Jasmila Zbanic - News Poster


Oscars: Bosnia and Herzegovina Selects 'Men Don't Cry' for Foreign-Language Submission

Bosnia and Herzegovina has picked Alen Drljevic's Men Don't Cry, a drama about the physiological scars still remaining from the Yugoslav War, as its foreign-language film submission for the 2018 Oscars.

Drljevic's debut feature premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this year, where it won a special jury prize and the Europa Cinemas Label award. Men Don't Cry also picked up the audience award at the recent Sarajevo Film Festival.

Drljevic earned his stripes as an assistant director on the films of Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica, On the Path), and Men Don't Cry plays as a more...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'Men Don’t Cry' ('Muskarci koji ne placu'): Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2017

'Men Don’t Cry' ('Muskarci koji ne placu'): Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2017
A group of middle-aged Yugoslav War veterans from different backgrounds get together for an extended group-therapy session in Men Don’t Cry (Muskarci koji ne placu), the fiction feature debut from Alen Drljevic. The rookie cut his filmmaking teeth as an assistant director on the films of Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica, On the Path), and she’s a producer here, but there’s also a sense that their partnership goes deeper than that, with Men Don’t Cry almost functioning as a testosterone-addled pendant to the female-focused stories of Zbanic. Both bring a keen eye for detail and nuance to stories that...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Karlovy Vary winner 'Men Don't Cry' scores sales deal

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Karlovy Vary winner 'Men Don't Cry' scores sales deal
Exclusive: German seller lands Special Jury Award winner produced by Jasmila Zbanic.

German sales outfit Picture Tree International has boarded international rights to Yugoslav wars drama Men Don’t Cry, which this weekend scored the Special Jury Award and Europa Cinema Award in Karlovy Vary.

Picture Tree acquired the film from producers Damir Ibrahimovic, Jasmila Zbanic and Rebekka Garrido.

Director Alen Drljevic’s debut feature (Drljevic was a first Ad on a trio of Zbanic’s films) features an all-star Balkan male acting team including Leon Lucev, Boris Isakovic and Emir Hadzihafizbegovic.

The film, set two decades after the war ended in Yugoslavia, follows a diverse group of veterans who gather at a remote mountain hotel to undergo group therapy.

Watch the trailer below or on mobile Here.

Emotions are highly charged as old enmities and hostilities emerge, but the participants gradually learn to overcome their deep divisions.

The well-received film is now gearing up for at
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Berlin Film Festival 2017: winners revealed

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Update With Key Speeches: Hungarian title On Body And Soul takes best film; Aki Kaurismaki, Sebastian Lelio among winners; Insyriated and I Am Not Your Negro scoop Panorama audience awards; 2018 festival dates revealed.

The awards ceremony for the 67th Berlin Film Festival took place this evening (18 Feb) with winners including Ildiko Enyedi, Alain Gomis, Agnieszka Holland and Sebastian Lelio.

Scroll down for full list of winners

Ildikò Enyedi’s Hungarian feature On Body and Soul - the unusual love story of two damaged souls trying to make contact in a harsh world - was the big winner on the night taking home the Golden Bear for best film in the Competition as well as the Ecumenical and Fipresci juries’ prizes for best film in the Official Competition and the Berliner Morgenpost Readers’ Award.

Enyedi’s film - which is handled internationally by Berlin-based sales agent Films Boutique and had been hotly tipped for the Golden Bear - is
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sundance Film Review: ‘A Good Wife’

Sundance Film Review: ‘A Good Wife’
The repressed return with a vengeance in “A Good Wife,” a classically styled directorial debut for acclaimed actress-turned-helmer Mirjana Karanovic, who also takes the lead role in this tale of a middle-aged woman in postwar Serbia forced to face several unpleasant truths. Brave on many levels, it may be perceived by some as naive — or, with regard to its political context, simply too little, too late. Karanovic’s reputation and the pic’s femme p.o.v. should see it hitched to further fests, with niche distribution a possibility in sympathetic territories.

Milena (Karanovic) is a nice-looking, 50-ish housewife with a comfortable home in a small Vojvodina suburb, not far from Belgrade. As part of a generation of women in thrall to their husbands, who consider motherhood and homemaking their primary role, Milena feels well off compared to many of her friends. Although hubby Vlada (Boris Isakovic, who recently played
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Berlin 2016: Guerra, Zbanic, Uthang among co-pro market lineup

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Berlinale Co-Production Market matches 36 new feature film projects with international co-production partners .

The 13th edition of the Berlinale Co-Production Market (Feb 14-16) has unveiled the 36 feature film projects from 29 different countries that will look to forge international co-production and financing partnerships.

Among the directors of the selected projects are Ciro Guerra, whose Embrace of the Serpent was presented as a project at a past edition of the market and is nominated for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.

Also included Jasmila Zbanic, winner of the Golden Bear in 2006; Irish director Mark Noonan, who presented his debut film You’re Ugly Too last year at the Berlinale in the Generation Kplus programme and is currently working on his second feature film; as well as a host of other acclaimed directors such as Diego Lerman, Oliver Schmitz, Brandon Cronenberg and Alvaro Brechner.

The latest feature from Roar Uthang, who directed
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'Brothers' wins Dok Leipzig's Golden Dove

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New festival director Leena Pasanaen also talks future plans.

Polish DoP-director Wojciech Staron’s Brothers was the big winner at this year’s Dok Leipzig (Oct 26 to Nov 1), the first edition under the new festival director Leena Pasanen.

The International Competition jury, which included Bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic and Docpoint Helsinki’s artistic director Ulla Simonen, awarded the festival’s main award, the €10,000 Golden Dove, to Brothers about the love-hate relationship between two Polish brothers in their 80s.

Handled internationally by Capricci Films, the film had its world premiere in Locarno’s Semaine de la Critique in August where it won the Best Film Award.

