Croatian miniseries “The Last Socialist Artefact” was the big winner at the Heart of Sarajevo TV Awards, which were handed out Sunday night during the Sarajevo Film Festival.
The six-part limited series, which is adapted from Robert Perišić’s novel “No-Signal Area,” tells the story of two urban transplants who take over an abandoned turbine factory for a mysterious client in a remote, economically depressed Balkan town. The show took home awards in five of the eight categories for drama series, including best series, best leading actor for Izudin Bajrović and best director for Dalibo Matanić.
Created by Ankica Jurić Tilić and Dalibor Matanić, “The Last Socialist Artefact” is produced by Tilić for Zagreb-based Kinorama, in co-production with Serbia’s Sense Production, Slovenia’s Perfo Production and Finland’s Citizen Jane. The series was part of the official selection at Series Mania last year, where it won the top prize in the International Panorama competition.
“I’m so proud of this show,” Tilić told Variety after the ceremony. “The story is really strong and emotional, and I think it says a lot about the 21st century, about us losing the sense of being useful for the community, sharing, helping each other, listening to each other. This is what I found interesting in the book, and this is why I optioned the book. I picked the writers and a fantastic director who is very capable of putting this emotion up front.”
Tilić said she always envisioned “The Last Socialist Artefact” as a limited series with “no sequels, no second season.” “I think there are some stories that need to be told as TV series, not as film,” she added. “And I think it’s a great thing that Sarajevo is encouraging TV series.”
In the newly launched comedy awards, Bosnia’s “Advokado” was named best series while earning a best lead actress award for Jasna Đuričić. Serbian comedy “Strange Kind of Loves” won three awards.
The Sarajevo Film Festival launched its Heart of Sarajevo TV Awards last year, making it the first event of its kind celebrating the best of the region’s TV production. It’s a sign of the growing importance of series to the Balkan’s leading industry event, which also boasts a Drama strand in its CineLink Co-Production Market, as well as Avant Premiere Series, the festival’s sidebar showcasing six hotly anticipated regional drama shows.
Here are all the winners of this year’s Hearts of Sarajevo Awards for TV Series:
Best Drama Series: “The Last Socialist Artefact”
Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series: Ivana Vuković (“Awake”)
Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series: Izudin Bajrović (“The Last Socialist Artefact”)
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Lana Barić (“The Last Socialist Artefact”)
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Slavko Štimac (“Black Wedding”)
The Rising Star is Stefan Vukić (“Awake”)
Best Director for an episode of Drama Series: Dalibor Matanić (“The Last Socialist Artefact”)
Best Screenplay for an Episode of a Drama Series: Hana Jušić, Jelena Paljan, Milan F. Živković (“The Last Socialist Artefact”)
Best Comedy Series: “Advokado”
Best Leading Actress in a Comedy Series” Jasna Đuričić (“Advokado”)
Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series: Mustafa Nadarević (“Crazy, Confused, Normal”)
Rising Star in a Comedy Series: Jovan Jovanović (“Strange Kind of Loves”)
Best Screenplay for an Episode of a Comedy Series: Boban Jevtić, Nikola Kojo (“Strange Kind of Loves”)
Best Director for an Episode of a Comedy Series: Nikola Kojo (“Strange Kind of Loves”)