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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Italy

Young authors and the female condition form the focus of the 5th Balkan Film Festival

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- The event promoting meet-ups and collaboration between the Balkan and Italian film industries will unspool 29 November – 4 December at Rome’s Casa del Cinema

Young authors and the female condition form the focus of the 5th Balkan Film Festival
Vera Dreams of the Sea by Kaltrina Krasniqi

A well-rounded journey through the culture and film industry of the Balkans, with the aim of promoting Italian-Balkan and European cooperation, the Balkan Film Festival - with its rich programme of screenings and meetings, involving significant filmmakers from the region - is returning to Rome for its fifth edition, this year focusing on young talent and the female condition.

Organised by the Italian-Balkan cultural association Occhio Blu and unfolding 29 November – 4 December at the Casa del Cinema, the event will open with director Jasmila Žbanić - who won the Golden Bear at the 56th Berlin Film Festival - hosting a dialogue about the main lines emerging from Balkan cinema, alongside the president of ANAC (Italy’s National Association of Film Authors) Francesco Ranieri Martinotti; this will be followed by a screening of the director’s movie which was nominated for an Oscar in 2021, Quo vadis, Aida? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jasmila Žbanić
film profile
]
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The universal issues faced by women will be at the heart of the festival’s second day, which will see directors Kaltrina Krasniqi and Francesco Costabile tackling the theme, following screenings of their respective films, Vera Dreams of the Sea [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaltrina Krasniqi
film profile
]
and Una femmina – The Code of Silence [+see also:
trailer
interview: Francesco Costabile
film profile
]
. The debate will be moderated by director Mimmo Calopresti.

The third day, meanwhile, will revolve around young Balkan and Italian directors, and a workshop entitled "Making film together. A bridge between Italy and the Balkans: Developing co-productions between young producers", which young directors and producers from the Balkans will take part in, alongside staff from Creative Europe, Italian directors and producers, representatives from the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture and from ANICA, directors of national film centres in the Balkan states, and representatives from the Roma Lazio Film Commission, the Calabria Film Commission, the Marche Film Commission and the Apulia Film Commission. The opportunities offered up by the Creative Europe and Media calls will be promoted here, as will the potential offered by the Italian film commissions and the international co-production funds envisaged by the Italian Ministry for Culture and Eurimages. Balkan guests due to speak at this event include young Albanian producer and director Jonid Jorgji, who will discuss the concrete obstacles faced by co-productions (on the basis of a survey conducted among young Balkan filmmakers), and the director of the North Macedonia Film Agency Bojan Lazarevski, who will talk about opportunities for Italian-Macedonian co-productions. Another important moment in the day will involve a panel discussion between young but established Italian and Balkan directors, which Dina Duma, Antonio Romagnoli and Norika Sefa are due to take part in.

As for the films selected for the showcase, the festival is offering up 18 titles, 12 of which in competition, hailing from 10 countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, North  Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece). These include As Far as I Can Walk [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stefan Arsenijević
film profile
]
by Stefan Arsenijević, Sisterhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dina Duma, Antonia Belazelk…
film profile
]
by Dina Duma, Looking for Venera [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Norika Sefa
film profile
]
by Norika Sefa, The Albanian Virgin [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Bujar Alimani, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Radu Jude
film profile
]
by Radu Jude, and Not So Friendly Neighborhood Affair [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Oscar winner Danis Tanovic. The jury will be led by the 1994 Golden Lion victor, director Milčo Mančevski, who’s flanked by the afore-mentioned Mimmo Calopresti and Francesco Ranieri Martinotti, and by Albanian writer and screenwriter Ylljet Aliçka.

Last but not least, the festival is set to pay tribute to Greek director Theo Angelopoulos on the ten-year anniversary of his passing, and will host a focus on Bosnian cinema, involving a screening of Barbara Cupisti’s Hotel Sarajevo [+see also:
interview: Barbara Cupisti
film profile
]
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(Translated from Italian)

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