This award is Staron’s second Dove after receiving the Silver Dove for his documentary Argentinian Lesson at Dok Leipzig in 2011.

He had also served as the DoP on Jerzy Sladkowski’s Vodka Factory which won the main Golden Dove in 2010.

In addition, a co-production with Poland - Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian’s animated
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Zbanic reveals ‘Srebrenica’ drama details

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Zbanic reveals ‘Srebrenica’ drama details
Exclusive: Bosnian director and winner of Berlinale’s Golden Bear plans to shoot her film about the wartime massacre next autumn.

Jasmila Zbanic has revealed further details of her planned drama about the Srebrenica massacre, in which more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks were killed by Serbian forces in July 1995 during the Bosnian War.

The Sarajevo-born director, who won the Berlinale’s Golden Bear in 2006 with post-war drama Grbavica, has written a script after securing financial support from Creative Europe and hopes to shoot the $5m (€4.5m) film in autumn 2016.

“At the end of this year, I will have it packaged to present to producers,” said Zbanic from the Sarajevo Film Festival, where her documentary One Day In Sarajevo received its world premiere in competition and won the Human Rights award.

“Because it’s a very heavy subject, I had to find a way of making it a human story and even people who have no connection with war
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Bosnian film directors to call for government support

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Bosnian film directors to call for government support
Award-winning filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic hopes to see tax breaks introduced to encourage film production in the country.

At the Sarajevo Film Festival today (Aug 21), the Directors Guild of Bosnia and Herzegovina is to showcase more than a dozen projects in development and discuss the future of the region’s film industry with politicians.

The projects include new features from Oscar-winner Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land), Palme d’Or winner Emir Kusturica (Underground) and Berlinale Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica).

Sarajevo-born Zbanic will host today’s event with Tanovic and told ScreenDaily they hope to hear plans for the introduction of tax breaks for filmmaking in Bosnia.

“We are trying to persuade the government to return tax to people who are shooting here [in Bosnia] and invest in film,” she said.

“It is something Croatia a few years ago, generating incredible income, and something that Serbia did a few days ago.

“We are hoping
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Pristina Festival cancelled after ministry cuts

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Pristina Festival cancelled after ministry cuts
Exclusive: Festival patronized by Vanessa Redgrave at a loss over last-minute government decision.

The Pristina Film Festival has been cancelled by organisers one month ahead of its expected start date after the Kosovan ministry of culture slashed funding for the event by 78%.

The seventh edition of the festival, patronized by Vanessa Redgrave, was due to run April 25 to May 2.

Organisers lamented the last-minute slash in budget and a lack of communication from the ministry, which it says also influenced a decision to remove the festival’s main venue from contention.

Preparation for the popular Pristina event was well underway with lineups in place and guests already invited.

The event traditionally includes regional pitch award The Best Pitch, co-production forum PriForum, workshops, masterclasses, territory focuses and Lgbt strand Let it Be, launched in collaboration with La Outfest.

Previous editions of the festival have hosted more than 400 features and industry including Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen Frears, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Idfa to focus on women in documentary

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Idfa to focus on women in documentary
Themed programme to include discussions with 15 leading female directors including Kim Longinotto.

The International Film Festival Amsterdam (Idfa) is to investigates the role of women in documentary as part of its next edition (Nov 19-30).

The Female Gaze will comrise a programme of titles by women directors as well as discussions with filmmakers at the festival.

A total of 15 female directors, including Pirjo Honkasalo, Barbara Kopple and Kim Longinotto, have compiled a programme of old and new documentaries by themselves and others.

Idfa will also investigate the share female directors have had of the festival’s own selections during the past ten years, and attention will be devoted to the question of how women are represented in documentaries and of whether a ‘female gaze’ can be said to exist within the documentary genre.

The festival will organise a debate on the role of women for the documentary industry on Nov 22.

The directors who made a selection for Idfa
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Zurich Film Festival: Susanne Bier, Val Kilmer Join Jury

Zurich Film Festival: Susanne Bier, Val Kilmer Join Jury
Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier (In a Better World) will head up the international jury for the 10th Zurich International Film Festival. Bier, whose latest, A Second Chance, just had its world premiere in Toronto, will oversee the five person jury that selects the winner's of Zurich's main feature film honors. Actor Val Kilmer, Green Lantern producer Donald De Line, French actress and producer Marie Masmonteil and Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic complete the international jury. Oscar-nominated director/producer Steve James (Hoop Dreams) will be president of Zurich documentary film jury, together with British director Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney), Indian

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Talents Sarajevo: “Imag(in)e Looking Long and Hard”

Drawing from this year’s comprehensive theme “Imag(in)e Looking Long and Hard”, the eighth edition of Talents Sarajevo invited seventy emerging film professionals to reflect on the challenges of cinematography and to experiment with imagery. They were encouraged to maintain their gaze and to look long and hard around themselves in order to be able to distinguish the extraordinary from the ordinary. They were invited to play with visually appealing and striking solutions before reaching for narratively coherent and familiar ones.

This year, Talents Sarajevo celebrated insightful, daring and groundbreaking filmmaking and for the very first time, opened its doors to up-and-coming cinematographers. Recognized as film director’s main visual collaborator, the Dp occupies a central role in giving a film its unique visual context, As in previous editions, the workshop also included actors, directors, film critics, producers and screenwriters from the wider region of Southeast Europe and Southern Caucasus.

Apart from trainings made for specific groups of professionals, more sessions combined groups of two, three or more film professionals in order to encourage networking solutions and boost forthcoming collaborations up within the regional film industry. Networking opportunities were complemented with hands-on trainings, master classes and talks with established regional and international filmmakers, festival excursions and film screenings.

