Sarajevo has been celebrating the 20th edition of its increasingly-renowned film festival, and had star snapper Annie Liebovitz as a guest of honour taking to the red carpet for awards night.
The night proved to be a great one for the Turkish film industry.
The Heart of Sarajevo prize for best film, and a 16,000 euro cheque went to “Song of my mother”, a first feature by Kurdish director Erol Mintas.
In a prestigious double the film’s lead actor Feyyaz Duman was also honoured with a Heart of Sarajevo award for his portrayal of a school teacher who lives with his elderly mother.
He has to decide between continuing like this, or beginning a new life with his pregnant girlfriend. And all this while they live among Kurdish refugees trying to make their way in the Istanbul suburbs.
“The most difficult thing for this movie was finding professional Kurdish-speaking actors, and particularly for the elderly woman role because there are not many Kurdish-speaking actresses of this age in Turkey; it took me two years to find one, and even she isn’t a professional actress,” says Mintas.
In all this year’s festival showcased nearly 250 films from 60 countries, and was a resounding success.
“What started 20 yeas ago in a city under siege during the Bosnian war has today become one of the most prestigious film festivals in south- east Europe, where movies made in this region find international attention,” says euronews’ Wolfgang Spindler.