Sarajevo Film Festival Unveils Lineup

Sarajevo Film Festival-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of the Sarajevo Film Festival

A total of 53 films will compete for the Heart of Sarajevo awards across four competition programs.

A total of 53 films will compete for the Heart of Sarajevo awards at the 25th Sarajevo Film Festival, southeast Europe's leading annual film event, which opens next month.

The fest's four competition programs — features, documentaries, shorts and student films — include 23 world, four international, 24 regional and two local premieres.

The feature competition, picked by festival selector Elma Tataragic, has nine titles, including four world premieres, one international bow and four regional debuts.

The feature lineup includes the international premiere of Romanian director Radu Dragomir's feature debut Mo, a darkly curious tale of two university students caught cheating during an exam; and world premieres for Florenc Papas' Albania/Italy/Kosovo/Macedonia co-production Open Door, a road movie about the search for a stand-in husband to save the dignity of a pregnant single woman before she meets her father; Bulgarian helmer Stephan Komandarev's police drama Rounds; and Bosnian director Ines Tanovic's drama of an adopted teenager, Son.

The documentary competition lineup of 16 films includes the world premieres of Bosnian director Goran Bregovic's A Small Documentary About 3 Letters, Slovene filmmaker Sinisa Gacic's Daughter of Camorra and Hungary's How Far the Stars, helmed by Katalin Barsony.

The festival, which held its first edition in the capital of Bosnian-Herzegovina while the Yugoslav civil war siege of Sarajevo was still underway in 1995, has become a major regional hub for supporting developing filmmakers.

International guests in recent years have included such Hollywood stars as Danny Glover, Kevin Spacey and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The 25th edition of the Sarajevo Film Festival, held under the patronage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is set to run Aug. 16-23.