Sarajevo fest to launch new talent campus

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LONDON -- Emerging Balkans filmmakers will get the chance to hone their skills with the help of top professionals this summer when the Sarajevo International Film Festival launches its first talent campus.

The new event -- which will run Aug. 20-25 during the 13th edition of the famously feisty festival that was first held in 1995 while the Bosnian capital was still under siege from Serbian forces during the civil war of the time -- is being organized in cooperation with the Berlinale talent campus and Berlin International Film Festival.

Young filmmakers from South-Eastern Europe will draw on the experience and wisdom of international film professionals in a series of lectures and workshops in directing, production and acting.

"The main goal is to create a platform to provide a unique opportunity for young talented authors to learn and improve their knowledge by working with the most prominent representatives of film industry in the region and worldwide. In addition to that, the Sarajevo Talent Campus will offer its participants access to the global film network," Mirsad Purivatra, director of the Sarajevo Film Festival said in a statement.

The Berlin festival has long been noted for its interest in Balkans film; last year Jasmila Zbanic's "Grbavica" -- which had been helped by the Sarajevo festival's already established project incubator -- won the Berlinale's Golden Bear for best film.

"We are extremely happy that a new Talent Campus Abroad initiative has found a new home base in Sarajevo, a festival known as a highly attractive hub for Eastern European filmmaking," Dieter Kosslick, Berlinale director stated.

"Very friendly and highly productive ties between our two festivals already exist -- between CineLink and the Berlinale Co-Production Market, as well as between the Sarajevo Teen Arena and Generations, the section of our festival for children and young adults' films. Of course, these bonds helped form this latest cooperation," Kosslick added.

The new talent campus at Sarajevo will be open to young filmmakers and final year students at film schools from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo and organizers expect some 70 successful applicants to participate.
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