Virtual edition of Sarajevo Film Festival opens amid pandemic

NEWS 14.08.2020 20:56
Source: N1

Sarajevo Film Festival director Mirsad Purivatra greeted the audience from the red carpet via online platform Friday evening, marking the 26th edition of the festival open.

Despite the months-long preparation of its locations in line with the epidemiological measures, the organisers announced a week before the festival's official kick-off that the whole event would move onto an online platform.

Speaking to N1, hours before the official opening, Purivatra said it would be “an odd feeling” to see the festival without any guests or audience.

“But, what matters is that the festival is held. We did everything in our power but it was too perilous to bring all the visitors under the risk of being infected. I think this was the best decision, no matter how hard it was to made it,” said Purivatra.

The festival's content will be available on the platform.

“It's going to be a true festival but within our living rooms, maybe front yards if the weather is fine. People will sit and watch the films, arrange the atmosphere of the Sarajevo Film Festival in their homes. That's a maximum we can give, and the programme is really great. Some really good and interesting films for all generations,” said Purivatra.

The world premiere of the film ‘Focus, grandma’ by Bosnian filmmaker Pjer Zalica is opening the 26th SFF. It is great to have domestic films opening the festival, Purivatra said, because the festival was made to support domestic cinematography.

The film author was also delighted.

“I feel privileged that I'm opening the Sarajevo Film Festival. All I think about now is the film and reactions of the audience. We were creating it in a pleasant atmosphere, with wonderful people. The film is funny but I think in the end it leaves you with a lump in your throat, you know,” Zalica told N1.

A total of 49 films will compete for the Heart of Sarajevo award, with its four competition sections – feature, documentary, short and student film – featuring 29 world, 6 international, 2 European, 11 regional and 1 Bosnian premiere.

The 26th Sarajevo Film Festival will close on August 21.