For the past 21 years, in August, the city of Sarajevo has hosted a film festival.
So far, I have never managed to attend it. It really is something I need to put on my “Bucket List”. After all, International events staged in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still very much far and few between (albeit growing slowly year on year) so supporting is essential I think?
The idea for the festival was hatched in 1995 during the last year of the civil war and it’s now grown to be the largest Film Festival in South East Europe.
The festival showcases both feature and short films from around the world as well as local films too. In fact this year over 70 films from Bosnia and Herzegovina were shown.
The festival attracts around 100,000 people each year as well as a host of International “Stars” who grace the red carpet in front of the National Theatre in Sarajevo.
I remember a colleague of mine interviewing Willem Dafoe many years ago, where Willem spoke fondly about the festival.
By the way, the 2001 winner of the Festival, Danis Tanović, went on to win an Oscar in the United States, with his film No Man’s Land, (a must watch if you want to get under the skin of this country).
If you are a film geek and want to attend a festival where the cost of living is 60% cheaper than most of Europe then I would seriously suggest planning on being in Sarajevo next August.
A wonderfully multi-cultural country, amazing landscapes, cool people, great food, an International standard event and CHEAP.
Now thats got to be a “win win”