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Radmila Djurica is your guide to the festival scenes: Sarajevo, Cannes and many more

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FEST 2009-Ralph Fiennes in Belgrade

Magnificent Ralph Fiennes on premier of “The Reader” opened 37th FEST the International Belgrade Film Festival 20th of February - 1st March.


 This year, FEST made it through successfully with about 100 000 tickets sold. And with its organization style, festival managed to achieve goals and aimed to influence cinema goers, with leading cinematography novelties, competitive program Europe out of Europe and a producer’s business- gathering program B2B. Maximum quality of side programs provided a theatre play, exhibitions, homage film program and thematic round table “Female film directors from South Eastern Europe”. Festival ended with the debut “Here and There” directed by a Serb film director from New York, starring with a well known American pop star of 80s Cyndi Lauper and her husband David Thornton.


 The special program of the festival mirrors a quality film selection in general featuring different kind of film program and presented the Pain project: collaboration between Marguerite Duras, Patrice Chereau and Thierry Thieue Niang, starring with the magnificent Dominique Blanc. Special honor of 37th Fest beside Ralph Fiennes who has opened the festival was indeed Dominique Blanc, one of the most acknowledged French actresses, a winner of the Cesar Award.  On festival, she presented her newest film achievements “The Other On (L’Autre)” and “One Day You Will Understand (Plus tard, tu comprendras)” and on the stage a theatre play - Marguerite Duras’ “Pain” directed by Patrice Chereau.  “ In cooperation with Niang P.Chereau creates a show for his favorite, enthralling Dominique Blanc. She interprets one of the most touching next of post war literature: the diary of Marguerite Duras, in which she dedicates her life after Liberation to waiting for her husband’s return from the concentration camp. Dominique Blanc embodies, to bare silence, her sighs, the simplicity and the intensity of Marguerite Duras’s texts.”  

Dominique Blanc

Festival presented an exhibition of paintings by Jerzy Skolimowski which is actually a dialogue between FEST and other Belgrade art festivals. The exhibition of a fine art film director from Poland Jerzy Skolimowski entirely enlightens the festival with his presentation of art. The exhibition of his oil paintings contents about 15 years of his most significant large format painting, organized by Jerzy Skolimovski a guest of the festival. Jerzi presented his new film “Four Nights with Anna” (also arranged on Cannes Film Festival ) which opened the program Director’s Forthnight at Belgrade’s Film Festival FEST09. Skolimovski has exhibited his work in Europe, USA, on Biennial in Venice, Italy, France and Great Britain.

Skolimovski paints in peaceful harmony with himself and his own world. His huge board like paintings truly has convictions of art made with a goal of self expression. This is perhaps why this art touches me so profoundly and why I need this so urgently.”  


Festival Awards   

Politika’s "Erytocit" Award for a festival Best Film in program Europe out of Europe went off to a Russian film “The Gift to Stalin (“Podarok Stalinu”) directed by Rustem Abdrashev  for a big professional dedication in a film art, for powerful treating of historical theme and humanism.” The Jury of Serbia FIPRESCI for a Best Film awarded two Italian films, “Gomorrah” by Matea Garonea and “ II Divo” directed by Paola Sorentina for “a radical way of moving borders of a political film genre in proving that a good film is not just an art but also being brave.” The Jury of a film critics and journalists UFNIK awarded a film that distinguishes with style, aesthetics and message with Nebojša Đukelić Award to a Serbian film “Life and Death of Porno Gang” “for a brave, critical and almost porno-stripping of a modern society raw reality, not only in a local but in a global context. With more layered and supernatural poetic and with elements of black humor and shocking bizarrely based on brutal consequences of life in post transition society.  Also the festival awarded the best pitching and gave away 5000 euros for project developing and presented producers’ and writers’ collaboration with Western cinematography, presenters of film funds and world film distributors. The award went to authors from Macedonia, Gruzia and Kazakhstan.


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