Sarajevo Hitting the Mark

From August 14 to 22, Sarajevo will see the 21st edition of its traditional film festival. Festival visitors will have a chance to see 259 films from 57 countries, including documentaries. For those who can’t make it to Sarajevo, DAFilms offers a free online selection of the cream of the crop of the festival’s previous editions!

The [Sarajevo Film Festival](http://www.sff.ba/en is) currently the largest festival event in South-East Europe, established in 1995 during the siege of Sarajevo, and one of the most prominent film festivals in the context of Europe as a whole. Screenings in Sarajevo have been presented by such celebrity names as Angelina Jolie, Orlando Bloom, Daniel Craig, Michael Fassbender, and Kevin Spacey, among others. This year, the festival will host, for example, Benicio del Toro, as one of its guests. In addition to fiction films, the Sarajevo Film Festival also has a documentary section. This year’s documentary competition features 4 world premieres of Bosnian films including a new film by Jasmila Žbaničová and many other films from across the whole continent – with a total of 23 diverse film nominees vying for the festival’s documentary film award.

Starting on Monday, August 10, the DAFilms portal brings a selection of award-winning docs that dazzled audiences in Sarajevo in the past years. In collaboration with the festival’s programmers, we have put together a Sarajevo FF showcase.

24 BUCKETS, 7 MICE, 18 YEARS is a Romanian film that has earned a number of awards at various film festivals across the globe. Imre and Piroska are a poor couple living a recluse life. They dream of winning a lottery prize that would liberate them from everyday toil making charcoal, in which they are only disturbed by tourists who come to see their unique and modest way of life in the forest, as also shown in Marius Iacob’s documentary portrayal.

Engineers and IT guys can also fall in love. Or at least this is what the protagonist of LOVE AND ENGINEERING, mathematician Atanas, tries to make them believe. “You won’t get the Claudia Schiffer type, but you’ll get something that is good enough for a lifetime,” is his advice for these clueless guys. Bulgarian director Tonislav Hristov provides a witty look at the differences between genders, pick-up tips and blind dates.

SCANDAL, made by Elton Baxhaku and Eriona Cami, is the first ever Albanian film about the LGBT community. It is a story about the community’s increasing self-awareness and the events helping its members to make their voice to be heard. During one such happening they repaint benches opposite the presidential palace with the colours of the rainbow...

Tiha K. Gudac in the film NAKED ISLAND tries to map out the period of her grandpa’s life when he had gone missing. Until his death, he never explained his mysterious disappearance and the topic had been a family taboo for over sixty years.

What is the recipe for a happy childhood? Director Matija Vukšić is trying to answer this question in his film CHILDREN OF TRANSITION composed of four different stories focusing, for example, on an eight-year old soccer player whose entire family is desperately waiting for his dream sports career in FC Barcelona to take off, or on a girl who becomes a victim of bullying both at school and on social networks.

Provocative 12-minute REAL MAN’S FILM shows the dangerous fascination by omnipresent weapons. Nebojsa Slijepčević‘s striking combination of sound and image goes to the very heart of the problem that does not only exist in the Balkans...

AUTOFOCUS, made by Boris Poljak, provides an inventive depiction of the choreography of tourist hustle around the historical church of St. Nicholas. This banal situation is made into a fascinating cinematic spectacle that found its way not only to Sarajevo, but also to other festivals, including Karlovy Vary IFF and Doc Alliance’s Visions du Réel.

Ivana Mladenovic’s TURN OFF THE LIGHTS offers a unique look into the life of the Roma community. Violence, women and feelings of guilt play major parts in the everyday struggle of charismatic Alex – the main protagonist of this documentary portrayal of three released prisoners.

It is only up to you which topic you find appealing – watch the documentary of your choice from Monday, August 10 to Sunday, August 16 for free!

Selected films

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Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.