Avant Premiere Programme

Three recently produced regional films will be screened in the Festival’s Avant Premiere programme this year, namely a comedy by Nenad Đurić THOUSAND (B&H), Stevan Filipović’s drama NEXT TO ME and historical drama TO THE HILT by Stole Popov (Macedonia).

After its successful launch during the 20th Sarajevo Film Festival, the Avant Premiere programme will again this year present to the festival goers the most recent regional cinematic achievements.

Three feature films by directors from the former Yugoslavia will be screened in the program while presentations of 24 films that will be ready for cinema distribution in the fall, following the end of the 21st Sarajevo Film Festival, will be organized for film distributors.  After success of the films screened in the Avant Premiere program last year, the directorate of the Sarajevo Film Festival decided to focus more attention to the films in this section by screening them in a leading festival venue, the National Theater, accompanied by red carpet events.

Avant premieres in the programme of the 21st Sarajevo Film Festival will be organized for films THOUSAND, TO THE HILT and NEXT TO ME directed by Nenad Đurić, Stole Popov and Stevan Filipović.

THOUSAND is a comedy by Bosnian director Nenad Đurić based on the original script by Bosnian writer Zilhad Ključanin. Set in the 1950s communist Yugoslavia, the film follows the main protagonist Atif Kurtović, son of a retired coal miner, who receives the news that he has been chosen to be the face of the country’s most valuable 1,000 dinars banknote just as he descends into the mine pit for the first time in life.  Đurić has gathered an impressive cast of regional talents: Branislav Trifunović, Aida Bukva, Moamer Kasumović, Nikola Kojo, Milutin Mima Karadžić, Slaven Knezović, Željko Pervan, Vlado Kerošević, Goran Kostić, Vanesa Glođo, Edhem Husić, Mona Muratović, Armin Omerović...

NEXT TO ME is Serbian director Stevan Filipović’s third feature, following SHAITAN’S WARRIOR and SKINNING. While his first film was a work of fiction and his second a political drama, NEXT TO ME is a human drama about a high school teacher who decides to punish her students for an attack they committed by locking them into a classroom and keeping them there until they confess their guilt. Unable to leave the school building, the students begin to communicate. During one night, they will learn more than they could have ever expected. That night will forever change their lives, attitudes and their way of thinking.  The film’s ensemble cast includes Hristina Popović, Mirjana Karanović, Dragan Mićanović, Nikola Glišić and a numer of higly talented young actors.

The Avant Premiere programme will also present to its audience the historic drama TO THE HILT by Macedonian director Stole Popov. The head of the film directing department at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje and winner of numerous awards for his previous films GIPSY, MAGIC, TATTOO, HAPPY NEW '49 and RED HORSE, Stole Popov has changed style and made a historic drama that he will present to the Sarajevo audiences. Notable for its impressive scenography and elaborate costumes TO THE HILT offers a harsh but romantic love story involving four people, set in the bloody period following a failed 1903 anti-Ottoman uprising in Macedonia. Acting stars of this film, the most expensive movie production in the Balkans in the past 20 years, include Inti Sraj, Sasko Kočev, Martin Jordanoski, Miki Manojlović, Nikola Kojo, Toni Mihajlovski and Iskra Veterova.

The Avant Premiere programme was launched in 2014 as part of the Sarajevo Film Festival’s industry activities. The program targets the leading distribution and production companies in the territory of the former Yugoslavia with the aim of setting up a strong market platform for films from the Balkan region. The first edition of the program attracted significant attention of regional distributors, but also of audiences, media representatives and film critics.

This year, apart from screening regional films set to be released the coming fall for independent distributors and other film professionals, the Industry Office of the Sarajevo Film Festival will also organize a workshop with some of the most prominent European cinema distributors aimed at improving the work of cinema distribution networks and independent distributors in our region.

Eighteen new features from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro were presented in the Trailers strand of the Avant Premiere program of the 20th Sarajevo Film Festival, while the core program included pre-premieres of three regional features: MONUMENT TO MICHAEL JACKSON by Darko Lugulov, BARBARIANS by Ivan Ikić and NUMBER 55 by Kristijan Milić.

The three films selected for the Avant Premiere programme of the 21st Sarajevo Film Festival will be screened at the National Theater for three consecutive nights starting on August 16th when the audiences will get a chance to meet members of the films’ cast and crew.


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