“One of the most prominent and longstanding festivals in the European continent, the Sarajevo Film Festival took place from August 11-18 during which international and local celebrities flocked to the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This year’s festival was overshadowed by a tragic event, however, as a triple murder-suicide left the country shocked on August 16, prompting a one-day hiatus before resuming the remainder of the event. Here’s what the winner lineup is for this year:
Which films won the top prizes at the Sarajevo Film Festival?
Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry, a Georgian drama about a 40-something woman who embarks on an affair that triggers an existential awakening, has won the top prize for best film at the 2023 Sarajevo International Film Festival. The festival also presented Ekaterine Chavleishvili, the protagonist, with a “Best Actress” award for her performance in the film, while Bottlemen, a documentary by Serbian director Nemanja Vojinovic highlighting the marginalized men working at a landfill outside Belgrade, won a prize for “Best Documentary”. The festival awarded an animated short film (27) by Flóra Anna Buda, the prize for “Best Short Film” which also qualifies the project for a potential Oscar nomination.
What are some other winners of this year’s Sarjevo Film Festival?
Aside from these, Kumjana Novakova who is a Macedonian filmmaker, won the human rights award for her documentary Silence of Reason in the Sarajevo human rights competition. Ukrainian director Philip Sotnychenko also took the prize for best director for La Palisiada, a slow-burn crime drama featuring two old friends. Finally, the festival’s best actor prize was given to Jovan Ginic for his performance in Lost Country, a film by Vladimir Perisic that follows a Serbian teenager in the ’90s, torn between protests or loyalty.