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22nd SFF: The Beast receives Special Jury Mention, Silva Ćapin wins in Pack&Pitch programme

Miroslav Sikavica’s short film The Beast received a Special Jury Mention and was voted third best in the short film programme of the 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival. Croatian screenwriter and director Silva Ćapin won first prize in the Pack&Pitch programme for her project, On Leave (working title), currently under development.

Miroslav Sikavica’s The Beast premiered in the Cannes’ ‘Quinzaine des Réalisateurs’ programme, where it received special mention. The film is about a shady and hastily accepted construction job in a resort on the Adriatic coast which soon becomes complicated for a back-hoe operator from the Dalmatian hinterland. The film is written by Miroslav Sikavica and Marija Šimoković Sikavica, the cinematographer is Danko Vučinović, the editor is Marko Ferković, the producers are Lana Ujdur and Boris T. Matić from Propeler Film, while the film stars Ivan Smoljo and Marko Ban.

Silva Ćapin’s feature film On Leave (working title) is about sixty year-old Mirjana, a secretary working at a school in Osijek, who attends a seminar with her colleagues and is nominated for Secretary of the Year. The socialist atmosphere of a coastal hotel off-season brings a series of characteristic events for middle-aged men and women away on a trip. Mirjana tries to fit in, win the title and be accepted. On Leave is one of six projects from a total of 78 applicants to the Pack&Pitch programme this year. First prize includes an invitation to the SFF CineLink development platform next year. The producers are Ivan Kelava and Rea Rajčić of Eclectica.

223 films from 61 countries were screened in 18 programmes during the 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival. Winner of Best Film is the Turkish film Album directed by Mehmet Can Mertoglu, Gheorge Visu won Best Actor for his role in the Romanian film Dogs, while Best Actress went to Irena Ivanova for her role in the Bulgarian film Godless which also won special jury mention. The Heart of Sarajevo in the short film category went to the Serbian film Transition by Milica Tomović. The Romanian film A Mere Breath won Best Documentary film. The category, featuring twenty other films, included A Two Way Mirror by Katarina Zrinka Matijević, Islands of Forgotten Cinemas by Ivan Ramljak, and the minority Croatian co-productions Wall of Death, and All That by Mladen Kovačević and Four Passports by Mihajlo Jevtić.

The 22nd SFF closed with the screening of the French film Tour de France by Rachid Djaidani, and on the last day the Festival's special guest was Irish actor Liam Cunningham, known for his portrayal of Ser Davos in the cult series Game of Thrones. The Avant Premieres programme screened two episodes of the new drama series Novine (Newspaper) which is set to start airing on Croatian Radio Television in September. Many of the show’s team were present at the premiere including the series’ director, Dalibor Matanić. The SFF competition categories screened five Croatian films, while other categories screened another ten (including the two Novine episodes). More information on this year’s festival, which ran from August 12th to 20th, can be found on the festival’s official website.

Cover photos: scenes from The Beast; Silva Ćapin 

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