×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Cold War’ Kicks Off Sarajevo Film Festival

The Sarajevo Film Festival kicked off Friday with Polish drama “Cold War,” marking a return to the city for Oscar-winning director Pawel Pawlikowski.

Pawlikowski, who won the best director prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his film about star-crossed lovers in 1950s Europe, said he was especially delighted to have his film open the festival. “I have been in love with Sarajevo for a long time – haunted by it,” he said, adding that he became enamored of the city after seeing Emir Kusturica’s 1981 film “Do You Remember Dolly Bell?”

During the opening ceremony, festival director Mirsad Purivata presented Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan with an Honorary Heart of Sarajevo for his “extraordinary contribution to the art of film.” “This is great honor for me, really, and I accept it with my heart,” Ceylan said.

The festival is showcasing his cinematic and photographic works, including his 2014 Palme d’Or winner “Winter Sleep,” in this year’s retrospective and an accompanying exhibition.

This year’s Sarajevo fest is screening a record 266 films from 56 countries, including 53 world premieres, among its 18 sections. Its main feature and documentary competitions are dedicated to works from Southeast Europe, with other sections showcasing films from farther parts of the the globe.

Among the international titles unspooling this year in the Kinoscope sidebar are Nicolas Pesce’s U.S. thriller “Piercing,” Bertrand Mandico’s French fantasy adventure “The Wild Boys,” and Vivian Qu’s Chinese drama “Angels Wear White.”

As part of this year’s Dealing With the Past program, the fest’s most unique section, Sarajevo is partnering with the Rotterdam Film Festival and its IFFR Live initiative to simultaneously screen the sidebar’s opening film, Anja Kofmel’s “Chris the Swiss,” in nine cinemas across Europe as well as on the Rotterdam fest’s online video platform, IFFR Unleashed. The collaboration marks the first time that Rotterdam’s live-cinema event, introduced in 2015, has taken place outside of the Netherlands.

Dealing With the Past was launched in 2016 in an effort to promote reconciliation in the region two decades after the bloody Balkan wars. “Chris the Swiss,” a partly animated documentary, recounts the story of Kofmel’s cousin, a young Swiss journalist who died under mysterious circumstances during the conflict.

The largest festival in Southeast Europe, Sarajevo has become a central meeting place for regional filmmaking, especially for young filmmakers, Purivata said. With its many sections and industry events, the festival offers “great synergy, giving us the chance to organize more productive meetings, more productive workshops, very informal meetings and parties in a very relaxing atmosphere.”

Purivata said there was a large increase in submissions in all of the festival’s categories.

The event has also become a major boon for the Bosnian capital. A newly released study by U.K. consultancy Olsberg SPI showed that the festival last year attracted about 10,000 visitors who generated $30.8 million and helped create 1,385 jobs.

More Film

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content