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SARAJEVO 2023 Awards

Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry wins the Heart of Sarajevo

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- The Georgian-Swiss co-production helmed by Elene Naveriani has won Sarajevo’s top prize for a fiction feature as well as the Best Actress Award; Medium wins the Cineuropa Award

Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry wins the Heart of Sarajevo
The winners of the Sarajevo Film Festival

Elene Naveriani’s audacious third feature, Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elene Naveriani
film profile
]
, has scooped the top prize, the Heart of Sarajevo, at this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival, following its regional premiere. The film follows a woman nearing her fifties, who discovers life anew through love and pleasure. Actress Ekaterine Chavleishvili was awarded for her “stoic but tender” performance as the lead, Etero.

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A total of 11 titles formed part of the Competition programme, and the jury (chaired by Mia Wasikowska, and also consisting of actors Zlatko Burić and Danica Čurčić, last year’s big winner Juraj Lerotić and MoMA Film curator Josh Siegel) handed out the awards on Friday night. Festival director Jovan Marjanovic presented Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay with the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo at the beginning of the ceremony. Ramsay joins this year’s other two recipients, Mark Cousins and Charlie Kaufman. The festival also paid tribute to Austrian writer-director Jessica Hausner with a retrospective programme, talks and a special booklet discussing her filmography.

For the second year in a row, the Best Director Award went to a Ukrainian filmmaker: Philip Sotnychenko succeeded Maryna Er Gorbach for his movie La Palisiada [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Philip Sotnychenko
film profile
]
. The Best Actor Award was given to young Serbian thesp Jovan Ginić for his role in Vladimir Perisic’s Lost Country [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Vladimir Perišić
film profile
]
, where he plays Stefan, a 15-year-old boy navigating the challenges of being born in 1980s Yugoslavia.

The Cineuropa Award in the Competition programme went to Christina Ioakeimidi's Medium [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christina Ioakeimidi
film profile
]
, in the words of the jury members, a film which "conveys human-first experiences and emotions through Eleftheria's naïve eyes and never-ending curiosity, plus the intensity of human connections, and it affords us this flashback to those first discoveries that shaped who we are now."

Nemanja Vojinović’s Bottlemen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nemanja Vojinović
film profile
]
snagged the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary, given out by a jury composed of Iva Dimitrova (Chicken and Egg Pictures, USA), CPH:DOX artistic director Niklas Engstrom and Slovakian director Péter Kerekes. Kumjana Novakova won the Human Rights Award for her sophomore feature, Silence of Reason [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, a forensic, experimental and mnemonic documentary about the mass rape camps set up during the Bosnian War. Exploring similar conundrums around the role of cinema and state terror, the third annual recipient of the Special Award for the Promotion of Gender Equality was the Austrian-German production De Facto [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Selma Doborac. These two wins provided the jury and attendees with an opportunity to focus on the topics of violence and femicide – both timely subjects, as the festival observed a national day of mourning on 16 August following a case of femicide and mass murder that happened in the town of Gradačac in the north-east of the country. All screenings and celebratory events were therefore cancelled that day.

In the Shorts Competition, the Heart of Sarajevo winner (and Oscar nomination-eligible candidate) was the Hungarian-French co-production 27 by Flóra Anna Buda. In the Student Film Competition programme, the big winner was Anna Gyimesi’s Falling, and David Gašo received a Special Mention for Short Cut Grass.

The full list of award-winning films is below:

Feature Competition

Heart of Sarajevo for Best Film
Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elene Naveriani
film profile
]
– Elene Naveriani (Georgia/Switzerland)

Heart of Sarajevo for Best Director
Philip Sotnychenko – La Palisiada [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Philip Sotnychenko
film profile
]
(Ukraine)

Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actress
Ekaterine Chavleishvili – Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry

Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actor
Jovan Ginić – Lost Country [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Vladimir Perišić
film profile
]
(Serbia/France/Croatia/Luxembourg)

Documentary Competition

Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary
Bottlemen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nemanja Vojinović
film profile
]
– Nemanja Vojinović (Serbia/Slovenia)

Heart of Sarajevo for Best Short Documentary
Valerija – Sara Jurinčić (Croatia)

Special Jury Award
Fairy Garden [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Gergő Somogyvári (Hungary/Romania/Croatia)

Human Rights Award
Silence of Reason [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Kumjana Novakova (North Macedonia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Shorts Competition

Heart of Sarajevo for Best Short
27 – Flóra Anna Buda (Hungary/France)

Student Film Competition

Heart of Sarajevo for Best Student Film
Falling – Anna Gyimesi (Hungary/Belgium/Portugal)
Special Jury Mention
Short Cut Grass – David Gašo (Croatia)

Honorary Hearts of Sarajevo
Mark Cousins
Charlie Kaufman
Lynne Ramsay

Other awards

Cineuropa Award
Medium [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christina Ioakeimidi
film profile
]
- Christina Ioakeimidi (Greece/Bulgaria)

CICAE Award
Libertate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tudor Giurgiu & Cecilia Ste…
film profile
]
- Tudor Giurgiu (Romania/Hungary)

Special Award for the Promotion of Gender Equality
De Facto [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
– Selma Doborac (Austria/Germany)

European Short Film Candidate for the 2023 European Film Awards
How I Learned to Hang Laundry - Barbara Zemljič (Slovenia)

Awards Of Association Of Bosnian Filmmakers

“Ivica Matić” Award for Overall Contribution to Bosnian and Herzegovinian Film
Predrag Doder

“Ivica Matić” Award
Elma Tataragić, screenwriter - The Happiest Man In The World [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Teona Strugar Mitevska
film profile
]
(North Macedonia/Bosnia and Herzegovina/Belgium/Croatia/Denmark/Slovenia)
Amra Bakšić Čamo and Adis Đapo, co-producers - The Film The Happiest Man In The World

BH Film Student Programme Award

Best BH Student Film
Dead Knot - Ismira Mašić

Special Jury Award
Trend - Emina Zubčević

Special Jury Mention
Where Do Lost Cats Go? - Amar Komić

Pack & Pitch

The Cinelink Award
Searching for Thule - Yannis Karpouzi (Greece)

Special Mention
Kobajagi—Playground Tactics for a Revolution - Sava Reljin (Serbia)

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