Sarajevo Film Festival

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Sarajevo Film Festival
Sarajevo Film Festival logo.png
2008 logo
Location Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Founded 1995
Directed by Mirsad Purivatra
Language International
SFF red carpet
Documentary program

The Sarajevo Film Festival is the premier and largest film festival in Southeast Europe,[1][2] and is one of the largest in Europe. It was founded in Sarajevo in 1995 during the siege of Sarajevo in the Bosnian Independence War, and brings international and local celebrities to Sarajevo every year. It is held in August and showcases an extensive variety of feature and short films from around the world. The current director of the festival is Mirsad Purivatra, former CEO of the Bosnian branch of McCann Erickson.


The first Sarajevo Film Festival was held from 25 October to 5 November 1995. At that time, the siege of Sarajevo was still going on, and attendance projections were very low. However, a surprising 15,000 people came to see the films, of which there were 37 from 15 different countries. The festival grew at a remarkable pace now being the most prominent film festival in South-East Europe, attracting more than 100,000 people annually on all programmes and screening hundreds of films from 60 countries.[3]

The Sarajevo Film Festival is hosted at the National Theater in front of which the Festival Square and the red carpet are located, with screenings at the Open-air theater Metalac, Bosnian Cultural Center, and five other cinemas and projection locations around the city. The festival has been attended by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Emile Hirsch, Orlando Bloom, Daniel Craig, Danny Glover, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Steve Buscemi, Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Irons, Bono Vox, Nick Cave, Coolio, Stephen Frears, Mickey Rourke, Michael Moore, Gérard Depardieu, Darren Aronofsky, Sophie Okonedo, Gillian Anderson, Kevin Spacey, Eric Cantona, Benicio del Toro and many others.

By 2001, the European Film Association made the Sarajevo Film Festival one of the eleven festivals that could nominate a film for the award of "Europe's Best Short Film". The 2001 winner of the Sarajevo Film Festival, Danis Tanović's No Man's Land, went on to win an Oscar in the United States. In 2004, the Best Movie Award was named "The Heart of Sarajevo".

Beginning with the 13th Sarajevo Film Festival in 2007 and in cooperation with the Berlin International Film Festival and Berlinale Talent Campus, the Sarajevo Talent Campus has been added to the festival. The Sarajevo Talent Campus is an educational and creative platform for up and coming young film professionals, and has eventually come to be revered as the most prestigious film training event in the region.

The festival also features CineLink, a year-long project development program resulting in an annual co-production market during the festival dates. The CineLink Market each year presents approximately 10 finest regional projects for feature-length fiction films, also offering festival guests a special opportunity to meet with the assembled regional industry, with emphasis on young filmmakers, producers and directors presenting their latest projects, productions and works in progress, with highlights of the regional production presented to international distributors, TV-buyers and festival programmers, making CineLink the most important international market place for new features from Southeast Europe.


  • Competition (feature, short and documentary)
  • CineLink
  • Kinoscope
  • Open Air
  • In Focus
  • Tribute to…
  • Sarajevo City of Film
  • Children's Program
  • Teen Arena
  • Talents Sarajevo
  • New Currents
  • New Currents shorts
  • Regional Forum
  • Docu Rough Cut Boutique
  • Laško Summer Nights
  • Operation kino

Sarajevo Talent Campus[edit]

Launched in 2007 in co-operation with the Berlin International Film Festival and the Berlinale Talent Campus, Sarajevo Talent Campus is an educational and networking platform for emerging film talents from South-Eastern European region (Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey). Each year, more than two hundred applications are received, and only eighty are carefully chosen to attend a six-day training led by some of the most prominent film professionals in the world.

