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FESTIVALS Serbia

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The Fourth Direction wins Belgrade Festival of Auteur Film

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- Corneliu Poromboiu snagged Best Director for The Treasure at the 21st edition of the Serbian festival

The Fourth Direction wins Belgrade Festival of Auteur Film
The Fourth Direction by Gurvinder Singh

Gurvinder Singh’s Indian-French co-production The Fourth Direction [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
has won the “Aleksandar Saša Petrović” Grand Prix at the 21st Festival of Auteur Film in Belgrade (27 November-8 December). The Indian director’s second feature film, revolving around the 1984 Punjab separatist movement, world-premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard. This weekend it also won the Best Asian Film Award at the 26th Singapore International Film Festival.

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Singh was in town to receive the prize, which comes with €5,000, from the jury comprising Serbian director Pavle Vučković, Croatian writer-director Ognjen Sviličić and Rasha Salti, the international programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival.

The jury gave a Special Mention to Chevalier [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, while Corneliu Poromboiu received the Best Director Award for The Treasure [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Corneliu Porumboiu
interview: Corneliu Porumboiu
film profile
]
. The newly established “Slavko Vorkapić” Award for the Most Cinematic Sequence, worth $2,000, went to Aleksei German for Under Electric Clouds [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

The main competition also included Son of Saul [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: László Nemes
interview: László Rajk
film profile
]
, Land and Shade [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, The Project of the Century [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Frenzy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emin Alper
film profile
]
, Louder Than Bombs [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Joachim Trier
film profile
]
, Our Everyday Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ines Tanović
film profile
]
, Fatima [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Philippe Faucon
film profile
]
and Serbian writer-director Sasa Radojevic’s Family, which had its world premiere at the festival.

This year, the gathering introduced another competitive programme, The Brave Balkans, “a space for freedom of artistic expression, audacity and imagination”, according to writer-director Srdan Golubovic, president of the festival board. The selection consisted of fiction, documentary and experimental films of all lengths hailing from Serbia, Romania, Croatia and Greece, and the jury, comprising filmmakers Ivana Mladenović (Romania), Jan Cvitkovič (Slovenia) and Maja Miloš (Serbia), decided to award Archipelagos, Naked Granites, a 25-minute French-Greek experimental title by Daphné Hérétakis.

The non-competitive Bande à Part programme, “a cartography of dominations and rebellions”, according to the programmer, writer-director Vladimir Perišić, presented titles such as Embrace of the Serpent, Arabian Nights [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Miguel Gomes
film profile
]
, A German Youth [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, The Other Side [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Roberto Minervini
film profile
]
, Cemetery of Splendour [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Balkan Inventory

The special programme Debutants – History of Auteur Film screened the debut films of Claude Chabrol, Roman Polanski, Jiří Menzel, Terrence Malick, Víctor Erice, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini and Ivica Matić, while retrospectives were dedicated to Yugoslav documentary legend Krsto Škanata and to writer-director Boro Drašković, as well as to Jan Cvitkovič’s short films.

The festival’s education and networking platform Balkan Film Connection (BFC) held its second edition this year, under the title “The Art of Storytelling”. Eight selected filmmakers from Southeast Europe with first feature films in development took part in five intensive days of lectures, one-on-one meetings, discussions and film screenings under the mentorship of Leila Stieler and Srdjan Koljević.

Finally, the BFC’s public programme included a presentation of ACID (the French Association of Film Directors) by its executive director, Fabienne Hanclot, case studies of Land and Shade with César Augusto Acevedo and of Frenzy with Emin Alper, and a round-table entitled “What Is Bravery in Balkan Cinema”. 

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