Period co-production Besa sets sights on Hollywood
by Vladan Petkovic
24/09/2010 - Veteran Serbian director Srdjan Karanovic’s Besa [trailer] (aka Solemn Promise) has been chosen as his country’s candidate for the Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film.
The period piece set in 1914 Serbia tells the story of Lea (Iva Krajnc), a Slovenian woman married to Serbian village schoolteacher Filip (Nebojsa Dugalic), who is summoned to the army. Afraid that Lea will be in danger, Filip looks for someone to take care of her.
No one wants to take responsibility except for Azem (Miki Manojlovic), the school’s Albanian janitor. Azem makes a traditional Albanian promise – a “besa” – to protect her, but their relationship grows into an impossible and forbidden love.
Co-produced by Bas Celik (Serbia), Vertigo/Emotion Film (Slovenia), Asap Films (France), Tivoli Film Productions (Hungary) and Arkadena Zagreb (Croatia), Besa screened in official competition at the Moscow Film Festival, where it won the prize of the International Film Clubs Federation.