Award winners[edit]

Heart of Sarajevo Award for Best Feature Film[edit]

Year Film Original title Director(s) Nationality of Director
1996 Breaking the Waves Breaking the Waves von Trier, LarsLars von Trier  Denmark
1997 My Life in Pink Ma Vie en Rose Berliner, AlainAlain Berliner  Belgium
1998 I Stand Alone Seul contre tous Noé, GasparGaspar Noé  France
1999 December 1-31 Dezember, 1-31 Peters, JanJan Peters  Germany
2000 Bleeder Bleeder Winding Refn, NicolasNicolas Winding Refn  Denmark
2001 No Man's Land Ničija zemlja Tanović, DanisDanis Tanović  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2002 Saturday Sábado Villegas, JuanJuan Villegas  Argentina
2003 Fuse Gori vatra Žalica, PjerPjer Žalica  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2004 Mila from Mars Mila ot Mars Sofia, ZornitsaZornitsa Sofia  Bulgaria
2005 Lady Zee Leydi Zi Djulgerov, GeorgiGeorgi Djulgerov  Bulgaria
2006 Fraulein Das Fräulein Staka, AndreaAndrea Staka   Switzerland
2007 Takva: A Man's Fear of God Takva Kiziltan, ÖzerÖzer Kiziltan  Turkey
2008 Buick Riviera Buick Riviera Rušinović, GoranGoran Rušinović  Croatia
2009 Ordinary People Obični ljudi Perišić, VladimirVladimir Perišić  Serbia
2010 Tilva Roš Tilva Roš Ležaić, NikolaNikola Ležaić  Serbia
2011 Breathing Atmen Markovics, KarlKarl Markovics  Austria
2012 Everybody in Our Family Toată lumea din familia noastră Jude, RaduRadu Jude  Romania
2013 In Bloom Grdzeli nateli dgheebi Ekvtimishvili, NanaNana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß  Georgia
2014 Song of My Mother Annemin Şarkisi Mintaş, ErolErol Mintaş  Turkey
2015 Mustang Mustang Gamze Ergüven, DenizDeniz Gamze Ergüven  Turkey

Heart of Sarajevo Award for Best Short Film[edit]

Year Film Original title Director(s) Nationality of Director
2001 Copy Shop Copy Shop Widrich, VirgilVirgil Widrich  Austria
2002 10 Minutes 10 minuta Imamović, AhmedAhmed Imamović  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2003 The Wallet Le portefeuille Bierrewaerts, VincentVincent Bierrewaerts  Belgium
2004 Me, Myself and the Universe Ich und das Universum Schomerus, HajoHajo Schomerus  Germany
2005 Before Dawn Hajnal Kenyeres, BalintBalint Kenyeres  Hungary
2006 Good Luck Nedim Sretan put Nedime SzanticMarko Šantić  Slovenia
2007 Waves Valuri Sitaru, AdrianAdrian Sitaru  Romania
2008 Tolerantia Tolerantia Ramadan, IvanIvan Ramadan  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2009 Party Tulum Matanić, DaliborDalibor Matanić  Croatia
2010 Yellow Moon Žuti mjesec Jurić, ZvonimirZvonimir Jurić  Croatia
2011 Mezzanine Mezanin Matanić, DaliborDalibor Matanić  Croatia
2012 The Return Kthimi Zeqiri, BlertaBlerta Zeqiri  Kosovo
2013 Shadow of a Cloud O umbra de nor Jude, RaduRadu Jude  Romania
2014 The Chicken Kokoška Gunjak, UnaUna Gunjak  Croatia
2015 A Matter of Will Biserna obala Kasalica, DušanDušan Kasalica  Montenegro

Heart of Sarajevo Award for Best Documentary Film[edit]

Year Film Original title Director(s) Nationality of Director
2006 Facing the Day Što sa sobom preko dana Juka, IvonaIvona Juka  Croatia
2007 Interrogation Informativni razgovori Kabil, NamikNamik Kabil  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2008 Corridor No. 8 Коридор No. 8 Despodov, BorisBoris Despodov  Bulgaria
2009 The Caviar Connection Kavijar konekšn Nikolić, DraganDragan Nikolić  Serbia
2010 The Seamstresses Shivackite Garvanlieva, BiljanaBiljana Garvanlieva  Macedonia
2011 A Cell Phone Movie Mobitel Begović, NedžadNedžad Begović  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2012 Turn Off the Lights Lumea in patratele Mladenović, IvanaIvana Mladenović  Serbia
2013 Sickfuckpeople Хворісукалюди Rechinsky, JuriJuri Rechinsky  Ukraine
2014 Naked Island Goli Gudac, Tiha K.Tiha K. Gudac  Croatia
2015 Toto and His Sisters Toto şi surorile lui Nanau, AlexanderAlexander Nanau  Romania

