By Nevena Sarenac
With a welcome speech in the National Theatre and a screening of the movie “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker” by director and screenwriter Danis Tanović, the curtain was raised last night for the 19th largest film festival in the region, the Sarajevo Film Festival.
This year’s film festival will offer the public 214 films in 11 festival programs.
The opening ceremony of the 19th Sarajevo Film Festival was attended by a large number of people from the public, political and cultural life, as well as numerous filmmakers. There was a large crowd on the red carpet with numerous prominent filmmakers from the country and the world, as well as guests of the festival.
Most of the attention was afforded to the cast of the film “Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker”. Nazif Mujić, his wife Senada Alimanović and their three children received a thunderous applause. Mujić did not hide his satisfaction with the warm reception in Sarajevo.
“It is my great honor to be at the festival. This is my second Berlin. Believe me when I say do not have any fears. This is our house, this is our B&H’’, said Nazif Mujić.
Other guests of the 19th Sarajevo Film Festival that walked the red carpet were: basketball player Dino Rađa with his wife, actor Emir Hadžihafizbegović, actress Zana Marjanović, Ministers Salmir Kaplan, Damir Marjanović and Damir Mašić, Director Ademir Kenović, acting and directing pair Amina and Nedžad Begović, producer Čedomir Kolar, filmamer Bela Tarr, Ambassador of the US to BIH Patrick Moon, Mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komšić and actor Bogdan Diklić.
Those who were present at the official opening ceremony were greeted by Director of the Sarajevo Film Festival Mirsad Purivatra, Filmmaker and winner of the honorary heart of Sarajevo Bela Tarr, selector of the competition program Elma Tataragić, and the five-member jury of the competition program headed by the President Danis Tanović.
Purivatra used the occasion to present the Heart of Sarajevo award to Hungarian Filmmaker Bela Tarr.
Welcoming those present, Bela Tarr said that he came to Sarajevo to celebrate film, and stressed that all filmmakers have dignity that should be protected.
“This is the exclusivity of the film creator. We are together on the same boat’’, he said.
Elma Tataragić announced that in all segments of the competition programs the public would have the chance to see 50 titles, and that this section brings the best films from the region, opens up new vision, talents and approaches to film today.
“Of the nine films as part of the competition program for feature film, six have their premiere here. The selection is diverse and asks the question: Does film represent reality or is it a part of it’’, she said.
Shortly presenting his film ‘An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker”, Danis Tanović said that this was some kind of ‘strange project that became miraculous”. He thanked all members of the cast and crew that are like family now.
“I am not certain whether films change the world, but this film changed the lives of Nazif and Senada, the main protagonists of the movie’’, he said.
The opening ceremony was preceded by a traditional welcome reception that was organized by the general sponsor of the Sarajevo Film Festival, HT Eronet Company.