GOLDEN APPLE AWARDS FOR THE CHICKEN, BRIDGES OF SARAJEVO, PRETTY VILLAGE AND RACKET AT THE TWELFTH ANNUAL BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL

Record-breaking attendance in all 12 years

(written by Sanida Luković and Zlatko Filipović)

New York City, May 2015 – We are pleased to announce the Golden Apple winners for the twelfth annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF), held May 21-23 at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City:

BHFF Jury Award for Best Short Film: The Chicken by Una Gunjak.

BHFF Jury Award for Best Feature Film: The Bridges of Sarajevo, showcasing the talents of 13 European directors, including Leonardo di Constanzo, Jean-Luc Godard, Kamen Kalev, Isild Le Besco, Sergei Loynitsa, Vicenyo Marra, Ursula Meier, Vladimir Perišić, Cristi Puiu, Marc Recha, Angela Schanelec, Aida Begić and Teresa Villaverde.

BHFF Jury Award for Best Documentary Film: Pretty Village, directed by Dave Evans and produced by Kemal Pervanić.

BHFF Audience Award for Best Picture: Racket, a feature film directed by Admir Buljugić.

All winning films were announced at the festival’s Closing Party on Saturday, May 23, held in The Varick Room at Tribeca Cinemas.

Jury Award winners were selected by the official BHFF 2015 Jury, an expert panel comprising acclaimed filmmaker and media executive Pamela Hogan, award-winning journalist Almin Karamehmedović, and scholar of cultural and cinema studies Dijana Jelača. Hogan and Jelača attended the BHFF and announced the Golden Apple Award winners in each category during the Closing Party.

When asked to comment about their selection for the BHFF Jury Award for Best Feature Film, Jelača and Hogan stated: “While not a traditional feature, we salute this fascinating experiment comprising 13 short films, and 13 distinct artistic visions of Sarajevo from 1914-2014. It brings together an impressive list of international filmmakers, who tackle a variety of important themes from Sarajevo’s, as well as the region’s, past and present.”

Una Gunjak, London-based director of The Chicken, was unable to accept her Jury Award for Best Short Film in person, but was delighted to receive the news from NYC: “It warms my heart and I am sending [big thanks] across the pond to you. It is particularly tense for me to show the film to an audience that is not just familiar with the Balkan region – but also comes from Bosnia – to an audience that has the right to judge and question your choices. It’s a big test of the heart for me – for the film. I want to say a huge thank you to the jury, to everyone who made it to the screening, to the dedicated and supporting team of BHFF and say how sorry I am for not being able to celebrate with you tonight.”

Kemal Pervanić, producer and protagonist of Pretty Village, also sent a statement from London. He emphasized the importance of his documentary film: “Pretty Village had to be done for so many different reasons. It had to be not only a survivor testimony. It also had to be a piece of art which creates a depository of memory upon which we try to build a civilised society. It’s been a privilege to have Pretty Village selected for this year’s Festival. To win an award is a massive honour, it’s a humbling experience for all of us at Pretty Village.” Pervanić added: “I’d like to congratulate all the other filmmakers whose works were included in the festival. Thank you BHFF organisers, thank you members of the jury, thank you members of the audience. By watching the film you have lent us your support.”

Admir Buljugić won the BHFF Audience Award for Best Picture for his directorial efforts on the feature film Racket. Buljugić expressed his gratitude from Sarajevo: “I am thrilled that the film Racket won the Audience Award. We make films for the audience so we are very happy that it was received so well.”

This year’s audience was the biggest in BHFF history. Attendance in 2015 surpassed the all-time record set in 2007.

