complete of 51 movies will compete for the fest’s coveted Coronary heart of Sarajevo awards throughout 4 competitors sections: characteristic movies, documentary, quick and scholar movie.

The choice contains 20 world premieres, eight worldwide premieres, one European premiere, 21 regional premieres and one Bosnia & Herzegovina premiere. Ruben Östlund’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Unhappiness, on which Marjanović and Purivatra are affiliate producers, will open the competition on August 12.

Jovan Marjanovic
Sarajevo Movie Competition

“Ruben Östlund has been a good friend of the competition for a very long time,” says Marjanović. “It turned out that our companions TRT Balkan had been trying to lengthen their partnership into producing movies and we made an formidable lineup of titles that we wished to become involved with and Ruben’s was actually among the many first on the record. It was nice to have the ability to deliver one companion to a venture from a filmmaker that we’ve got been working with for some time after we offered The Sq. 4 years in the past.”

In the meantime, Bosnian helmer Pjer Žalica’s black comedy Might Labor Day has been set because the closing night time movie. It will likely be the world premiere for the native title which Marjanović says “native audiences will certainly run to see.”

Up to now, this yr’s occasion appears to be like set to usurp attendance for earlier editions. When the competition started its on-line ticket gross sales on August 1, it reported a document variety of gross sales on the primary day.

“It’s undoubtedly trying larger than the final two years and it’s good to return to having full capability with no restrictions,” says Marjanović. “It’s most vital to have our viewers again and to have friends from throughout Europe and, in fact, the area again.”

The competition has largely saved quiet about sure however pivotal modifications to its employees construction – most notably Marjanović’s promotion to competition director and former head of communications Maša Marković’s promotion to go of business –, preferring as an alternative to give attention to curating the perfect regional lineup in its program in addition to holding a stable and related native taste to its business program CineLink Trade Days.

“The transitions have been very natural,” remarks Marjanović, who notes that the programming staff has remained the identical. “We’ve been specializing in ensuring we stay a gathering place for business professionals on website relatively than on-line and we’ve seen that individuals nonetheless wish to meet. It is a very network-driven enterprise and networking may be very a lot on the coronary heart of the occasion itself.”

This yr, in a bid to indicate its long-term solidarity with Ukraine, the competition has prolonged its complete lineup to incorporate Ukrainian titles – a primary for the regional competition. It should see Ukrainian titles equivalent to Marta Smerechynska’s documentary Diary of a Bride of Christ and Pamfir helmer Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk’s Liturgy of Anti-Tank Obstacles included in this system. The inclusion of Ukrainian titles is not only a one-off: the competition has vowed to incorporate the nation for all future additions and has been working tirelessly to arrange residencies, create jobs and set placements for Ukrainian filmmakers.

“We wished to do one thing very particular and concrete with our colleagues in Ukraine so we determined the perfect factor we might do was to enlarge our focus area to incorporate Ukraine,” says Marjanović. “It’s now with every thing we do, and Ukrainian titles can characteristic in our competitors program and past.”

He provides, “This is essential to us as a result of we perceive what Ukraine goes by very effectively as we went by it within the Nineties. These usually are not simply gestures – these are set in stone.”

The competitors lineup features a raft of titles born out of the Balkan area not directly together with Cannes entry Marie Kreutzer’s Corsage, Aida Begić’s A Ballad, Dominik Mencej’s Riders and Ukrainian-Turkish manufacturing Klondike.

Sarajevo may also be awarding a bunch of Honorary Coronary heart of Sarajevo awards to a slew of well-known worldwide business names equivalent to U.S. director and screenwriter Paul Schrader, who will current a particular screening of his newest title The Card Counter and Jesse Eisenberg, who will unveil his directorial debut When You End Saving the World. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen and Ukrainian helmer Sergei Loznitsa may also be honored on the competition with Mikkelsen screening his movie The Hunt and a retrospective of Loznitsa’s work being performed all through the competition.

“We’ve wished to ask and honor Sergei for a while, and we’re thrilled that that is the yr we are able to do a retrospective of his work,” says Marjanović. “I’m positive his movies will converse so much to our viewers, and they’ll all be pleased to find a number of the classes from his titles.”

Moreover, Sarajevo will proceed its push into the tv sphere by internet hosting its second annual TV awards throughout the occasion with 17 collection from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Slovenia represented throughout the nominees. This yr, award classes have expanded to incorporate drama collection and comedy and winners can be lauded with a Coronary heart of Sarajevo award.

In its Avant Premiere Sequence strand, which sits inside CineLink, the primary two episodes of quite a lot of regional dramas that are all in search of worldwide distribution, can be screened. Danis Tanović’s newest collection The Hole (Kotlina) can be one of many premieres on the occasion.

The competition can also be providing up a particular pre-festival screening on the eve of the occasion with a particular work-in-progress screening of a brand new documentary movie about former Sarajevo mayor Emerik Blum from Quo Vadis, Aida? director Jasmila Žbanić. The experimental, free-of-charge screening, which can happen on August 11 on the fest’s Coca-Cola Open Air Cinema, will see Žbanić and Debolokada Manufacturing invite the Bosnian viewers to assist full the movie of their seek for tales, images and tales about Blum.

“We’ve bought the total spectrum of essentially the most well-known names in cinema, all doing various things throughout totally different mediums,” says Marjanović. “It’s fairly thrilling to have this number of native product.”



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