Slovenian films and filmmakers at the Sarajevo Film Festival

11. August 2009
On Wednesday, 12 August, the 15th international film festival in Sarajevo, the most important film gathering in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans, is to begin. Besides the world premiere of Slovenian Girl – the newest film by Damjan Kozole – on 18 August, a number of other Slovenian films and authors are to appear here.

On Saturday, 15 August, the Slovenian film Letter to a Child by Vlado Škafar will be presented in the competition programme. This film began its international journey in January at the Rotterdam festival, and was shown at the festivals in Lisbon, Melbourne, Innsbruck and Prizren after that. In Melbourne its screening in one of the biggest cinemas in the city was sold out half an hour before it started, and the film was welcomed warmly by the members of the Slovenian community living there. One of the members of this community, Aleksandra L. Čeferin, wrote the following about the film: "There is no doubt that an audience interested in Slovenian films exists in Melbourne - Slovenian expatriates, their descendants, as well as the broader Australian public, which is getting interested in the Slovenian cultural phenomenon."

The competition programme of documentaries in Sarajevo will be concluded on 19 August with the Italian Slovenian film Mostar United by the director Claudia Tosi. This film has already been presented successfully at the documentary film festivals in Amsterdam, Trieste and Ljubljana.

Besides the screenings many other activities that the Slovenian filmmakers are to participate in will take place. Talent Campus is a training programme involving the youth from thirteen different countries. This year the Slovenian Film Fund is also the official partner of Talent Campus for the first time, which is to contribute to a more significant participation of Slovenian talents in this programme.

Fourteen Slovenians applied for Talent Campus this year, and half of them were admitted: Sabina Djogić and Tjaša Kancler for direction, Jurij Drevenšek and Maja Pihler for acting, Romana Zajec and Sandra Ržen for screenwriting, and Ana Fratnik for production.1 The Slovenian acting talents will also be taught by Mickey Rourke, among others.

For the first time this year a regional forum, taking place between 16 and 18 August, will be organised in the context of the festival.

The aim of the forum is to present the state of film industry in the Southeastern Europe. It is conceived as a platform which is to provide a framework for the discussion among important national and regional film organisations and professionals working in this field, as well as to encourage the synergy of the national film policies and exchange of good practices. The topic of this year's forum include: effective film policies, transparency and responsibility, coproduction, circulation, digitalisation, young audience. A delegation from Slovenia, consisting of the representatives of the Slovenian Film Fund, distributors, producers and exhibitors.

MEDIA Desk Slovenia will also be active at this festival. Together with Media Antenna Berlin-Brandenburg and Media Desks Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria it will present a selection of the established MEDIA supported trainings and help the filmmakers choose a suitable training programme. The presentation is to take place on Tuesday, 18 August, in the afternoon.