We were also joined by a great number of special guests and we thank them for supporting the BHFF:

  • Muamer Čelik, director of Toy Car
  • Aleksandar Hemon, co-writer of Love Island
  • Rialda Zukić, director of Bad Blood
  • Irena Škorić, director of Dear Lastan!
  • Darko Herič, director of photography for Dear Lastan!
  • Denis Butkus, actor in A Quintet
  • Tanya L. Domi, Columbia University’s Harriman Institute; Emerging Democracies Institute
  • Kenan Trebinčević, author of “The Bosnia List”
  • Jadranka Negodić, Bosnian-Herzegovinian Ambassador to the U.S.
  • Adnan Hadrović, Minister-Counselor & Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Seeking Truth in the Balkans filmmakers and Q&A panelists: June Ellen Vutrano and Erin Lovall – directors and producers of Seeking Truth in the Balkans
  • Richard Dicker, Director of The International Justice Program for Human Rights Watch
  • Jennifer Trahan, Associate Clinical Professor of Global Affairs at NYU
  • Belinda Cooper, Senior Fellow World Policy Institute

The BHFF team would like to express our deepest gratitude to the local businesses that donated food for Opening and Closing nights of the Festival: Šeher Restaurant, Djerdan Burek Shop and Kafana.

We would also like to thank the incredible media team covering the festival this year:

  • Portuguese journalist Ricardo Alexandre Sousa, who has decades of experience covering Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Balkans. He was formerly Deputy News Director at RTP, Portuguese Public Radio and TV
  • Oleh Dubno, New York City-based photographer and videographer and BHFF volunteer
  • Adnan Šačiragić, Toronto-based photographer and BHFF supporter
  • Mario Marquez, New York City-based photographer
  • Mirza Medunjanin, New York City-based photographer and BHFF volunteer

That is all for now! We are already excited to start planning next year’s event and hope that you can join us for lucky #13!

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TOMORROW: 3 days of BRAND NEW Bosnian-Herzegovinian cinema screenings start in NYC

Dear all,

Just a friendly reminder that the 12th annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival in New York City will kick off tomorrow, Thursday, May 21st, for what will be an amazing three days full of screenings of the BRAND NEW Bosnian-Herzegovinian cinema and films about Bosnia-Herzegovina. The festival will conclude on Saturday night, May 23rd with a big closing party featuring live music entertainment. We have an amazing program for you, and we recommend seeing all 14 films! All-access passes are still available: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-access-festival-pass-tickets-16606296881

For the complete program and tickets: http://www.bhffnyc.org/program.html

We have a large list of special guests coming:

• Muamer Čelik, director of “Toy Car”

• Aleksandar Hemon, co-writer of “Love Island”

• Rialda Zukić, director of “Bad Blood”

• Irena Škorić, director of “Dear Lastan!”

• Darko Herič, director of photography for “Dear Lastan!”

• Denis Butkus, actor, “A Quintet”

• Adnan Šačiragić, photographer / documentary storyteller

• Jadranka Negodić, Bosnian-Herzegovinian Ambasador to the U.S.

• Adnan Hadrović, Minister-Counselor & Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina

“Seeking Truth in the Balkans” filmmakers and discussants: 

• June Vutrano and Erin Lovall – Directors and Producers of “Seeking Truth in the Balkans”

• Richard Dicker – Director, International Justice Program for Human Rights Watch

• Professor Jennifer Trahan – Associate Clinical Professor of Global Affairs at N.Y.U.

• Professor Belinda Cooper – Senior Fellow World Policy Institute

Don’t miss this big cultural event!

We hope you will join us!

– Zlatko Filipovic

Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival

New York, NY

http://www.bhffnyc.org

In just 5 days, the 12th annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival kicks off in NYC

Dear friends,

We are just 5 days away from the 12th annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF) in New York City! Tickets are going fast and are available through our website. The BHFF will go on from Thursday, May 21st through Saturday, May 23rd at Tribeca Cinemas, concluding with a big closing party / afterparty which will feature LIVE MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

Doors open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 21st.

Bosnian restaurant Seher in Astoria (SeherRestaurant.com) is providing some traditional Bosnian food for the first day and for the closing party.

The opening remarks will begin a little before 7 p.m. and the first screening starts at 7 p.m.

Here’s an updated list of our special guests:

• Muamer Čelik, director of “Toy Car”

• Aleksandar Saša Hemon, co-writer of “Love Island”

• Irena Škorić, director of “Dear Lastan!”

• Darko Herič, director of photography for “Dear Lastan!”

• Rialda Zukić, director of “Bad Blood”

• Jadranka Negodić, Bosnian-Herzegovinian Ambasador to the U.S.

