Komandarev’s 2017 film “Directions” played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and his 2008 opus, “The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner,” was shortlisted for the Oscars. Whereas “Directions” centered on taxi drivers, the new film, “Rounds,” focuses on police officers.
Also world premiering in Sarajevo is “Heidi,” directed by Mitulescu, whose 2006 pic “The Way I Spent the End of the World” and 2011’s “Loverboy” both played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard. “Heidi” centers on an elderly policeman who has to persuade a teenage girl to testify in an organized-crime case involving human trafficking.
Joining “Rounds” and “Heidi” in the main competition lineup are two other world premieres. “Open Door,” the debut feature from Albanian director Florenc Papas, is a road movie following two sisters, one of whom is unmarried but pregnant, as they travel across the mountains of Albania to meet their strict, traditional father in their home village.
“Son,” the second feature from Bosnian director Ines Tanovic, centers on a troubled teenage boy and his admiring younger brother, growing up in Sarajevo. Tanovic’s debut, “Our Everyday Life,” world premiered at Sarajevo in 2015, and represented her country in the foreign-language film Oscar race.
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Also in the main competition are Emin Alper’s “A Tale of Three Sisters” (Turkey), Levan Akin’s “And Then We Danced” (Georgia-Sweden), Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova’s “Cat in the Wall” (Bulgaria), Radu Dragomir’s “Mo” (Romania), and Ena Sendijarevic’s “Take Me Somewhere Nice” (Bosnia and Herzegovina-Netherlands).
The festival, a leading showcase for films from Southeast Europe and Turkey, runs Aug. 16-23.