Organizers of the Sarajevo Film Festival have unveiled their plans for their 11th event, taking place August 19-27 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Two films from nearby Turkey and Greece will screen as gala presentations during the fest, including Yesim Ustaoglu's story about Ottoman Empire Greeks in 1916, in "Waiting for the Clouds" as well as Constantine Giannaris' "Hostage," the story of an Albanian who takes a bus hostage en route to Thessaloniki, Greece. Both films screened at this year's Berlinale Panorama.
Eleven films will screen in competition this year, including the world premiere of "Well Tempered Corps" by Benjamin Filipovi (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, France, Italy). The film, set during one day in Sarajevo, is the story of people who's lives cross resulting in challenge and change. Kosovar director Isa Qosja's world debut "The Kukum" centers on the first days after NATO troops enter Kosovo, providing a challenge to people who are now confronted with "freedom." Also premiering, "Lady Zee" by Bulgarian director Georgi Djulgerov focuses on a boy and girl from an orphanage who are later reunited in a surprising romantic circumstance. Finally, Croatian director Hrvoje Hribar's "What is a Man Without a Mustache?" is a romantic comedy set in a "tough landscape" about a woman who falls in love with a local priest. Circumstances forces the priest to choose between the woman and the church.
Not surprisingly, the war which resulted in the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia factors into this year's line up. The international premiere of Serbian and Montenegro production "Awakening from the Dead" by Milo Radivojevi takes place at the beginning of the bombing of both Serbian capital Belgrade and one small town also in Serbia at the end of March, 1999. Fellow international premiere, "Ryna," meanwhile tackles identity. The Romanian/Swiss production by Ruxandra Zenide focuses on a 16 year-old daughter of a poor man who has been raised as a boy because her father had longed for a son. According to a festival release, "Ryna finally pays a high price in order to preserve her identity."
"There are two threads that are characteristic and connect all eleven films competing for SFF awards. The tendencies dominating the program are on the one side social, while on the other side, there are films that focus on personal questions and issues," said Sarajevo Film Festival's Elma Tataragi in describing the competition in a release. In addition to the feature competition, SFF will also host a shorts competition.
[ For more information and the full line up, please visit http://www.sff.ba ]