• Adnan Hadrović, Minister-Counselor & Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina

“Seeking Truth in the Balkans” filmmakers and discussants:

• June Vutrano and Erin Lovall – Directors and Producers of “Seeking Truth in the Balkans”

• Richard Dicker – Director, International Justice Program for Human Rights Watch

• Professor Jennifer Trahan – Associate Clinical Professor of Global Affairs at NYU

• Professor Belinda Cooper – Senior Fellow World Policy Institute

The BHFF is a non-for-profit, all volunteer-run project. Please help us continue in our mission to bring the best Bosnian-Herzegovinian cinema to NYC by donating to our online crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. Every little bit helps, and we are eternally grateful for your support!

Please spread the word to your friends, colleagues, and associates about the BHFF. The BHFF only comes around once a year and this is your chance to see many films that are shaping today’s film culture in Bosnia-Herzegovina and southeast Europe.

We have created a Facebook event page for each of the days. Please help us spread the word by inviting your friends and sharing on social media: Day 1Day 2, and Day 3.

We truly recommend that you see as many films as you can. Our ALL ACCESS PASS costs $75 and will allow you to see all 14 films and give you entry to the closing party / after party.

A reminder about the closing party: Please keep your ticket stubs, as they are your tickets to the closing party. For those without a festival ticket stub, and who are just joining us for the closing party, the entry is $10.

We invite you to share your experiences with us during the festival, by sharing them on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and using a hashtag #BHFFNYC. Some other hashtags we recommend are #NYC #Bosnia and #BosnianFilm. On Twitter specifically, we’d love to retweet and share your festival experiences with others, so make sure to mention us. We are @BHFFNYC. We are also on Facebook and Instagram.

We cannot wait to see you next weekend, May 21-23, for what promises to be an unforgettable weekend of excellent films!

Thank you!

The BHFF team

Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival in New York City announces two jury members for 2015

by Zlatko Filipović • @zfilipov

The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival in New York City has announced two jury members for 2015.

Award-winning filmmaker and media executive Pamela Hogan and award-winning journalist and Sarajevo-born Almin Karamehmedović will serve as jury members during this year’s event, taking place May 21-23 at Tribeca Cinemas.

The BHFF is still accepting film submissions. The final deadline is Sunday, March 15, 2015.

pam hogan

Pamela Hogan

karamehmedovic

Almin Karamehmedović

Hogan and Karamehmedović will be joined by a third jury member who will be announced in the coming weeks.

The jury will award Golden Apples to the Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, and Best Documentary Film.

Pamela Hogan is Series Creator and Executive Producer of Time for School, PBS’s longitudinal mini-series following seven children from seven countries as they fight against the odds for a basic education.

She was recently Co-creator and Executive Producer of Women, War & Peace, a five-part media initiative on women’s strategic role in global conflict and peace-building. She was also Director of Episode 1, I Came to Testify, about the Bosnian women who changed international law when they testified about wartime rape for the first time in history. Seen by 12 million viewers on PBS, the films won two Overseas Press Club awards, a Television Academy Honor, and the ABA’s Silver Gavel.

Almin Karamehmedović is the Executive Producer of ABC World News Tonight with David Muir.

Karamehmedović was born in Sarajevo and began his career at the national Bosnian-Herzegovinian broadcaster RTV BiH.

He now lives and works in New York City.

He was named Executive Producer of ABC World News Tonight with David Muir in August 2014. In this position, Karamehmedović oversees the production and all daily operations of the program.

Prior to joining ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, Karamehmedović served as the Executive Producer of Nightline, also on ABC.

You can read more of Hogan’s and Karamehmedović’s biographies on the BHFF’s blog.

© 2015 Zlatko Filipović. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rebroadcast, rewritten or redistributed without author’s permission.

Traditional Vocal Group ‘ROSA’ aims to preserve, nurture and celebrate the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia

February 12, 2015

by Zlatko Filipović@zfilipov

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Marija Stojnic is a co-founder of ‘ROSA’ – a New York City-based, all-female vocal ensemble that unites singers from three continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia. The group was formed in 2014. You can see them perform on Sunday, March 1st, 2015 at Gallery MC in New York City during a benefit event for flood victims in Macedonia. The following is a Q&A I recently conducted with Stojnic:

‘ROSA’ - a New York City-based, all female vocal ensemble that unites singers from three continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia. The group was formed in 2014. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

‘ROSA’ – a New York City-based, all female vocal ensemble that unites singers from three continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia. The group was formed in 2014. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

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Zlatko Filipovic: Tell us about your background, where you come from, where your family is from?