This year’s experts and lecturers included, among many others, Jean-Luc Godard’s cinematographer Fabrice Aragno; the French actress Bérénice Bejo; the Mexican actor, director and producer Gael García Bernal; film critics Dan Fainaru and Jean-Michel Frodon; the French director Michel Hazanavicius; the British director Mike Leigh; the American actress Melissa Leo; the director of the Rome Film Festival Marco Mueller; the Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó; the British director Michael Winterbottom and the Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1

Early predictions have emerged for most Academy Award categories. As the studios reveal their hopeful offers to be released in the final months of the year, the speculation increases. But despite all the information available on the centerpiece awards, other more obscure races remain a complete mystery at this point. Among these, the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is almost certainly the most complex to prognosticate. The lengthy process that precedes the announcement of the final nominees makes for a competition that begins months in advance in nations around the globe.Having the opportunity to submit only one film, each country must carry out its own selection process. Once these decisions have been made, their chosen works will compete to make it to the nine-film shortlist, and eventually into the final five slots. Although this procedure allows for a certain degree of democracy, it also excludes all those other films that were left behind in their homelands. This, in turn, gives us a narrow view of what is being produced abroad.

Therefore, after lots of research and arduous educated guessing to put it together, the list below offers a more insightful look at this race before the actual individual selections are announced. For the sake of time, the amount of films is limited to five per country, but in some cases the choices are scarcer and less films are listed. While trying to speculate is always an uncertain endeavor, the factors taken into account to determine which are some of this year’s most important films in each country and their prospects of being chosen as their representative at the Academy Awards, were varied. Festival exposure, release date, the country’s previous submissions, and even the thematic elements of a few of them were considered to create this piece.

Clearly nothing is definitive at this point, but at the very least, this compilation will provide a sense of what the film industries in these territories are putting out and sharing with the world.

Read More: Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas

Here is the first part of the list on Europe (Albania -Lithuania)


Last year the Balkan state had one of its strongest contenders in recent history, Robert Budina’s “Agon,” a powerful drama dealing with the ethnic identity of the region. This time around, there are three films that qualify to be selected. The front-runner is “ Amsterdam Express, ” which has the highest international profile of the three being a co-production between Albania, U.K The Netherlands and Germany. The film explores the sociopolitical situation of the country through the eyes of an Albanian man who immigrates to Dutch territory illegally. Following along are two other dramas, “The Last Wish” (Amaneti) and “Ada.” Having three clearly viable options, it is almost certain that Albania will compete once again this year.

1. "Amsterdam Express" PC: F&Me

2. "The Last Wish" (Amaneti) PC: Media Vision

3. "Ada" PC: Concordia Pictures


Having submitted only four times as an independent nation, it is difficult to predict whether Armenia will decide to participate this year. However, they do have a few films that could represent them at the Academy Awards. Even though the country’s film industry is still precarious and struggling, they have their own annual awards and consistently complete feature length works. Since many of them don’t fulfill the quality standards of major festivals, few of their offers ever get passed their border. The most feasible candidate this year is “Tevanik,” a film about the Karabakh war that screened at the Cannes film market and that has also screened theatrically in its home country. Another possible selection is dark comedy “The Romanticists,” which won the Best Screenplay award at the Hayak National Cinema Awards and had some international exposure. Drama “From Two Worlds as a Keepsake, ” could also be a good candidate as it premiered last year at the World Film Festival in Montreal. Less likely are comedy “The Heart in the House ,” a Russian co-production, and Hayak Best Film nominee “Caucho,” which might be a bit too avant-garde to be chosen.

1. "Tevanik" PC: Fish Eye Art

2. "The Romanticists" (Rromantiknery) PC: Aysor-Plus Film Productions

3. "From Two Worlds as a Keepsake" (Yerku ashkharhic i hishatak) PC: National Film Centr of Armenia

4. "The Heart in the House" (Domik v serdtse) PC: Berg Sound

5. "Caucho"


Since Austrian productions are heavily influenced by the German film industry and often intertwined with it, it is no surprise that the major winner at the German Film Awards was the co-production “The Dark Valley.” But given that the director Andreas Prochaska is Austrian, as well as most of the creative control and resources, the Germans couldn’t claim it as their own. This, and the fact that Sam Riley is in it, make it an ideal, high profile candidate to be Austria’s Oscar submission. Nominated for five awards in the past Austrian Film Awards, “October November” is also a descent candidate. A close third followed is “The Last Dance” the latest film by Houchang Allahyari, whose film “I Love Vienna” represented the country a couple decades ago. Then we have “ Soldier Jane,” which also nominated for Best Film at the National Awards. Lastly, “The Silent Mountain, “ an epic period piece about World War I is not entirely far fetched. Other films that have had positive receptions at festivals such as “Macondo,” or “Amour Fou” will be released closer to the end of the year.

1. "The Dark Valley" (Das Fisntere Tal) Isa: Films Distribution

2. "October November" (Oktober November) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "The Last Dance" (Der letzte Tanz) PC: Allahyari Filmproduktion

4. "Soldier Jane" (Soldate Jeannette) Isa: Premium Films

5. "The Silent Mountain" ( Der Stille Berg) Isa: Premiere Entertainment Group


It's always great to see a country like Azerbaijan submitting a film and making an attempt at getting exposure for their filmmakers and industry. Their films rarely make it to the world stage of glamorous festivals, thus they remain mostly obscure and inaccessible outside their homeland. Nevertheless, this year an Azerbaijani film, “Nabat,” could change that as it will screen at the Venice Film festival. This war film has already screened in the country at least at a special event, it is difficult to know if it will qualify this time around. If it does, it is their best bet. Should they decide to save it for next year, the country has another option of mild prestige. “Chameleon,” a small drama set in a remote village, screened last year at Locarno and that alone could help its chances. Lastly, there is “Down by the River,” which was part of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival selection. It will almost certainly be released until past the deadline, but might be a strong contender in the future. Two other dramas, one of epic proportions and a biopic could get in the mix but there is hardly any information available besides the fact that they have been screened in the capital city of Baku.

