Arsen A. Ostojic - News Poster


Tallinn title 'F20' picked up by Wide Management (exclusive)

Tallinn title 'F20' picked up by Wide Management (exclusive)
Croatian thriller was released locally earlier this year.

F20, the Croatian psychological thriller which is screening at Tallinn Black Nights this week, has been boarded by French sales outfit Wide Management.

The film follows a young girl who stars a relationship with a man who spends most of his time at home playing videogames and ordering pizza.

When Martina’s best friend goes to have fun over the weekend, her strict father forbids her to go, so Martina uses Filip to circumvent her father’s ban. However, instead of her dreams coming true, Martina’s reality quickly turns into a bloody nightmare.
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For the record: Submissions for the 2014 Academy Awards in the Foreign Film Category

Best Foreign Language Film Oscar 2014 submissions (photo: Ziyi Zhang in ‘The Grandmaster’) (See previous post: Best Foreign Language Film Oscar: ‘The Past,’ ‘Wadjda,’ Andrzej Wajda Among Omissions) In case you missed it, here’s the full list of submissions (in alphabetical order, per country) for the 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. The list of contenders was originally announced on October 7, 2013. Of note: Saudi Arabia and Moldova were first-timers; Montenegro was a first-timer as an independent country. Afghanistan, Wajma — An Afghan Love Story, Barmak Akram, director; Albania, Agon, Robert Budina, director; Argentina, The German Doctor, Lucía Puenzo, director; Australia, The Rocket, Kim Mordaunt, director; Austria, The Wall, Julian Pölsler, director; Azerbaijan, Steppe Man, Shamil Aliyev, director; Bangladesh, Television, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, director; Belgium, The Broken Circle Breakdown, Felix van Groeningen, director; Bosnia and Herzegovina, An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, Danis Tanovic, director; Brazil, Neighboring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Psiff to spotlight Canada

  • ScreenDaily
Psiff to spotlight Canada
Top brass at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) have announced a new programme on Canadian Cinema as well as the traditionally strong roster of foreign-language films eligible for the Fipresci Award in the Awards Buzz section, and Modern Masters.

The festival will screen 45 of the 76 official foreign-language Oscar submissions under the umbrella of Awards Buzz.

“We’ve selected Canadian films for a special focus at this year’s festival for many reasons, not the least of which is the wealth of talent emerging from its relatively small, indigenous film industry, and the depth and richness of story and character portrayal its films exemplify,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald.

“Whether it’s established auteurs like Denis Coté, Denis Villenueve and Atom Egoyan, gifted actor-directors like Don McKellar and Sarah Polley or newly emerging talents like Chloé Robichaud, Craig Goodwill and Sébastien Pilote, Canadian creative ingenuity is on abundant display in its films. All of this
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2013 Sliff Film Awards Announced

The 2013 St. Louis International Film Festival concluded Sunday night with a party at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. Sliff announced the audience-choice and juried-competition awards.

Now in its 22nd year, the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival is one of the largest international film festivals in the Midwest. This year’s festival was held Nov. 14-24, 2013.

2013 Sliff Film Awards

Best of Fest Audience Choice Awards

Best Documentary Feature: “Harlem Street Singer” directed by Simeon Hutner

Best International Narrative Feature: “Philomena” directed by Stephen Frears

Best Narrative Feature: “One Chance” directed by David Frankel

New Filmmakers Forum Award

This Is Where We Live” directed by Marc Menchaca and Josh Barrett ($500 cash prize)

St. Louis Film Critics Association Joe Pollack Awards Best Documentary Feature: “Blood Brother” directed by Steve Hoover Special Jury Mention, Documentary Feature: “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step” directed by David Lewis

Best Narrative Feature: “Key
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Foreign Oscar Entry Review: Halima's Path (Halimin put)

Halima's Path, Croatia's Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

U.S. : None Yet. International Sales Agent: House of Film

Inherent to all armed conflicts across the world and throughout history are the numerous unresolved casualties in which families, specifically mothers, do not have a place to cry for their children because the body of the loved one has never been recovered. Their quest becomes not one in hopes of seeing their loved ones alive once more, but one to have something tangible to grieve and honor the fallen. Croatian director Arsen A. Ostojic follows the story of one of those mothers who searches for the remains of her husband and son after the Bosnian war. However, his plot, penned by Fedja Isovic, goes beyond the evident stirring reaction a story like this can provoke, but continues beyond with several twists and skeletons in the closet, progressing from a family's past which gives Halima's Path a premise even more captivating to follow.

