Sarajevo Film Festival

The very end of our summer program in Bosnia just happened to be the very beginning of the Sarajevo Film Festival. The festival is one of the largest film festivals in Eastern Europe and is well known in the film industry throughout the world. I was very pleased that I had scheduled my return trip a little while after the program was scheduled to end and therefore was able to attend the festival for a couple of days (Although I will say that a couple days hardly felt like enough). Many of our group were still around to check out the opening festivities of the festival and were able to watch the stars arrive on the red carpet and even caught a glimpse of Gael Garcia Bernal, who was the guest of honor. There were a lot of people that had come to Sarajevo for the festival from Bosnia and many other countries from around the world. In the three days I had to attend the festival, I managed to see eight films. I felt like a made a worthwhile go of the festival in my short time and was glad that the films were very moderately priced, allowing me to take in as many as I did. The films that I saw really did cover quite a variety of topics and genres. The documentary genre was where the majority of the films I attended fell, which was great considering that documentaries are usually a bit more difficult to come by regularly in the cinemas back in the U.S. I saw a range of really great documentaries that covered topics that varied from protest movements around the world, court cases against neo-nazis in current day Hungary, the sex lives of retired villagers on the Hungarian-Romanian border and the reception of Turkish soap operas around the world. Many of the documentary showings included question sessions following the film with the producers and directors. I also got to see an enjoyable Bosnian comedy with a surprise arrival of the entire cast at the end of the film. All in all I had a wonderful experience at the film festival and really enjoyed the opportunity to view so many good films from around the region, I only wish that I had planned better and had time to stay throughout the entire week of the festival.

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