New York City, May 2014 – Opening Night of the Eleventh Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival was a great success! The festival will continue through Saturday, May 3rd, at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City. Having its New York premiere at the festival will be Chris Leslie’s and Oggi Tomić’s “Finding Family”.
(“U potrazi za porodicom”), an unforgiving documentary about one orphan’s extraordinary journey back to Bosnia twenty years after being abandoned in the midst of the siege of Sarajevo. The film has just won Best New Work and Best Factual awards at the British Academy Scotland New Talent Awards 2014. A Q&A session with Leslie will take place during Closing Night of the festival on Saturday after the film’s screening.
Danis Tanović’s film titled “An Episode in the Life of An Iron Picker” (“Epizoda u životu berača željeza”) centers around a Roma family in central Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose harrowing odyssey of survival provides a damning critique of the social conditions that trap them.
“Circles” (“Krugovi”) starts off in the grips of the Bosnian war in 1993, when Serbian soldier Marko witnesses his three comrades brutally attacking Haris, a Muslim civilian. Marko interferes and saves Haris’ life, but is consequently killed by his infuriated fellow soldiers. In 2008, years after the war’s conclusion, the effects of the conflict still loudly resonate as Marko’s family and friends are faced with the choice between forgiveness and revenge.
“Shunt” (“Fasunga”), directed by Zoran Ćatić, is a brief analysis of historical and socio-political transitions that constantly challenge the permanence of memories.
In “A Stranger” (“Obrana i zaštita”), the death of an old friend plunges Slavko into a dilemma. He is unsure whether he, a Croat, should attend the funeral in the Muslim part of Mostar. On the one hand, he feels like it’s his duty; on the other, he fears a hostile reaction from his own community. This psychological study is based on the fact that nearly two decades after the war, Mostar is still divided.
Other films included in the selection are:
• Nedžad Begović’s “Beško,” about a modern guy who belongs to the new generation of “Walters” in Sarajevo;
• Mirna Dizdarević’s “Vita Mulier,” a short documentary about two ballerinas struggling to survive in a city that does not value their art;
• Damir Bašić’s “Just to take a look” (“Samo da pogledam”), a 60- second social commentary on the daily life of an ordinary citizen in Bosnia-Herzegovina;
• Ado Hasanović’s “Mum” (“Mama”), a cautionary tale about starting over;
• Amela Ćuhura’s “We Survived” (“Nek je živa glava”), a short fiction film about a former POW who returns to Sarajevo to find his family.