The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF) will screen a total of 14 films during its twelfth annual event, taking place May 21-23 at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City. The program features four feature films, four short films, and six documentaries, and it is divided into eight blocks.
Day 3 will screen six films: "Sarajevo Assassination," "Seeking Truth in The Balkans," "Mercy," "A Quintet," "Redemption" and "Racket." Their synopses are below.
Legend: S = Short film; DF = Documentary Feature; DS = Documentary Short; F = Feature.
"Sarajevo Assassination" (DF) - directed by Nedim Lončarević
On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip. And thus began the Great War…
Paul Gradvohl, a historian specializing in Eastern European studies, travels to Sarajevo to investigate the true motives behind the assassination. In his quest for answers, Gradvohl visits the crime scene, calls upon his colleagues in Sarajevo, Belgrade, Paris and Vienna, and scrutinizes numerous archives and private footage. To uncover the hidden truths of the assassination of the heir to the Austrian Empire, Gradvohl confronts various theories and leaves no rock unturned.
Director Nedim Lončarević is a documentary filmmaker and writer.
"Seeking Truth in The Balkans" (DF) - directed by June Vutrano, Erin Lovall, Ian Hoban and Steve Burgess
"Seeking Truth in the Balkans" comes on the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Accords, which ended the bloody war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the greater region, as well as on the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.
The film explores and analyzes where things stand today in the Balkans, and if the prosecution of war criminals in the Hague has contributed as much as once hoped to peace and reconciliation within the region.
The screening will be followed by a 25-minute Q&A session with members of the film crew.
"Mercy" (S) - directed by Benjamin Dizdarević
"Mercy" is a story about what happens when we are denied the freedom to do what we truly love. Eventually, our spirit breaks down and we take drastic measures to get free.
Nina, a young adolescent woman is living under pressured conditions with her father after the recent death of her mother. She begins to suffocate under the pressure and decides to do something radical in order to take the independence into her own hands.
Director Benjamin Dizdarević was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992 during the war and moved to Sweden at the age of two. He moved back to Sarajevo in 2011 where he started his new life as a film director.
"A Quintet" (F) - directed by Ariel Shaban, Sanela Salketić, Roberto Cuzzillo, Elie Lamah and Mauro Mueller
Five up-and-coming, award-winning filmmakers with different cultural backgrounds tell five stories of people in various countries and walks of life who meet and bring down the inner walls in their lives.
Bringing their stories to the screen, this film raises questions some of us have in understanding different perspectives and perhaps trying to break prejudices we have.
The five segments take place in different regions of the world - Germany, the United States, Italy, the Balkans and Turkey - and they are all, in a way, connected to the multicultural center of Berlin, where all the filmmakers met each other for the first time at the talent forum of the Berlin International Film Festival.
The screening will be followed by a 10-minute Q&A session with members of the film crew.
"Redemption" (S) - directed by Mirna Dizdarević
Redemption is defined as the action of saving or being saved from sin, error or evil. As such, it requires the efforts of those who committed sin, error or evil and those who were victims of it.
Olga and Goran, the main characters of this short film by Mirna Dizdarević, are unknowingly linked by a tragic past. One afternoon changes their neighborly relationship forever as they uncover how their lives and destinies are intertwined. Each is forced to confront their fears and grapple with the promise of redemption.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Director Mirna Dizdarević was born in Sarajevo in 1992, and studied film directing at the Sarajevo Film Academy.
"Racket" (F) - directed by Almir Buljugić
"Racket" deals with life and corruption in today’s Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Amil Pašić comes back to Sarajevo for the first time in a year to visit his father Mufid. Amil finds that local authorities are not doing enough to protect his father from a local criminal, so he decides to take things into his own hands.
Director Admir Buljugić is a Sarajevo native. He studied film directing at Columbia College in Chicago, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. "Racket" is his feature debut.
For more information, please visit the official BHFF website at http://bhffnyc.org/.