Introducing the Competition Programme – Feature Film of the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival
Elma Tataragić, programmer of the Competition Programme – Feature Film will present 11 titles. The selection in the competition programme features two world premieres, one international and five regional premieres. The programme includes two gala and one special screening.
„We live in extremely turbulent times. And that feeling, unfortunately, is global. What is true for this year's selection of the Competition programme is that it reflects the author's attitude not only towards the region but also towards the world. That is why this selection is a selection of regional films, but it reflects the one global spirit of the time in which we live. There are different themes, from love topics to identity, globalization, the meaning of life, political engagement, and adulthood. What characterizes this selection are the extremely strong heroes and heroines, as well as the way the authors allow us to approach them without any reservations,“ said Elma Tataragić.
Films in the Competition Program - Feature film of the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival are in competition for awards:
HEART OF SARAJEVO FOR BEST FEATURE FILM
Award in the amount of €16,000, co-sponsored by the Tourism Association of Canton Sarajevo
HEART OF SARAJEVO FOR BEST DIRECTOR
Award in the amount of €10,000, sponsored by the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with UNESCO
HEART OF SARAJEVO FOR BEST ACTRESS
Award in the amount of €2,500
HEART OF SARAJEVO FOR BEST ACTOR
Award in the amount of €2,500
Austria, United Kingdom, 2023, 100 min.
Director: Sudabeh Mortezai
Cast: Lilith Stangenberg, Jetnor Gorezi, Steljona Kadillari, Mirando Sylari, Tobias Winter
Beate is an ambitious executive working at Europa, a mysterious corporation looking to expand into the Balkans region. Seemingly promoting philanthropy and investment in underdeveloped areas, Europa actually needs to buy off lands from locals in a remote valley in Southern Albania using Beate as the main negotiator for the ambiguous mission. But things don’t go as planned when she is challenged by Jetnor, a stubborn and spiritual farmer who refuses to leave the land of his ancestors.
Greece, Bulgaria, 2023, 100 min.
Director: Christina Ioakeimidi
Cast: Aggeliki Beveratou, Nikolakis Zeginoglou, Katerina Zisoudi, Konstantinos Aspiotis, Martha Frintzila, Natassa Xintaveloni
Sixteen-year-old Eleftheria, a stranger in a strange world, meets Angelos, a mysterious neighbour, who invites her into his fascinating grown-up world. Roaming the streets of the scorching-hot August city on his bike, Eleftheria embarks on a journey to discover herself through the ferocity of first love.
Romania, Hungary, 2023, 109 min.
Director: Tudor Giurgiu
Cast: Alex Calangiu, Cătălin Herlo, Ionuț Caras, Iulian Postelnicu, Alexandru Papadopol, Leonid Doni, Andi Vasluianu, Toma Cuzin, Mirela Oprișor
In the chaotic days of the December 1989 revolution that overthrew the Communist regime in Romania, the Transylvanian city of Sibiu becomes the scene of a violent assault on a police unit that quickly escalates into a bloody confrontation between soldiers, policemen, civilian protesters, and representatives of the secret police. In a desperate attempt to escape the siege, police captain Viorel is captured by the army and thrown into an empty swimming pool along with hundreds of prisoners accused of terrorism.
Greece, Austria, Romania, Cyprus, Bulgaria, 2023, 116 min.
Director: Sofia Exarchou
Cast: Chronis Barbarian, Ilias Chatzigeorgiou, Danai Petropoulea, Dimitra Vlagopoulou, Flomaria Papadaki, Ahilleas Hariskos, Voodoo Jürgens
Under the hot Greek sun, the hosts at an all-inclusive island resort prepare for the busy tourist season. Kalia is the leader of the pack. Paper decor, glitzy costumes, and dance shows fill the stage. As summer intensifies and the work pressure builds up, nights become violent and Kalia’s struggle is revealed in the darkness. But when the spotlights come up again, the show must go on.
BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD BLACKBERRY / SHASHVI SHASHVI MAKVALI
Georgia, Switzerland, 2023, 110 min.
Director: Elene Naveriani
Cast: Ekaterine Chavleishvili, Teimuraz Chinchinadze
Etero, a 48-year-old woman living in a small village in Georgia, never wanted a husband. She cherishes her freedom as much as her cakes. But her choice to live alone is the cause of much gossip among her fellow villagers. Unexpectedly, she finds herself passionately falling for a man, and is suddenly faced with the decision of pursuing a relationship or continuing a life of independence. Etero must grapple with her feelings and decide how to find her own path to happiness. BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD BLACKBERRY is based on the novel of the same name by Tamta Melashvili.
