Sarajevo Film Festival - An art "BOOM" during the Bosnian war.

Sarajevo Film Festival - Photography by Ricardo Praga
Sarajevo Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals from Eastern Europe which can differentiate from others due to its origins and this year, from 15th to 23rd of August, celebrates its 20th edition.

The festival was not created either "before" or "after" the Bosnian Independence war but "during" the siege.

Such event is a live proof that, no matter which bad circumstances in life people are facing, there is always need and space for Art.

The SFF (Sarajevo Film Festival) was founded in 1995 during the siege of Sarajevo and the attendance to the projections were quite low within that time. However 15000 people were at the 1st edition in which were projected 37 films from different countries.

The SFF has a strong attention from media and its audience has increased to more than 100 000 viewers. Throughout the years the city managed to bring to the capital celebrities such as:

Angelina Joli, Brad Pitt, Bono Vox, John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons, Morgan Freeman, Steve Buscemi, Nick Cave, Gérard Depardieu, Michael Moore, Kevin Spacey, Danny Glover, Eric Cantona and many others.

SFF is not only an attempt to bring the 7th art to an audience and definitely shouldn´t be about celebrities, red carpets and people with money. The reason why this festival drags so much attention from media and movie stars is due to all Sarajevo film festival History. According to Mirsad Purivatra, the festival´s Director, the event should be a place especially to promote Balkan films and discuss Balkan issues.

Srdan Golubovic – Film director presenting the movie “Circles” at the SFF red carpet
There is so much more to know about the festival that cannot just be told but should be experienced. Only this way is possible to understand why there is such an interesting and special atmosphere at the place.So, if anyone thinking on traveling throughout the Balkan area then is a great opportunity to do it during the festival time.

For those more curious, the following videos can provide a better impression of the environment.

Text, photography and video by Ricardo Praga