Running through the gloomy night, Muslim teenager Safija (Olga Pakalovic) arrives at her aunt Halima's (Alma Prica) house in 1977 asking for help as she has just discovered she is pregnant by her Christian boyfriend Slavomir (Mijo Jurisic). Scorned by her father, Safija decides to give her child to infertile Halima for her and her husband Salko (Izudin Bajrovic) to raise. Twenty-three years later, and after the Bosnian war is finally over, strong-willed and determined Halima is now pursuing a heartbreaking mission; she must find whatever is left of Mizra, the son she adopted as her own and who was taken by Christian soldiers when he was a teenage boy along with her husband Salko. Her DNA helped her find her late husband’s scattered bones, but in order to consummate her goal and find closure in her son's case, she must obtain a blood sample from her son’s biological mother.

Based on true events, Ostojic’s account reveals itself slowly as it is told going between the initial time before the bloodshed, the night when Mizra was abducted, and the present day where Halima’s struggles to find answers. Safija, now older and with three daughters, resides in a remote town in what was designated as the Serbian side after the conflict. She still lives with Slavomir, who returned from Germany to be with her, but got caught up fighting for the Serbian side and is now an inveterate alcoholic who drinks to forget the atrocities he witnessed and took part in. Furthermore, and certainly more problematic, is the fact that he has lived believing the son which Safija was expecting had died at birth. On the other hand, visibly tormented by uncertainty, self-assured Halima finds comfort in knitting sweaters for a son who will never wear them, and also by spending time with her nephew Aaron, who grew up with Mizra and is virtually the same age.

Eventually, all the distorted truths come into light as Halima sets the plot in motion when she approaches Safija and discloses her plight. Visually proficient at distinguishing the many moods the characters endure in a span of three decades, the film is successful at elevating the war genre by delving into the collateral sequels of the deplorable slaughter that took place in the Balkan territory. Alma Prica is enthralling as the underrated mother who will stop at nothing to kiss her child goodbye, and as the climatic sequence of her journey progresses, it is hard to hold back one’s tears at the sight of such a heart-wrenching performance.

Besides being a poignant story of perseverance, the filmmaker’s elaborate narrative contains subdued undertones of darkness that manifest the damage inflicted by the carnage, not only bodily but also the spiritual damage. Slavomir cannot cope with the past; he is persecuted by the demons of his crimes which effectively contrasts with Halima’s optimistic resolution. Together their experiences paint a multilayered mural of what the religious and cultural divide destroyed. Ostojic is more than familiar with the region and its subtleties, their predicaments and family dynamics, and that very insight is what makes Halima’s Path, an unforgettably moving and important film.

Read more about all the 76 Best Foreign Language Film Submission for the 2014 Academy Awards
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Oscars: Academy announces Best Foreign Language Film shortlist

Oscars: Academy announces Best Foreign Language Film shortlist
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its shortlist for the 2014 Foreign Language Film Oscar — totaling a not-so-short 76 submitted films.

The number, up from 71 films last year, sets a new record for the category and includes frontrunners such as Asghar Farhadi’s The Past from Iran, Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt from Denmark, and Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster from Hong Kong. Abdellatif Kechiche’s festival favorite lesbian drama Blue Is the Warmest Color from France, however, failed to make the cut-off date for eligibility, while India controversially submitted Gyan Correa’s The Good Road over Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox.
See full article at - Inside Movies »

Complete List of 2014 Foreign Language Oscar Contenders Hits Record 76 Submissions