1. "Nabat" Isa: Dreamlab Films

2. "Chameleon" (Buqälämun) PC: Arizona Productions

3. "Down the River" (Axinla ashagi) PC: Azerbaijanfilm


The small ex-Soviet state has been mostly producing documentaries for local viewing. Their output of material that can be successful abroad is minimal, and even when they have been presented with a great opportunity to participate at the Academy Awards, they simply don’t. This was the case of Sergey Loznitsa's “In the Fog” a couple years back, which could have represented them but was not entered. In fact, they have only participated on two occasions, the last one being in 1996. Although it is unlikely they will show interest, the country has a couple of promising choices. Belarus’ best bet would be the international coproduction “ The Role,” a solemn period piece that was nominated for five Nika Awards (the Russian Oscars) and actually won for Best Screenplay. Highly improbable, but given their small number of contenders, the country could also choose to send “BaBu,” an Azerbaijani coproduction about the kidnapping of a businessman’s daughter.

1. "The Role" (Rol) Isa: Reflexion Films

2. "BaBu"


With the return to Cannes of the country’s most iconic filmmakers, the Dardenne Brothers, Belgium has an easy decision to make. Starring Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night” looks like the obvious favorite. Nevertheless, the Dardennes have been overlooked before, as it was the case two years ago when the Belgians decided to send “Bullhead” over the duo’s “The Kid with a Bike.” The only real threat could be “Marina” by Stijn Coninx, who was nominated for an Oscar in this category back in 1992 with “Daens.“ His latest work is a period piece about Rocco Granata’s life, an Italian singer who lived in Belgium in his youth. A more audacious decision, but not entirely impossible, would be to select the beautifully nightmarish “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears,” which has had noticeable international presence. Two other titles, “ The Verdict” and “The Treatment” have been well received at home but since they are facing works by revered filmmakers, their chances are slight.

1. "Two Days, One Night" (Deux jours, une nuit) Isa: Wild Bunch

2. "Marina" Isa: Media Luna New Films

3. "The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears" (L'étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps) Isa: Bac Films International

4. "The Verdict" (Het Vonnis) Isa: Media Luna New Films

5. "The Treatment" (De Behandeling) Isa: Be for Films

Bosnia & Herzegovina

The last film by the poster child for Bosnian cinema, Danis Tanovic, managed to make it to the 9-film shortlist last December. This year, the country doesn’t have such a prominent candidate. Based on release date, festival exposure, and language, their safest selection would be the family drama “ With Mom.” Another title that could qualify is “Krivina,” which is technically a 2012 film, but did not premier in Bosnia until late last year. If eligible, it would definitively be a great runner-up. In third place is the incredibly small local film “ Krajina: Life or Death,” and it’s in that position simply because it meets all the minimum requirements to qualify - language included. The last two films mentioned here are longer shots not due to lack of quality, but because of their production details. One, “Bridges of Sarajevo,” is an anthology film created by over a dozen filmmakers from around the world. Even though one of the filmmakers is Bosnian and all sections are in a language other than English, it will be hard to consider it an actual Bosnian film. The other, “For Those Who Can Tell No Tales,” is a Bosnian production directed by Jasmila Zbanic, but the dialogue seems to be mostly in English, which would make it ineligible.

1. "With Mom" (Sa Mamom) PC: Scca/Pro.BA

2. "Krivina" Isa: Princ Films

3. "Krajina: Life and Death" (Ja sam iz Krajine, zemlje kestena) PC: Depo Production

4. "Bridges of Sarajevo" (Les Ponts de Sarajevo) Isa: Indie Sales

5."For Those Who Can Tell No Tales" (Za one koji ne mogu da govore) PC: Mpm


In recent years the country has decided to send films that have won or have been nominated for their local film awards. This year the winner of the top award for Best Film was “Alienation,” seemingly making it the favorite to be submitted. This might actually not be the case. Premiering at Sundance earlier this year, “Viktoria,” an epic drama about a peculiar mother-daughter relationship, might actually be the frontrunner. The film has been rightfully hailed as the most important Bulgarian film of 2014 as it has been praised at several international festivals. The only concern was its release date, but that has been put to rest since the filmmakers have announced a one-week theatrical run of the film in Sofia this September. This might imply they are seriously considering the possibility of being chosen. Other less likely options are “Roseville,” another Best Film nominee at the local film awards, “Rat Poison,” which won Best Screenplay at those same awards, and the comedy “ Living Legends.” “The Judgement,” another important Bulgarian film that opened the Sofia International Film Festival in March, won’t opened theatrically until after the deadline.

1. "Viktoria" PC: Viktoria Films

2. "Alienation" PC: Red Carpet/ Bnt

3."Roseville" Isa: Wide

4. "Rat Poison" PC: Bulfilm Nfc

5. "Living Legends" PC: Euro Dialogue Productions


Dominating last year’s Pula Film Festival with seven Golden Arena awards and presented at other international festivals, the drama “ A Stranger” is by far the most qualified choice. Bobo Jelcic’s film follows a man who returns to his hometown only to attend a funeral, but is forced to deal with several other issues from his past while there. Closely following is complex family drama “Hush…,” which also won several awards at the same festival. Other films that could come into play include “Vis-à-Vis,” a story about a film director and on his actor trying to write a screenplay, crime thriller “Not All About the Money, ”and the comedy “Handymen” by Dalibor Matanic, whose film “Fine Dead Girls” represented Croatia in 2002. It is important to note that three other relevant Croatian films, “The Bridge at the of the World,” "Number 55” and “The Reaper,” will probably be released in the next few months and will be in the running next year.

