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Aida Begić • Director

"I’m filming a love story in a post-apocalyptic Bosnia"


- An interview with Bosnian director Aida Begić, guest at the Bergamo Film Meeting

Aida Begić  • Director

Aida Begić, guest at the Bergamo Film Meeting, talks about a Sarajevo in stand-by that’s still awaiting its future, but at the same time, she optimistically planning a film that’s a Bosnian love story. Her debut feature, Snow [+see also:
film review
film profile
(2008), earned the Grand Prix at the Critics Week in Cannes in 2008 and was nominated for the European Academy Award as a European Discovery. In 2012, with Children of Sarajevo [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Aida Begić
film profile
, she obtained a Special Mention from the jury in the Un Certain Regard section again in Cannes. In 2014 she participated in the omnibus film The Bridges of Sarajevo [+see also:
film review
film profile
, an artistic project by Jean-Michel Frodon made by thirteen European directors, screened out of competition in Cannes.

Cineuropa: Bosnian film has been perfectly represented in recent years by Jasmila Žbanić and Danis Tanović. What’s the situation like today?
Aida Begić: It’s pretty horrible being directing nowadays in Bosnia. There’s just one fallback, about 1 million euro to be shared for small productions and first works, it’s all requested by enthusiastic directors. We have so many stories to tell but it takes 5 years to put a project together. It's tiring, our generation has managed to make movies but less and less young people are turning to this profession. I try to be optimistic but I’m tired. 

In Children of Sarajevo our idea was to rebuild something altogether...
I feel like Sarajevo has been put on pause, nothing moves, it’s a city that’s waiting for something, its future probably. People feel like they’re in prison. In 20 years they haven’t come out of limbo, they’re all imprisoned in the past. 

In your movies women seem to carry the fate of entire populations on their shoulders. Do you feel like you resemble these protagonists?
Up until recently we had male stereotypes: the really tough director who shouts on set. Now we have a multidimensional reality, many women work in film in different roles. We’ve succeeded in changing the nature of film, by showing that the female role is important. In reality in Bosnia we had a paradoxical cultural situation, a patriarchal society where women had power at home. Nowadays women work and take care of the children. They’ve had to take a leap and dive into this new idea of society. 

What’s your next project?
My next film will be called A Ballad. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic Bosnia Herzegovina. It will be a love story in which legend and reality are interwoven. It will be co-produced by Les Films de l'Après-midi.

(Translated from Italian)


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