“An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker" by Danis Tanović to Open 19th Sarajevo Film Festival

Sarajevo Film Festival is proud to announce that AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER by B&H director and screenwriter Danis Tanović will open the 19th edition of the Festival on Friday, 16th of August. The screening will take place simultaneously at the National Theatre and the !hej Open Air Cinema.

"And again this year, to our great joy, we are able to continue our tradition of opening the Festival with a film from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our pleasure is even greater due to the fact that it is a film by our Oscar-winning director Danis Tanović which won prestigious awards at the Berlinale," said Mirsad Purivatra, Director of the Sarajevo Film Festival.

AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won two Silver Bears – for film and Best Actor, Nazif Mujić, as well as a Special Mention by the Ecumenical Jury. 

„The film is a reconstruction of the real events and the intention behind the film is to show the discrimination minorities have to deal with in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Roma communities in particular. I think it is necessary for the story to be seen, not only to initiate discussions about the society and all sorts of alienation and discrimination but also to, through the emotional understanding of the victim's state, reach the moment when we all ask ourselves: What kind of people have we become?” Danis Tanović said.

a film by Danis Tanović
Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Slovenia, Bosnian, DCP, color, 75min
Writer/Director: Danis Tanović
DOP: Erol Zubčević
Editor: Timur Makarević
Sound Designer: Samir Fočo
Co-producer: Danijel Hočevar
Producers: Amra Bakšić Čamo, Čedomir Kolar
With: Senada Alimanović, Nazif Mujić, Sanda Mujić, Šemsa Mujić
Nazif barely makes ends meet as an iron picker to support his family. He searches daily for scrap metal while his partner Senada tends to their home and their two young daughters. A third baby is on the way.After a long day’s work, Nazif finds Senada laid up in pain. The following day, he borrows a car to drive her to the nearest clinic. The diagnosis is that Senada has miscarried and is still carrying her dead five-month old fetus. The condition is critical and Senada needs immediate treatment at a faraway city hospital. Because she does not have a state-provided health insurance card, the hospital requests that Senada pay 980 Bosnian marks (500 euros), a fortune for a modest iron picker. Despite Nazif’s begging, Senada is denied the crucial surgery and forced to return home to their Roma community in central Bosnia and Herzegovina.For the next 10 days, Nazif will do everything he can to try and save Senada’s life – desperately searching for more scrap metal, seeking help from state institutions… For the next 10 days, Nazif and Senada will be fully exposed to the callousness of contemporary society.
Director's Biography
AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER is Danis Tanovic's fifth feature film.
Tanovic's 2001 debut feature NO MAN'S LAND received over 40 international awards, making it one of the most awarded first feature films in history. Set in the midst of the Bosnian war in 1993, NO MAN'S LAND won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as Best Script prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and European Film Awards.
Tanovic has made two other films about war and its consequences. CIRKUS COLUMBIA is set in the period just before the conflict reaches his native Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the English-language TRIAGE, starring Colin Farrell, dealt with post-war trauma.
Tanovic was born in 1969 in Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and raised in Sarajevo where he studied film directing at Academy of Perfoming Arts Sarajevo. When Sarajevo fell under siege, he spent two years on the frontline filming for the army. The material that Tanovic and his colleagues produced on these dangerous missions has been seen in many films and news reports about the Bosnian war. In 1994, Tanovic emigrated to Belgium to continue his film studies at INSAS film school and he began making shorts and documentaries.
In 2005, Tanovic made the French-language feature HELL (L´ENFER), from a script co-written by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. The film starred many of France's finest actors, including Emmanuelle Beart, Karin Viard, Marie Gillain, Guillaume Canet, Jacques Gamblin, Jacques Perrin, Carole Bouquet and Jean Rochefort.

Director's Filmography
2005 L’ENFER (HELL) 



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