Sarajevo fest launches talent campus


LONDON -- Emerging Balkans filmmakers will get the chance to hone their skills with the help of top professionals this summer as 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 festival -- is being organized in cooperation with the Berlinale talent campus and Berlin International Film Festival.

Young filmmakers from southeast Europe will draw on the experience and wisdom of international film professionals in a series of lectures and workshops on 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," Sarajevo festival director Mirsad Purivatra said. "In addition to that, the Sarajevo Talent Campus will offer its participants access to the global film network."

The Berlin festival has long been noted for its interest in Balkans film. Last year, Jasmila Zbanic's "Grbavica" -- a beneficiary of the Sarajevo festival's project incubator -- won the Berlinale's Golden Bear for best film.

"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 adult films. Of course, these bonds helped form this latest cooperation," Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said.

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. Organizers expect some 70 participants.