Greek, Turkish films featuring in Sarajevo

This year’s Sarajevo Film Festival, which has developed into one of the most interesting Balkan events since its launch in 1995, will feature tributes to Greek and Turkish cinema with screenings from both neighboring countries. Included on the non-competitive agenda for this year’s festival, held between August 19 and 27, is «Hostage,» a film by Constantinos Yiannaris, and «Waiting for the Clouds,» directed by Yesim Ustaoglou. The festival’s competition program will include films from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and, for the first time, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A total of 11 films selected from more than 70 submissions have been short-listed for the festival’s competition program. The participating films vying for the festival’s top prize use small stories and personal journeys in their storytelling. Entries include «Labor Equals Freedom» by Slovenian director Damjan Kozole, «Dallas Among Us» by Hungarian Robert Alejo, «Johanna» by another Hungarian, Kornel Mundruczo, «Ryna» by Romanian Ruxandra Zenide and «Lady Lee» by Bulgarian Gerogia Djulgerova. Two Croatian films are also in the mix – «What’s a Man Without a Mustache» by Hrvoje Hribar and «Sorry For Kung Fu» by Ognjen Svilicic. War and peace Another main theme in the festival this year is social change. These social films focus on the consequences of the Balkan wars and the disability of residents to return to regular lives. The Sarajevo Film Festival, it should be pointed out, was launched in the midst of war, as a reaction to the hostilities. Besides its competition program, the festival also places particular emphasis on fostering joint film productions in the Balkans with financial support from European producers. Last year, the festival worked closely with Austrian producers. This year, German industry officials have assumed the role of examining the prospects of co-productions.

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