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
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!