Berlin: Hungarian Auteur Bela Tarr to Lead Sarajevo Film Fest Jury

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Bela Tarr

The acclaimed director also will give a presentation on his new postgrad film studies program, film.factory, at the Berlinale on Thursday.

BERLIN -- Acclaimed Hungarian director Bela Tarr will head the jury at this year's Sarajevo Film Festival.

The 20th edition of the event -- first held in 1995 while the Bosnian city was still under siege by Serbian forces during the Balkans civil war -- will run a competition of top Southeast European films and a range of international sidebars and industry events.

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Tarr, whose film The Turin Horse won a Silver Bear at the Berlinale three years ago, has since retired from filmmaking. He has set up a postgraduate program for young but already established filmmakers in Sarajevo known as the film.factory.

Developed in collaboration with filmmakers including Carlos Reygadas, Tilda Swinton, Guy Maddin, Pedro Costa, Gus Van Sant and Fred Kelemen, the study program is designed "to promote an artistic approach toward filmmaking," Tarr says.

The program is offered at the Sarajevo Film Academy, part of the University Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

Tarr will be in Berlin on Thursday to give a presentation on the film.factory in collaboration with the Berlinale Forum and Arsenal, the Institute for Film and Video Art, at the Hackesche Hofe Cinema.

"While there are more and more images everywhere around us, paradoxically, we perceive the increasing devaluation of this beautiful language every day," Tarr said.

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"It is in this context that we are seeking to demonstrate, emphatically and convincingly, the importance of visual culture and dignity of the image to the future generations of filmmakers."

Short films directed by MA and PhD students of the film.factory will be shown during the presentation, followed by a Q&A with Tarr and Film Academy manager Emina Ganic.

Tarr directed his first film, Family Nest, in 1977 when he was 22. After a television adaptation of Macbeth in 1982 -- made in just two shots -- he created his distinctive visual style, characterized by long, slow shots on black-and-white stock. His 1994 seven-and-a-half-hour adaptation of Laszlo Krasznahorkai's novel Satan's Tango epitomizes the approach.

The 20th edition of the Sarajevo Film Festival runs August 15-23, 2014.