1. "A Stranger"(Obrana i zastita) Isa: Rendez-vous Pictures

2. "Hush..." (Šuti) PC: Kinorama

3. "Vis-a-Vis" PC: Copycat Production House

4. "Not All About the Money" (Nije sve u lovi) PC: Interfilm

5. "Handymen" (Majstori) PC: Hrvatska Radiotelevizija


As one of the few countries in Europe that has never submitted a film, it is likely they will continue on that path once again. Yet, if they decide otherwise, there is a film that could represent them. Crime drama “Stratos” directed by Cyprus-born Yannis Economides and produced with support from the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture could actually be the island nation’s lucky charm. Another Cypriot production, the romantic comedy “ Committed,” would be listed here as a possibility if it wasn’t for the fact that it is entirely in English.

1. "Stratos" (To Mikro Psari) Isa: The Match Factory

Czech Republic

Last year was rough for the Czechs. The ambitious historical courtroom drama “Burning Bush” by acclaimed filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, was disqualified as their submission because it was originally conceived as a TV miniseries. They were forced to select another film “The Don Juans,” which that didn’t do much them. This time around things are looking up with a wide array of films to choose from. Playing at Karlovy Vary recently and opening theatrically just in time to qualify is “Fair Play,” a sports drama about a sprinter attempting to make it to the Olympic Games in 1980. Then there is “Clownwise, ” a quirky dramedy that was nominated for Best Film and won Best Supporting actor at the local Czech Lion Awards. In the third spot is “Hany,” a film conformed of a single continuous shot depicting the madness occurring during a night out in the city. “The Way Out, ” a drama that screened in the Acid sidebar at Cannes, could also be picked based on that notable international exposure. Lastly, “Delight,” another Czech Lion Best Film nominee, could be the surprise selection, but it will probably prove to be a tad too abstract for voters.

1. "Fair Play" Isa: Intramovies

2. "Clownwise" (Klauni) Isa: Latido

3. "Hany" PC: Barletta

4. "The Way Out" (Cesta Ven) Isa: Premium Films

5. "Delight" (Rozkos) PC: Cineart TV Prague


These days Denmark is a powerhouse in this category. After almost tasting glory once again with Vinterberg’s “The Hunt, ” the Danish will return to seek their third consecutive nomination. In order to continue their great streak, they need to choose wisely. “Someone in Love,” about a musician in crisis, has garnered praise from critics internationally, and will seem like the obvious choice. On the other hand, there is the mystery flick “ The Keeper of Lost Causes,” which opened in Denmark late last yearand was nominated for 4 Bodil Awards. Then there is “Sorrow and Joy” another powerful drama from Nils Malmros, whose film “Barbara” represented Denmark in 1992. Unique coming-of-age tale ”Speed Walking” could also be a contender. On the final slot there is the romantic drama “The Miracle,” a film that did well at the Montreal World Film Festival, unlikely but not impossible. Whichever it is, it will certainly be something to watch out for throughout the race.

1. "Someone You Love" (En du elsker) Isa: TrustNordisk

2. "The Keeper of Lost Causes" (Kvinden i buret) Isa: TrustNordisk

3. "Sorrow and Joy" (Sorg og glæde) PC: Nordisk Film Production

4. "Speed Walking" (Kapgang) PC: Nordisk Film Production

5. "The Miracle" (Miraklet) PC: Film i Vast


This Baltic country’s film industry has increasingly become more consistent at delivering interesting films. Winning awards across festivals, their absolute frontrunner is “Tangerines, ” a Georgian coproduction about a Estonian man caught up in the middle of a war. Its biggest competition is the black and white historical film “In the Crosswind,” “which is a viable choice given that it deals with a painful episode in the region's history: the mass deportation of Baltic people to Siberia by Russia. Though it looks beautifully done, its particular visual aesthetic might seem to unconventional to some voters. It is still really possible they decide to send it regardless. Finally there is “ Kertu” a romantic drama about an unlikely relationship.

1. "Tangerines" (Mandariinid) Isa: Cinemavault

2. "In the Crosswind" (Risttuules) PC: Allfilm

3. "Kertu, Love is Blind" (Kertu) Isa: Paul Thiltges Distribution Sarl


Despite the countries long filmmaking tradition, the Finnish have only been nominated once for Aki Kaurismäki's “The Man Without a Past” in 2002. Fortunately for them, they have several great eligible films that will make for a difficult decision. Black and white philosophical drama “ Concrete Night” from Pirjo Honkasalo earned 6 Jussi Awards, given by Finland’s film professionals. Such overwhelming recognition will make it hard to ignore despite the serious competition. The film also had a great festival run. Right behind it are two films by prolific Dome Karukoski, who has represented his country at the Oscar previously. The first one is “The Grump,” a comedy based on the character created by Tuomas Kyro. It will screen at Tiff and will open locally just in time to qualify. Karukoski’s other film “Heart of a Lion,” tells a more serious story about a Neo-Nazi who reconsiders his views after falling in love. Either one of them could be picked as a way to honor the consistently great work this filmmaker puts out. Yet another interesting possibility is “Korso,” about a young man with big basketball dreams. The film was partially produced by the same company that created last year’s Oscar nominated short “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?” There are several other plausible films, but from all those, the one that seems to have the best prospects is the historical comedy “August Fools.”