Marija Stojnic: My family settled down in a small town in western Serbia where I spent my childhood. I left home at the age of 15 to pursue my artistic dreams and entered the Music School ‘Mokranjac’ in Belgrade, department of Ethnomusicology, where I studied traditional singing for three years. My mentor was professor Sanja Rankovic, PhD, today a good friend and one of my closest associates on the projects we will talk about. Still, film was another big passion of mine so I ended up getting a degree from the Department for Film and TV directing at the Academy of Arts in Belgrade, and I continued pursuing my career in documentary film and TV. 
In 2011, I moved to New York City, and entered MA (Media Studies) at The New School for Public Engagement. That’s when I continued my research in the field of Traditional Serbian Music and Art. The idea for the project ‘Girl Who Opposed the Sun’ was conceived during my first year of studies at the Media Studies department.

Marija Stojnic.

Marija Stojnic. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

Zlatko Filipovic: Tell us about the group ‘ROSA’? How did it get its start? What are you hoping to achieve?

Marija Stojnic: Shortly before ‘ROSA’ was founded, I was finishing my thesis and working on a documentary about traditional Serbian singing. I was preparing a lecture about cultural and social aspects of traditional female singing from Serbia for the ‘200 years of Serbs in America’ event in Philadelphia, when my friend Aleksandra Denda, an incredibly talented singer/songwriter and a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, approached me with a proposal to form a group that will perform this kind of music. Together, we founded a multi-national, all-female Traditional Vocal Ensemble ‘ROSA’ – which further supported the mission of ‘Girl Who Opposed the Sun’ project. The idea behind ‘ROSA’ is that it’s an open-type female ensemble that serves to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional, non-tempered singing from Serbia and educate new singers regardless of their ethnic or cultural background. Also, we plan on bringing the most relevant Serbian experts and singers to teach workshops in the U.S.
 We want these songs to be heard so we gladly accept every invitation that comes our way. You can see us and hear us next at the upcoming benefit at Gallery MC in New York City on March 1st, 2015 for flood relief in Macedonia. It’s a great humanitarian cause and we want to support it in any way we can.

IMG_2314

‘ROSA’ – a New York City-based, all female vocal ensemble that unites singers from three continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia. The group was formed in 2014. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

Zlatko Filipovic: Tell us about the film you’re working on.

Marija Stojnic: ‘Girl Who Opposed the Sun’ is a feature-length musical-documentary about folk art and vanishing musical tradition from Serbia that was created and passed along by women through centuries of our turbulent history. Irreducible to the Western tonal system, these songs are impossible to write down and can be carried on only as an oral tradition. In the film, three generations of women reveal the mesmerizing power of this heritage that embodies folklore and myth, and a desire to explore the value of an intergenerational memory. The film blends in two worlds – of darkness and wonder, both equal in weight: the contemporary life in Serbia and the fantastic mythical world of the region’s folk art preserved in songs, fairy tales, poetry, painting, etc. Through this film, I wanted to explore all those unspoken cultural factors that shaped me into the individual I am today as well as to play with the non-linear narrative and postmodern history genre as it redefines our notions of “truth.” Unfortunately, the production is on hold while we are attempting to raise funds sufficient to continue filming in Serbia, hopefully by the end of this year.

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On the set of film ‘Girl Who Opposed the Sun’ in Serbia. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

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Links:

‘ROSA’ Facebook page

Girl Who Opposed the Sun – website

Aleksandra Denda – singer/songwriter / co-founder of ‘ROSA’

Gallery MC – New York, NY

Benefit in NYC on March 1st, 2015 for flood victims in Macedonia

‘200 years of Serbs in America’ event in Philadelphia, PA

Music School ‘Mokranjac’ – Belgrade, Serbia

The Academy of Arts in Belgrade

Berklee College of Music – Boston, MA

The New School for Public Engagement – New York, NY

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Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

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© 2015 Zlatko Filipović. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rebroadcast, rewritten or redistributed without author’s permission.