In Focus Programme of the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival
The 29th Sarajevo Film Festival’s In Focus programme brings thematically extremely diverse films.
Some of the films deal with questions of identities and the general world, some take us to a post-apocalyptic world where people fight for their lives, some films deal with growing up in a realistic way, and some directly deal with the position of a woman in society.
„The variety and breadth of the view of reality that is plural and extremely dependent on the point of view. In every film there is a strong viewpoint of the main characters. This is actually a selection of strong main characters and characters in general“, said Elma Tataragić, the programmer of In Focus.
ABOUT DRY GRASSES / KURU OTLAR USTUNE
Türkiye, France, Germany, 2023, 197 min.
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Cast: Deniz Celiloğlu, Merve Dizdar, Musab Ekici, Ece Bağci, Erdem Şenocak, Yüksel Aksu, Münir Can Cindoruk, Onur Berk Arslanoğlu
Samet, a young art teacher, is finishing his fourth year of compulsory service in a remote village in Anatolia. After a turn of events he can hardly make sense of, he loses hope of escaping the grim life he seems to be stuck in. Will his encounter with Nuray, herself a teacher, help Samet overcome his angst
BELONGING / BERABER
Netherlands, Türkiye, Belgium, 2023, 83 min.
Director: Mete Gümürhan
Cast: Alihan Sahin, Sinan Eroğlu, Hayat van Eck, Mina Dermirtaş, Lorin Merthart
Fourteen-year-old Zeki struggles with the recent loss of his mother. His life is turned upside down again when his father, Mahir, decides to move from Rotterdam to Istanbul. Zeki and Mahir arrive to live in a luxurious gated community, sealed off from the city by high walls. While Mahir goes to work at the bank to work every day, Zeki has to spend the rest of his summer holidays in the compound. In his desire for freedom, he decides to climb over the wall and explore the city on the other side while free-running. Zeki ends up in a varoş, a poor neighbourhood, and befriends Kemal and a group of street kids who spend their days pickpocketing. Zeki is soon included in the merry group but, out of fear of losing their friendship, he conceals the fact that he lives in the posh gated community.
BLAGA'S LESSONS / UROTCITE NA BLAGA
Bulgaria, Germany, 2023, 114 min.
Director: Stephan Komandarev
Cast: Eli Skorcheva, Gerasim Georgiev, Rozalia Abgarian, Ivan Barnev, Stefan Denolyubov, Ivaylo Hristov
When a retired, recently widowed teacher falls prey to a phone scam, she is robbed of her life savings and without any money to pay for her late husband’s grave. Her life is turned upside down when she realises there is no way of getting her money back, until she receives an alluring, yet suspicious, offer for work. The tables turn as she takes matters into her own hands and cash begins rolling in, this time claiming her most prized attribute: her values, as she slowly and surely transforms into a scammer herself.
Greece, Germany, Belgium, 2023, 105 min.
Director: Vasilis Katsoupis
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Gene Bervoets, Eliza Stuyck
Nemo, an art thief, breaks into a collector’s penthouse apartment hunting for valuable works of art. As he enters, the security system locks everything down. Then, it malfunctions. Nemo is locked in. At first, he expects his partner-in-crime to arrive, then security guards or the police. Or the owner. But no one comes. He hopes and prays that a cleaning lady will come. A servant. Anyone. But no one comes. Days stretch out into weeks and months. Now, he must use all of his cunning and invention to survive.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN? / DA LI STE VIDJELI OVU ŽENU?
Serbia, Croatia, 2022, 79 min.
Director: Dušan Zorić, Matija Gluščević
Cast: Ksenija Marinković, Isidora Simijonović, Boris Isaković, Alex Elektra, Ivana Vuković, Vlasta Velisavljević, Goran Bogdan, Jasna Đuričić, Radoje Čupić
In the heat of a summer's day, Draginja discovers a dead body that resembles her. In the heat of a summer's day, Draginja hires a fake husband to show off in front of her friends. In the cold of a winter's night, Draginja roams the streets hoping to recover her lost memory. Through three different life possibilities, a middle-aged woman tries to get out of her skin.
Slovenia, 2023, 98 min.
Director: Damjan Kozole
A homage to the life, career, and fears of actor Peter Musevski (1965–2020). Nicknamed Pero, Musevski was an icon of Slovenian cinema, appearing in more than 50 films, which received prizes including the Lion of the Future at the Venice Film Festival and Best Director at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Among numerous awards, he received the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actor. At the end of 2019, together with director Damjan Kozole, Musevski began working on a film about himself and his demons. At the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, before shooting of the film had begun, Musevski committed suicide. Kozole felt the need to make this film anyway, as a way of saying goodbye. While working on it, the director realised this film is not only about Musevski but also about himself; not just about a friend's departure, but also about society and the world they believed in, which is slowly disappearing too.
WHITE PLASTIC SKY / MŰANYAG ÉGBOLT
Hungary, Slovakia, 2023, 111 min.
Director: Tibor Bánóczki, Sarolta Szabó
Cast: Tamás Keresztes, Zsófia Szamosi
In the year 2123, faced with diminishing resources, the human race can only survive through a trade-off: at the age of 50, every citizen is gradually turned into a tree. When Stefan discovers his beloved wife Nora has voluntarily signed up to donate her body before her time, he sets out on an adventurous journey to save her at all costs.
29th Sarajevo Film Festival will take place from 11th to 18th of August 2023.