1. "Concrete Night" (Betoniyö) Isa: Film Republic

2. "The Grump" (Mielensäpahoittaja) Isa: The Yellow Affair

3. "Heart of a Lion" (Leijonasydän) Isa: The Yellow Affair

4. "Korso" PC: Bufo/Tuffi Films

5. "August Fools" (Mieletön elokuu) Isa: Insomnia World Sales


Narrowing down France’s possible selection to five titles is by far one of the must uncertain and difficult tasks. The French film industry releases a vast number of films every year in a variety of genres and sizes. This gives them endless possibilities. Yet, there are some indicators that provide insight to what they might end up choosing. First off, the Cesar Awards. This year’s big winner was Guillaume Gallienne's “Me, Myself and Mum, ” which is a delightfully funny film that shines with originality. It was released last November and could definitely be their selected entry. On the other hand, they could choose to honor legendary filmmaker Alain Resnais- who past away earlier this year - by submitting his last film “Life of Riley.” The film received mixed reactions, but won the Fipresci Prize and the Alfred Bauer Award in Berlin. If they want to go with some fresh young talent, there is Cannes Directors' Fortnight Winner “Love at First Sight, ” the debut feature by Thomas Cailley. Another award winner that qualifies is Katell Quillévéré’s “Suzanne” about a woman that loses it all for the love a deviant man. Last but not least, Mathieu Amalric’s latest directorial effort “The Blue Room” could be a surprise player given the actor’s prestige and talent both in front and behind the camera. It is still up in the air.

1. "Me, Myself and Mum" (Les Garçons et Guillaume, à table!) Isa: Gaumont

2. "Life of Riley" (Aimer, boire et chanter) PC: F Comme Film

3. "Love at First Sight" (Les Conbattants) PC: Nord-Ouest Productions

4. "Suzanne" Isa: Films Distribution

5. "The Blue Room" (La Chambre Bleue) Isa: Alfama Films


Impressively on the rise, the Georgian film industry keeps on delivering great works that often make waves across international festivals. Last year’s submission “In Bloom,” was a great success and managed to get U.S. distribution for a small theatrical release. On this occasion, they have three films that have done well internationally. Out of the batch, the most successful has been Levan Koguashvili’s “Blind Dates, ” a charming story of a unique quest for love. A second strong competitor is “Brides,” a drama that screened both at the Berlinale and Tribeca this year. Then, just fresh from winning at Karlovy Vary, there is “Corn Island,” a poetic vision of life from the perspective of rural Georgia. It appears like all three titles will release at home in time to qualify. If that’s the case, Georgia has a tough decision to make

1. "Blind Dates" (Shemtkhveviti paemnebi) Isa: Films Boutique

2. "Brides" (Patardzlebi) Isa: Rezo

3. "Corn Island" (Simindis kundzuli) PC: Arizona Productions


After releasing a 15-film shortlist, Germany’s prospects look clearer. There are several titles on the list that won’t merit a nomination, but the prominent film that remain will make for a competitive final selection. Winning two prizes in Berlin, “Stations of the Cross,” a look at fundamentalist Catholicism, sounds like a front-runner. However, its subject matter might play against it. Feo Aladag’s latest film “Inbetween Worlds,” about a German soldier in Afghanistan, seems to be a powerful drama on the vein of Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World.” On the third slot is “West,” a moving film about a woman and her son escaping socialist East Germany to discover the other side also has its darkness. Then there is “Beloved Sisters,” a costume drama that seems like a safer choice. It might be too familiar to be selected, but not at all improbable. Lastly, “Home from Home,” which won several national awards. It'ss possible, but its narrative style and extensive running time (225 min.) might make it a much more harder sell.

1. "Stations of the Cross" (Kreuzweg) Isa: Beta Cinema

2. "Inbetween Worlds" (Zwischen Welten) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "West" (Westen) Isa: Picture Tree International

4. "Beloved Sisters" (Die geliebten Schwestern) PC: Bavaria Film

5. "Home from Home - Chronicle of a Vision" (Die andere Heimat - Chronik einer Sehnsucht) Isa: Arri Worldsales


Even though it not an absolute rule, the Greeks tend to select the Hellenic Awards Best Film winner as their submission. Taking that into account, the clear favorite and almost certain choice is “Little England,” a period piece that won big locally. It’s biggest flaw; however, is the lack of international exposure. If for some reason they wanted to make a bold move and reward an impressive festival run, then Alexandros Avranas’s marvelously perverse “Miss Violence” would be ideal. Another great festival darling is Elina Psikou‘s feature debut “The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas,” a sardonic exploration on fame and identity. On the fourth spot, there is “ The Enemy Within,” a tense crime drama about a family in the aftermath of a home invasion. The film was also honored at the Hellenic Awards. Finally, “Standing Aside, Watching,” about corruption, sexism, and intimidation in a small village, could also be a great entry. Un Certain Regard film “Xenia” by Panos H. Koutras, won’t open in Greece until October, but will be a possible option next year.

1. "Little England" (Mikra Anglia) PC: Black Orange

2."Miss Violence" Isa: Elle Driver

3."The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas" (I Aionia Epistrofi tou Antoni Paraskeva) Isa: M-Appeal World Sales

4."The Enemy Within" (O Ehthros Mou) Isa: Patra Spanou

5. "Standing Aside, Watching" (Na kathesai kai na koitas) Isa: Patra Spanou


Hungary’s last submission “The Notebook” managed to make it into the highly competitive 9-film shortlist. This year they have even brighter hopes with a slate of titles that have done very well around the world. Un Certain Regard winner “White God” is undoubtedly the one to beat. It is a rare occasion for the country to win such a high profile prize, thus making it almost impossible to ignore. Nevertheless, if that is not enough to convince the selection committee, “Free Fall” the latest film György Pálfi - whose films “ Hukkie” and “Taxidermia” have represented Hungary in the past - would be the next best choice. It also won several awards recently at Karlovy Vary, which could be of help. Less likely is Virág Zomborácz‘s “Afterlife” another drama that screened at the renowned Czech festival. Other possible titles include Lgbt romantic drama “Land of Storms, “ which screened in Berlin, and dark “ “Heavenly Shift,” which descent international presence.

