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FESTIVALS Croatia

Motovun to present first “Yugoslavian” Bauer Award

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Known for its ability to bring together filmmakers from throughout the former Yugoslavia, the Motovun Film Festival (July 26-30) presented its 2010 programme today (see news) and announced the finalists of the first Bauer Award: The Blacks [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Zvonimir Juric, Goran De…
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by Goran Dević and Zvonimir Juric (Croatia), Antonio Nuic’s Donkey [+see also:
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(Croatia) and Serbia’s first animated feature, Technotise: Edit & I by Aleksa Gajic.

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Named after renowned Croatian filmmaker Branko Bauer, the €5,000 award is given to the region’s best film of the year (released between June 2009-June 2010). According to festival director Igor Mirkovic, the award was created to “bridge the divided borders of isolated film industries and directors and [offset] the many local festivals and awards of ex-Yugoslavia that have little significance from one country to the next.”

The initial nine nominees were selected by a committee of film professionals from all six former republics and Kosovo. A shortlist was then voted by the committee and a seven-member jury (also from the above territories) that includes directors Srdjan Dragojevic (Serbia) and Rajko Grlic (Croatia) and Slovenian actor Radko Polic. The jury will choose the winning title during Motovun, where it will also be screened.

The idea for the Bauer Award comes from author, film critic and Motovun programmer Jurica Pavicic, who felt that such a region-wide competition had too long been missing. “For a while,” he says, “the gap was filled by the Sarajevo Film Festival, but they’ve expanded geographically and there are few ex-Yugoslavian films in their competition anymore.

“Most importantly, for the first time, local films are not being evaluated by foreigners – Cannes and Berlin selectors, say – but professionals from the region. We often complain that the West favours a specific aesthetic in Balkan films that we ourselves do not. Now we can see what our respected critics and filmmakers think.”

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