The Academy officially announced today that a record 76 countries have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 2014 Oscars. Among those submitting, Moldova and Saudi Arabia are first-time entrants and this is the first time Montenegro has submitted a film as an independent country. Based solely on name recognition alone I'd say Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt (Denmark) and Asghar Farhadi's The Past (Iran) will be looked at as front-runners. However, I haven't only seen a few of the titles on this list, another of which is Mexico's entry, Heli from Amat Escalante. I have heard good things about Borgman (Netherlands) and it will be interesting to see how Haifaa al-Mansour's Wadjda is treated as it is a story unto itself, not to mention it seems to be receiving high marks from those that have seen it. I'm personally hoping to catch it soon
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76 Foreign Oscar Entries Announced

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has released the list of the 76 countries and their submissions officially competing for the 2014 Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Amongst the high profile entries this year are Australia's "The Rocket," Denmark's "The Hunt," France's "Renoir," Wong Kar-wai's "The Grandmaster," Iran's "The Past," and Saudi Arabia's "Wadjda".

The nominations will be announced on January 16th 2014 ahead of the ceremony on March 2nd. Here is the complete list:

Afghanistan, "Wajma – An Afghan Love Story," Barmak Akram

Albania, "Agon," Robert Budina

Argentina, "The German Doctor," Lucía Puenzo

Australia, "The Rocket," Kim Mordaunt

Austria, "The Wall," Julian Pölsler

Azerbaijan, "Steppe Man," Shamil Aliyev

Bangladesh, "Television," Mostofa Sarwar Farooki

Belgium, "The Broken Circle Breakdown," Felix van Groeningen

Bosnia and Herzegovina, "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker," Danis Tanovic

Brazil, "Neighboring Sounds," Kleber Mendonça Filho

Bulgaria, "The Color of the Chameleon," Emil Hristov

Cambodia, "The Missing Picture,
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The Grandmaster, Renoir, Wadjda, The Hunt Among 76 Films In Oscar’s Foreign Language Film Category

A record 76 countries have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 86th Academy Awards®.

Moldova and Saudi Arabia are first-time entrants; Montenegro is submitting for the first time as an independent country.

The 2013 submissions are:

Afghanistan, “Wajma – An Afghan Love Story,” Barmak Akram, director;

Albania, “Agon,” Robert Budina, director;

Argentina, “The German Doctor,” Lucía Puenzo, director;

Australia, “The Rocket,” Kim Mordaunt, director;

Austria, “The Wall,” Julian Pölsler, director;

Azerbaijan, “Steppe Man,” Shamil Aliyev, director;

Bangladesh, “Television,” Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, director;

Belgium, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Felix van Groeningen, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” Danis Tanovic, director;

Brazil, “Neighboring Sounds,” Kleber Mendonça Filho, director;

Bulgaria, “The Color of the Chameleon,” Emil Hristov, director;

Cambodia, “The Missing Picture,” Rithy Panh, director;

Canada, “Gabrielle,” Louise Archambault, director;

Chad, “GriGris,” Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, director;

Chile, “Gloria,” Sebastián Lelio, director;

China, “Back to 1942,” Feng Xiaogang,
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The Class, Gomorra, and Waltz with Bashir among films to beat in Foreign Oscar nom process

  • So far, about one third (35 countries to be exact) of the 96 invited to submit their entry for the Academy Awards' Best Foreign Language Picture category have done so. While tomorrow's list will beef up the finally tally, there are three pictures that first caught everyone's attention at Cannes this year that are destined to make it to the final five. After last year's fiasco (the exclusion of Persepolis and 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days), I'm hoping that this year's measures (a new voting system broken into phases) will make sure that voting members don't mess up once again and If I'd had to handicap the race this early on, I'd say Entre les murs (2008)The Class
[/link], Gomorra and Waltz with Bashir -- all films that are currently being showcased at the 46th Nyff, will each be considered as top tier noms. I'd also love to see Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys in
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Crotia takes Son to Oscars

Crotia will send “Niciji Sin” (No One’s Son) as the country’s entry in the race for the Best Foreign language film.

The film is directed by Arsen Anton Ostojic. It is about a disillusioned veteran of the Balkan’s War who uncover a dark family secret. The film stars Alen Liveric, Mustafa Nadarevic, Biserka Ipsa, Zdenko Jelcic, Goran Grgic and Darija Lorenci.

The film picked up 6 national awards at Crotia’s Pula Film Festival including awards for the film and director.

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