1. "White God" (Fehér isten) Isa: The Match Factory

2. "Free Fall" (Szabadesés) PC: Jiff Project

3. "Afterlife" (Utóélet) Isa: Hungarian National Film Fund

4. "Land of Storms" (Viharsarok) Isa: M-Appeal World Sales

5. "Heavenly Shift" (Isteni müszak) Isa: Hungarian National Film Fund


This small Scandinavian nation seems to have a very easy decision to make. The film “Life in a Fishbowl” has been dubbed by local critics as “the best Icelandic” film ever made” and it has also been an absolute box-office hit in its homeland. The multi-narrative film is by far the most likely to be submitted. However, its closest competitor is Ragnar Bragason‘s “ Metalhead,” a drama about a girl coping with her brother’s death. It was released late last year and won several Edda Awards. With far less possibilities given the two frontrunners is the dramedy “Paris of the North, ” which screened at Karlovy Vary, and comedy “ The Grandad,” which lacks exposure and buzz.

1. "Life in a Fishbowl" (Vonarstræti) Isa: Films Boutique

2. "Metalhead" (Málmhaus) Isa: Picture Tree International

3. "Paris of the North" (París Norðursins) PC: Arizona Productions

4. "The Grandad" (Afinn) PC: Thorsson Productions


Since most of country’s releases are in English rather than in the Irish language, most years the country doesn’t have any candidates for this category. Ireland has only submitted to films for consideration as foreign language films. It is unlikely they’ll enter the race this year, but if it manages to be released in time, Irish director Johnny O'Reilly‘s Russian-language film “Moscow Never Sleeps” could be their selected candidate. The film was produced with the help of the Irish Film Funs, a fact that could help claim it as an Irish production. Another film in the Irish language, “An Bronntanas” (The Gift), would be a great choice, but it seems to be originally envisioned for TV as a five part miniseries. It’s hard to know if it will manage to qualify.

1. "Moscow Never Sleeps" (Москва никогда не спит) PC: Snapshot Films


Returning as current champion, Italy - which is the most successful nation ever in this category – has two main contenders and a couple other minor players. At the top of the list is “Human Capital,” which beat out “The Great Beauty” at the local David di Donatello Awards. Added to that, the film has won almost every award at home and several others abroad. It would be shocking to see the film be ignored. The biggest threat to its flawless run is Cannes Competition film “The Wonders.” It received mixed reviews but the Cannes pedigree could play a big role. Local success “The Mafia Only Kills in Summer” is less likely to have a chance. However, it also received tons of praise at home, so it shouldn’t be entirely disqualified. “Misunderstood,” by Asia Argento, played in the Un Certain Regard section but faces tough competition. Rounding up these five possibilities is “Those Happy Years, ” a personal film by Daniele Luchetti, which received very positive reviews internationally.

1. "Human Capital" (Il capitale umano) PC: Indiana Production Company

2. "The Wonders" (Le meraviglie) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "The Mafia Only Kills in Summer" (La mafia uccide solo d'estate) Isa: Rai Com

4. "Misunderstood" (Incompresa) Isa: Other Angle Pictures

5. "Those Happy Years" (Anni felici) Isa: Celluloid Dreams/Nightmares


The surprise submission could come from the recently independent, war-torn Balkan state. They have a promising feature film by Isa Qosja's “Three Windows and a Hanging,” which has been called “the best film from Kosovo to date.” Dealing with the forced silence and shame rape victims experience in a small village ruled by patriarchal norms, the film seems to be a perfect candidate to be their first submission. It recently premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival, so its biggest challenge would be qualifying based on its unknown release date at home.

1. "Three Windows and a Hanging"


Unfortunately for Latvia, their possibilities are extremely limited this year. There are only two films that seem as possible candidates. One is the slasher horror film “The Man in the Orange Jacket.” It sports a great production value and might be an interesting offer, but it is hard to see it get far in the race. Nonetheless, it is still their best chance. The other film "Escaping Riga" is a documentary on historical figures Sergei Eisenstein and Sir Isaiah Berlin. Given its subject matter it wouldn’t be surprising if they chose to with this. Hopefully next year their output gives them more to pick from.

1. "The Man in the Orange Jacket" (M.O.Zh.) Isa: Wide

2. "Escaping Riga" PC: Mistrus Media


Opposite to its Baltic neighbor mentioned above, Lithuania has several notable films that could represent them. After winning the top prizes at the Lithuanian Silver Crane’ awards, “The Gambler” became the clear favorite. However, it is important to mention that despite having narrative features to choose from, Lithuania decided to send a small documentary to represent them last year. This curious fact could play in favor of “ Cenotaphs,” a doc focusing on the search for the remains of dead soldiers from World War II. The film won Best Documentary and was nominated in other categories at the local awards. Then there are three other Silver Crane nominated films. Coming-of-age flick “ Non-Present Time,” family drama “Santa,” and crime thriller “Name in the Dark.” The winner of several of these awards, “The Excursionist” was released too early last year to be considered this time around. Local financial success “Redirected” is mostly in English, thus ineligible.

1. "The Gambler" (Losejas) Isa: Wide

2. "Cenotaph" (Kenotafas) PC: Studio Uljana Kim

3. "Non-Present Time" (Nesamasis laikas) PC: Just a Moment

4. "Santa" PC: Artbox

5. "Name in the Dark" (Vardas tamsoje) PC: Fralita Films
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

The Match Factory Takes ‘Itsi Bitsi,’ Rolls Out Locarno Trio (Exclusive)

The Match Factory Takes ‘Itsi Bitsi,’ Rolls Out Locarno Trio (Exclusive)
Locarno – Pushing out business at Locarno on “Dancing Arabs,” ”Love Island and “Listen Up, Philip,” The Match Factory, one of the Swiss Festival’s dominant sales forces announced Tuesday it has world sales rights to “Itsi Bitsi,” directed by Dane Ole Christian Madsen (“Superclasico,” “Flame & Citron”).

