Cannes Critics Week winner to open festival

MOSCOW — Bosnian director Aida Begic’s debut feature “Snow” — which took the top prize at Critics Week in Cannes last month — is to open the 14th Sarajevo international film festival in August.

Festival organizers said that Begic’s film was “yet another confirmation of vitality and continuity of Bosnian and Herzegovinian film production” and reflected the role Sarajevo plays in promoting local film internationally.

Begic, her cast and crew are among a number of guests who have confirmed their attendance at the festival, which runs August 15-23.

British filmmaker Mike Leigh — a past recipient of the special heart of Sarajevo award — will be in the Bosnian capital to present his latest film “Happy-Go-Lucky”, which picked up a best actress award for Sally Hawkins when it premiered in Berlin earlier this year.

Also attending are Israeli director Ari Folman with his film “Waltz with Bashir” — which was inspired by his own experiences of warfare as a young soldier during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the early 1980s — and Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan as international jury president. Ceylan will present “Three Monkeys” for which he won best director at Cannes last month.

Ceylan will also join Leigh, Terry George (“Hotel Rwanda”) and Slovenian cultural critic and philosopher Slavoj Zizek as lecturers at the 2nd Sarajevo Talent Campus that offers up to 80 young filmmakers a week of intensive workshops and lectures with masters of the cinema art.

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