Talents Sarajevo 2019

Talents Sarajevo 2019

FOCUS 2019


The notion of innocence is complex, as it thoroughly permeates the sphere of arts and culture. It is found in the oldest myths and in contemporary media spectacles, intertwined with a variety of images, meanings and values. Usually, it is conceived of as a state that should be cherished, and rescued from its horrifying antithesis: some form of corruption. And yet, this simplistic conception conceals a paradox: there is nothing innocent about innocence. Rather than being merely a state that precedes corruption, the idea of innocence is often a socially imposed notion that masks the fact that the blissful harmony it signifies never actually existed.
Cinema has often tackled the profound ambiguity of innocence. This year’s Talents Sarajevo theme borrows its title from Dušan Makavejev’s Innocence Unprotected, a documentary about the first Serbian talking picture of the same title, which was made in 1942 while the nation was under occupation. In his film, Makavejev (1932-2019) challenges notions of innocence during the catastrophe of war, as well as of the (oft-presumed) innocence of the arts in general, and cinema in particular.
As stories of innocence and its failure abound both on and behind the screen, this year Talents Sarajevo will explore the relationship between innocence and cinema today. The sheer complexity of the idea will allow us to address it from the different angles.
In another contradiction, innocence is often associated with ignorance: the less we know, the more innocent we are. Being an educational enterprise, Talents Sarajevo is at the centre of this conundrum: we offer a sheltered space, a sort of protection for young talents, and at the same time offer knowledge that can be seen as an end to innocence. We hope you – as future Talents – will join us in this paradoxical, intriguing and promising adventure.


The Talents Sarajevo 2019 programme encompasses four programming streams: a Summit; Project Labs; Studios; and Talent Press.

The Talents Sarajevo summit programme consists of a range of master classes, moderated talks, interactive panel discussions, and case studies. Approximately 10 to 15 sessions draw on a yearly thematic focus. Summit sessions are often curated in collaboration with other Sarajevo Film Festival screening and industry programmes and platforms, and allow Talent participants to enter into productive exchanges with industry experts in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere.


Participants: 6
Experts: 2
Since 2010, Pack&Pitch has supported emerging directors and producers in preparing their projects for the marketplace. Within the Pack&Pitch framework, participants learn how to analyse and prepare their projects for effective presentation in both written and oral formats. Talents are mentored in group and one-on-one session by pitch trainers, who instruct them in creating one-pagers and analysing projects, and provide insight into the all-important subjects of how to pitch, and to whom.
Over the course of these intensive sessions, Talents prepare written and oral presentations of their projects, which they pitch at the end of the festival to a jury and an audience made up of their peers and industry professionals.

Script Station
Participants: 6
Experts: 3
Script Station sessions provide a space for constructive discussions about specific script issues to support and encourage further development, and bring them to the next level of completion. The lab consists primarily of one-on-one meetings with mentors during Talents Sarajevo, time between sessions for rethinking, and follow-up conversations after the festival.


Acting Studio
Participants: 12
Experts: 1
Acting Studio Talents participate in workshops designed for actors, where they exchange insight, rethink their craft, and enhance their acting skills. They are also prevailed upon to develop their artistry within the Film Stage Studio programme, where they help realise three scenes written and directed by six other Talents, and deliver the final product to an audience at the culmination of the programme.

Camera Studio
Participants: 5
Experts: 1
The Camera Studio consists of a series of workshops, expert-led discussions, and interdisciplinary sessions that allow Talents cinematographers the time and space to consider their craft, as well as see it from the point of view of other cinema professionals, bringing them to a new level of understanding of the possibilities of the camera.
The Talents Sarajevo Camera Studio is supported by the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo.

Editing Studio
Participants: 3
Experts: 1
Editing Studio participants attend workshops, expert-led discussions, and interdisciplinary sessions that allow them to explore their ideas around the possibilities of the cutting room. Cross-disciplinary sessions provide food for thought about the role of the editor in the filmmaking process.

Film Stage Studio
Participants: 30
Experts: 1
The Film Stage Studio provides Talents with a cross-disciplinary experience that brings together actors and writer-directors in a series of casting exercises, scene workshops, and rehearsals culminating in a live performance. Over the course of the five-day lab, Talents explore the nature of dramatic structure, character development, and visual forms. The Film Stage Studio develops creative interaction among participants in a safe workshop environment.


Participants: 5
Experts: 3
Talent Press sessions are tailored for emerging film critics and journalists from Southeast Europe and the Southern Caucasus. Film criticism is considered as a tool for contextualising filmmaking practices within the region and in relation to other European countries, as well as for the further enhancement of film language. Participants review and report on films and events throughout the festival, for web, print and radio. Coached by three film critics via group and one-on-one sessions, Talents further develop their ability to articulate their impressions and insights for the Talents Sarajevo website and those of its media partners.

Talents Administration,