Set in 1962, as a young generation rebels against the establishment, “Itsi Bitsi” has just been selected for the Toronto Festival, where it world premieres in Contemporary World Cinema, announced Tuesday.

Continuing The Match Factory’s relationship with Madsen – it sold Madsen’s 2012 “Superclasico” – “Itsi Bitsi” turns on peace activist Eik Skaløe who meets Iben and falls head over heels in love. But Iben refuses to commit herself to one man only. Desperately, Eik tries to win her over by transforming from poet to writer, nomad, junkie, and eventually lead singer in the destined-to-become-legendary band Steppeulvene.

This early week caught the international arthouse/crossover industry
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Love Island’

Film Review: ‘Love Island’
Helmers with an impressive run of serious-issue movies should be applauded for changing style occasionally and making comedies, yet Jasmila Zbanic’s cringe-worthy “Love Island” is a misfire on all counts. Set in a Croatian summer resort populated by kooky holiday makers, this Europudding laffer follows a couple whose marriage turns rocky when the pregnant wife reconnects with her first love, another woman. Aiming for a “Mamma Mia” vibe but even more cartoonish, the pic will no doubt get decent distribution in Europe, and may see respectable returns in dubbed versions.

French Liliane (Ariane Labed, “Alps,” “Before Midnight”) and Bosnian Grebo (Ermin Bravo, in his third Zbanic film) come to the coast from Sarajevo for sun and fun. Grebo in particular lets loose, demonstrating his former-rocker chords to an appreciative audience of vacationers who are keen to party. Then Liliane locks eyes with Flora (Ada Condeescu, “Loverboy”), the entertainment hostess at the resort,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Fidelio, l’odyssée d’Alice: At sea in search of love

A mechanic in the French navy, Alice (Ariane Labed) spends much of her life on board cargo ships. Her new boyfriend Félix, a Norwegian graphic novelist, waits patiently for her at home. She is called to serve on the Fidelio to replace a man who has died on board. Having taken over the dead man’s cabin, she peruses his belongings with curiosity, especially a diary which reveals his lifelong unluckiness in love. Meanwhile, Alice’s own love life becomes complicated when the ship’s captain turns out to be a lover from her student days.

If Fidelio were a Hollywood movie, Alice would never be able to forget that she is a woman, and most of the male crew would be against her, apart from one or two allies. Director Lucie Borleteau overturns our expectations of both male and female behaviour, however. Of course, as the only woman on board,
See full article at The Moving Arts Journal »

San Seb unveils Eastern Europe focus

  • ScreenDaily
Retrospective to include films from Danis Tanovic, Cristi Puiu, Mira Fornay and more.

A total of 50 films are to make up the retrospective Eastern Promises: Autobiography of Eastern Europe at the 62nd San Sebastian Film Festival (Sept 19-27).

The line-up includes movies produced since 2000 in the countries that lived under Soviet influence after the Second World War and include some that were never released theatrically in Spain.

Several directors of films in the retrospective will attend the festival to present their works including Sarunas Bartas (Lithuania), Kristina Buožytė (Lithuania), Marian Crisan (Romania), Mira Fornay (Slovakia), Bohdan Sláma (Czech Republic), Malgorzata Szumowska (Poland) and Anna Viduleja (Latvia).

A book will be published to accompany the retrospective with contributions from journalists and critics across Europe.

The titles are:

Kruh In Mleko / Bread And Milk

Jan Cvitkovic (Slovenia) 2001

A modern classic of Slovenian cinema, the tale of a man who went out for bread and milk and lost himself to alcohol
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Locarno Fest Launches Industry Academy (Exclusive)

Locarno Fest Launches Industry Academy (Exclusive)
Locarno – From 2010, the Locarno Fest’s ramp-up in industry activities has synched with the major trends forging the international independent industry.

It has caught Latin America’s dramatic movie industry build, launching pix-in-post section Carte Blanche, launched 2011, focusing on Colombia, Mexico, Chile, now Brazil.

Inaugurated 2012, StepIn, an analysis and brainstorming event, focused in 2013 on Russia, a then burgeoning if volatile market, at least for more mainstream indie fare.

In Locarno’s biggest new industry initiative in 2014, however, the Swiss fest is launching an Industry Academy. It takes one large bull by the horns: Potential new paradigms for an arthouse industry whose old models seem increasingly either broken, or at least significantly challenged.

Overseen by industry consultant Sophie Bourdon (pictured), chief executive at the Paris-based Ace, over 2000-11, and coordinated by ex-Memento Films International’s Marion Klotz, Locarno will welcome nine young film professionals.

The speakers line-up is impressive: TrustNordisk’s Susan Wendt,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Locarno’s ‘Love Island’ Kicks Off Stellar Festival Run for The Match Factory

Locarno’s ‘Love Island’ Kicks Off Stellar Festival Run for The Match Factory
London — Cologne-based sales company The Match Factory has a busy two months ahead of it with a stellar fall fest lineup that includes four titles at Locarno film festival, four at Venice, and one announced so far at Toronto.

In Locarno, Michael Weber’s company is representing Jasmila Zbanic’s “Love Island,” Eran Riklis’ “Dancing Arabs,” Alex Ross Perry’s “Listen Up Philip” and Haile Gerima’s “Teza.”

At Venice, it has Fatih Akin’s “The Cut,” Duane Hopkins’ “Bypass,” Ron Mann’s “Altman” and Sabina Guzzanti’s “La Trattativa.”

Of those Toronto titles announced so far, the company is repping Christian Petzold’s “Phoenix.”

Love Island,” which world premieres as part of Locarno’s Piazza Grande program, is a comedy drama about modern-day relationships. It is set on a beautiful Adriatic island, and centers on a married couple whose relationship is put to the test by a charismatic young woman.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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