Béla Tarr and Roberto Olla Recipients of Honorary Heart of Sarajevo 2013
As in all previous years, the Sarajevo Film Festival presented the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award. This award honours an individual for exceptional contribution to the affirmation and development of South East European film industry.
The 2013 Sarajevo Film Festival presented its highest honour to BélaTarr, one of the most significant directors of our time and founder of the film.factory at the Sarajevo School for Science and Technology (SSST) and Roberto Olla, Executive Director of Eurimages, the Council of Europe support fund for European cinema.
Because of his relentlessness, Hungarian director Béla Tarr was never part of mainstream film-making. The film world considers him one of the world's most original and most coveted contemporary authors. His lens manages to capture the impact of historical changes on Hungary - the post-war years of the empire to the Soviet invasion, from the pitiful years under Communism to modern attempts of privatisation. Drawing inspiration from the works of Italian neorealism and the French New Wave, and questioning today's alienation and morality in a provocative way, his films have a strong influence on the younger generation of filmmakers, such as Gus Van Sant and Jim Jarmusch.
By bestowing on him its highest honour, the Sarajevo Film Festival wishes to express its respect and gratitude to this prominent filmmaker who was among the first to show support for the Festival and who has chosen Sarajevo for his home as well for the prestigious film.factory.
Béla Tarr started working in film as an amateur,at the age of 16. He directed his first feature film, FAMILY NEST (CSALÁDI TŰZFÉSZEK, 1977) at the age of 22. This film, along with THE OUTSIDER (SZABADGYALOG, 1981) and THE PREFAB PEOPLE (PANELKAPSCOLAT, 1982), constitutes the first phase of Béla Tarr's opus, characterized by social issues and documentary style.
His TV adaptation of Shakespeare's MACBETH (1982), which he filmed in just two shots, announced a change, and a new phase in his creative work. In the mid 1980s, he started a collaboration with the writer László Krasznahoraki, whose works were the basis of Tarr's film DAMNATION (KÁRHOZAT, 1988), SATAN'S TANGO (SÁTÁNTANGÓ, 1994) and WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES (WERCKMEISTER HARMÓNIÁK, 2000). DAMNATION marked the beginning of a visual style for which he is known today: a distinctive black-and-white photographic approach, and long, slow shots, which culminated in the seven-and-a-half hour long adaptation of Krasznahoraki's novel, his masterpiece, SATAN'S TANGO.
The film brought him international recognition, and the WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES are no less appreciated. His next film, THE MAN FROM LONDON (2007) is based on the novel by Georges Simenon.
The film THE TURIN HORSE (2011), which he announced several years ago as the last film he will make, was presented at the Berlin Film Festival, and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize - the Silver Bear, as well as the FIPRESCI Prize.
Roberto Olla was trained as a lawyer, specialising in entertainment law (PhD) and film production. He began his career as a researcher in media law at the European University Institute in Florence before moving to Brussels where he joined the distribution department of the MEDIA Programme. A few years later, he was appointed as legal advisor on audio-visual matters by the European Commission. In 2002 Roberto relocated to Strasbourg where he worked as a project manager dealing with feature films for the Eurimages co-production fund. He was named Executive Director of the Fund in 2008.
In his five years at the helm of Eurimages, he has placed great emphasis on the full integration of Southeast European countries into the European audio-visual space. In addition to the continuous Eurimages financial support to numerous co-productions from our region, distribution support scheme for European films in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia Macedonia, Russia, Serbia and Turkey was fully reformed and a wholly new program supporting the digitalization of cinemas in these countries was introduced. Also, four awards have been established for the development of co-productions, one of which is presented at the CineLink co-production market of the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Alongside his role at Eurimages, Roberto is committed to sharing his expertise and passion for independent cinema with a new generation of young professionals, lecturing at a number of training institutes and travelling widely to promote cinema co-production. Conciliating filmmaking and law has been an enduring professional goal throughout Roberto Olla’s career.