Dealing with the Past through CineLink's True Stories Market
by Giampietro Balia
- Sarajevo’s Industry Days have started a new programme in which professional journalists present cases to film and TV professionals in the hope of inspiring them
A case study on the Serbian documentary Depth Two [+see also:
film profile], helmed by Ognjen Glavonić, opened the True Stories Market event organised by the Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink Industry Days, as part of a larger project dubbed Dealing with the Past. The programme sets out to promote dialogue among all generations and all communities in the region by taking a look at the unresolved issues that date back to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the impact of which is still widely felt today.
The True Stories Market gives those present the opportunity to share experiences, and allows young filmmakers to encounter new material about the past and examine new ideas on how to bring such stories to the screen. Documentary filmmaker Robert Tomić Zuber moderated a panel in which professional journalists presented seven cases from the archives of key organisations documenting the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s to film and TV professionals in the hope of inspiring them to weave stories for broader audiences.
From the Center for Civic Education (CCE), we heard the story of the Morinj detention camp, which is known to the younger generations more for its exceptional tourist drawing power than for having been the setting for the atrocious events of a mere two decades ago. We were also introduced to the stories of Milena Perčin, a brave and dedicated Croat nurse in the Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina; SK, a victim of the war and a former camp inmate who became a nationalist after the end of the war; Ramiz Nukić, a man who spent his days walking through the woods in search of the bones of people killed during the war; and the painful testimonies of three women who decided to speak out on behalf of all the victims of rape during the war. Dealing with the Past demands that we break down the barriers between countries and cultures, which is exactly what SBX Brezovica does, offering the chance for young Serbs and Kosovars to live side by side and form friendships through snowboarding. Coexistence and unity are also the leitmotivs in the story of Baljevine, a village where Serbs and Bosniaks protected each other during the conflict and now live side by side, rejecting all political agendas in today's Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dealing with the Past, a project instigated by the Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink Industry Days, is supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and presented in partnership with Al Jazeera Balkans.