Heart of Sarajevo Award for Best Actress[edit]

Year Actress Film Nationality of Actress
2004 SzkaricicMarija Škaričić A Wonderful Night in Split  Croatia
2005 Cvitešić, ZrinkaZrinka Cvitešić What Is a Man Without a Moustache?  Croatia
2006 SzkaricicMarija Škaričić Fraulein  Croatia
2007 Aksoy, SaadetSaadet Aksoy Egg  Turkey
2008 Damgacı, AyçaAyça Damgacı Gitmek: My Marlon and Brando  Turkey
2009 Papoulia, AngelikiAngeliki Papoulia and Mary Tsoni Dogtooth  Greece
2010 Oprișor, MirelaMirela Oprișor Tuesday, After Christmas  Romania
2011 Condeescu, AdaAda Condeescu Loverboy  Romania
2012 Pikić, MarijaMarija Pikić Children of Sarajevo  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2013 Babluani, LikaLika Babluani and Mariam Bokeria In Bloom  Georgia
2014 Kitia, MariMari Kitia Brides  Georgia
2015 Mustang  Turkey

Heart of Sarajevo Award for Best Actor[edit]

Year Actress Film Nationality of Actor
2004 Točinovski, MilanMilan Točinovski How I Killed a Saint  Macedonia
2005 Musevski, PeterPeter Musevski Labour Equals Freedom  Slovenia
2006 Rushaidat, RakanRakan Rushaidat All for Free  Croatia
2007 Petrović, SašaSaša Petrović It's Hard to Be Nice  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2008 Lučev, LeonLeon Lučev and Slavko Štimac Buick Riviera  Croatia and  Serbia
2009 Popović, ReljaRelja Popović Ordinary People  Serbia
2010 Todorović, MarkoMarko Todorović Tilva Roš  Serbia
2011 Schubert, ThomasThomas Schubert Breathing  Austria
2012 Fehmiu, UliksUliks Fehmiu Redemption Street  Serbia
2013 Diklić, BogdanBogdan Diklić A Stranger  Serbia
2014 Duman, FeyyazFeyyaz Duman Song of My Mother  Turkey
2015 Chevalier Athina  Greece

Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award[edit]

Year Winner Note
2005 Müller, MarcoMarco Müller Director of Rome Film Festival
2006 Grahovac, GavriloGavrilo Grahovac Former Minister of Culture and Sports in Bosnia and Herzegovina
2006 Leigh, MikeMike Leigh Film director
2007 Buscemi, SteveSteve Buscemi Actor and film director
2008 Villiers, CatCat Villiers Film producer
2009 Schmidt, ManfredManfred Schmidt Executive director of Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung
2010 Kosslick, DieterDieter Kosslick Director of Berlin International Film Festival
2011 Jolie, AngelinaAngelina Jolie Actress and film director
2011 Panahi, JafarJafar Panahi Film director
2011 Tedeschi, EmilEmil Tedeschi President of Atlantic Grupa
2012 Lustig, BrankoBranko Lustig Film producer
2013 Olla, RobertoRoberto Olla Executive director of Eurimages
2013 Tarr, BélaBéla Tarr Film director
2014 García Bernal, GaelGael García Bernal Actor
2014 Tanović, DanisDanis Tanović Film director
2014 Troublé, AgnèsAgnès Troublé Fashion designer
2015 del Toro, BenicioBenicio del Toro Actor


  1. ^ "About the Sarajevo Film Festival". Sarajevo Film Festival Official Website. 
  2. ^ "Inside Film's Guide to Film Festivals in Europe". Inside Film. 
  3. ^ Pond, Steve (17 August 2014). "Sarajevo Film Festival Celebrates 20th Year Under the Long Shadow of War". TheWrap. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]