DAY OF THE TIGER / TIGRU
Romania, France, Greece, 2023, 80 min.
Director: Andrei Tănase
Cast: Cătălina Moga, Paul Ipate, Alex Velea
Vera is a small-town veterinarian from Transylvania, whose marriage to actor-director Toma is going through a difficult period since the couple lost their new-born son. Vera becomes obsessed with providing him with the proper Eastern Orthodox burial rituals and spends more and more time at work. On a particular day, while a new tiger is brought to the zoo where she works, Vera finds out her husband is hiding something.
Ukraine, 2023, 100 min.
Director: Philip Sotnychenko
Cast: Stepan Barabash, Serhii Luzanovskyi, Oleksandr Mavrits, Andrii Zhurba, Novruz Pashayev, Oleksandr Parkhomenko, Valeria Oleinikova, Olena Mamchur, Oleksandr Maleev
Ukraine, 1996. Five months before the moratorium on capital punishment, two old friends, a police detective and a forensic psychiatrist, investigate the murder of a colleague. A long time ago, both of them were in love with the widow of the deceased. Immersed in the complicated case and long-forgotten memories, the friends create a future in which their children will have to live, and will inherit the unrealised aspirations of their parents.
Serbia, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Qatar, 2023, 98 min.
Director: Vladimir Perišić
Cast: Jovan Ginić, Jasna Đuričić, Miodrag Jovanović, Lazar Ković, Pavle Čemerikić
Serbia, 1996. During the student demonstrations against the Milosević regime, fifteen-year-old Stefan has to go through the hardest revolution of all. He has to confront his beloved mother, spokesperson for and accomplice of the corrupted government his friends are rising up against.
GALA SCREENING, OUT OF COMPETITION
EXCURSION / EKSKURZIJA
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, France, Norway, Qatar, 2023, 94 min.
Director: Una Gunjak
Cast: Asja Zara Lagumdžija i Nađa Spaho, Maja Izetbegović, Mediha Musliović, Izudin Bajrović, Muhamed Hadžović
As her ninth-grade class prepares for an excursion, Iman attracts the attention of an older boy. After a game of truth and dare, rumors spread in school that Iman is pregnant, and this jeopardizes the excursion. Iman finds herself in a storm of expectations and limitations, and the events she has caused are getting out of control.
GUARDIANS OF THE FORMULA / ČUVARI FORMULE
Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, 2023, 118 min.
Director: Dragan Bjelogrlić
Uloge: Alexis Manenti, Radivoje Bukvić, Lionel Abelanski, Jérémie Laheurte, Olivier Barthélémy, Ognjen Mićović, Jovan Jovanović, Anne Serra, Alisa Radaković, Jean-Louis Coulloc'h, Cédric Appietto, Miki Manojlović, Dragan Bjelogrlić
In the midst of the Cold War crisis, a group of scientists at the Vinča Institute is implementing a secret project led by Professor Dragoslav Popovic. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they are exposed to a lethal dose of radiation, which is why the Yugoslav secret police are taking them to the Curie Clinic in Paris for treatment. A French team of doctors led by Professor Georges Mathé concludes that their condition is critical and that their days are numbered. Although Professor Mathé has devoted his entire life to the fight against nuclear weapons and deeply despises the project on which Yugoslav scientists worked, he proposes that a delicate and uncertain intervention of replacing the bone marrow of irradiated patients be carried out for the first time in history. Whether it is an experiment on living human beings, or whether he really wants to help them – becomes a tormenting question for Yugoslav scientists.
WORLD PREMIERE, SPECIAL SCREENING, OUT OF COMPETITION
Television series, Türkiye, 2023.
Director: Can Ulkaj
Producers: Ahmet Okur, Kerim Ayyildiz
Cast: Devrim Özkan, Kaan Yildirim, Ushan Çakir, Bülent Inal, Ilker Aksum
In 13th century Anatolia, as the Mongol threat looms and internal turmoil rages, Rumi, a wise spiritual figure, emerges to assuage people's fears. His timeless words unite reason and compassion, inspiring change.
The 29th Sarajevo Film Festival will take place from 11th do 18th of August 2023.