Sarajevo bows CineLink prize

Award to benefit pics in post-production

The Sarajevo Film Festival has launched a prize worth $110,000 for its industry sidebar CineLink Work in Progress, which runs during its 15th edition in August.

A platform for films in post-production, the prize is in association with Berlin-based The Post Republic and will go to the CineLink project with “high artistic and international potential,” the festival said Tuesday.

CineLink is the festival’s co-production market, which showcases features in development and pre-production. The post-production element was introduced last year and presents around five films from Southeast Europe. The post-production lineup is aimed at international sales agents, festival representatives, local distributors and postproduction businesses, who attend by invitation only.

The event gives producers and directors of the selected projects 60 minutes to screen excerpts of their film and to present the status of the project and the completion strategy.

“This award is a fast lane to completion,” said Jovan Marjanovic, head of the festival’s film industry office said. “We are confident that our co-operation with The Post Republic will contribute to overall co-production possibilities between Berlin, Germany and countries of Southeast Europe.”

The festival also announced a strong lineup for its documentary program.

Challenging audiences to move beyond the “TV couch approach” to documentary films, New York-based section programmer Howard Feinstein asserts that “everybody loves movies. Fiction movies that is… documentaries get a bad rap.”

Well-made documentary films — films that explore the more difficult, harsher aspects of real life in a way that features do not — threaten viewers’ comfort zones, Feinstein said.

This year’s selection of seven documentaries, ranging from Simone Britton’s French-Belgian production “Rachel,” about the life and death of 22-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie, crushed by an Israeli military bulldozer while defending the homes of Palestinians against destruction in the Gaza Strip, to American filmmaker Robert Kenner’s “Food Inc.,” about the abuses of corporate agribusiness, promise to provoke reflection in viewers, Feinstein said.

“The style, the organizing aesthetic, for each of the seven films in Panorama Documentaries is different, of a tempo and mise en scene that fits the subjectmatter. Frankly, there is more variety here than in the fiction Panorama.”

The other five films in Sarajevo’s Documentary Panorama, which runs Aug. 12-20 in the Bosnian capital, are:

“Petition” (Zhao Liang, China, France) — about the plight of oppressed Chinese peasants.

“Diary of the End” (Juan Alejandro Ramirez, Peru) — tells of the life and death of a poor woman from Lima.

“Inal Mama: Sacred and Profane” (Eduardo Lopez, Bolivia) — a celebration of the traditional uses in Bolivian society of the coca leaf.

“Women from Georgia” (Levan Kogvashvili, Georgia, U.S.) — follows the lives of illegal Georgian immigrants in New York.

“Torgheh” (Mohammad Hasan Damanzan, Iran) — the story of women who break sexists laws that forbid them from playing an ancient musical instrument, the doetar.

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