Official name: Bosnia and Herzegovina
GDP in EURO per capita€ 3.356
Currency: Convertible mark (BAM)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1)
Calling code: +387
With Bosnia and Herzegovina entering the MEDIA Programme, expanding its access to film funding and now looking at a promising line-up of new films in the coming year, the country is poised to become a more prominent presence on the international film scene.
The most important event for the film industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina was the news that the country will become a full member of the MEDIA programme by the end of 2012.
While the membership procedures are being finalized, film professionals will be invited to submit projects to the programme. The news was enthusiastically welcomed by the majority of the film professionals in the country. Being a member of Eurimages and the European Audiovisual Observatory, Bosnia and Herzegovina's MEDIA programme membership will complete its full integration into the film support mechanisms of Europe.
On 1 January 2012 Bosnia and Herzegovina took over the presidency of the European Audiovisual Observatory for one year.
Established in 2002, the Sarajevo Film Fund (www.bhfilm.ba) is the main body responsible for public subsidies. The annual budget of the fund is around EUR 1 million, but in 2011 and 2012 the amount fell by nearly 30%. The fund's three-member board is headed by Amer Kapetanovic.
Bosnia and Herzegovina rarely produces feature films without international coproduction partners.
The national film section of the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival (www.sff.ba) was at a record high, presenting 63films (including shorts) from Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2011, of which 23 were documentaries. Aiming to launch her film In the Land of Blood and Honey Hollywood star Angelina Jolie paid a personal visit to the festival, drawing international attention to the event.
Film production overall is expected to rise in 2012, with 12 films scheduled for completion, including a new film by Jasmila Žbanić, who won the 2006 Berlinale Golden Bear for her touching Grbavica. Her new feature tells the story of an Australian tourist, whose life will be transformed after a visit to a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The film is produced by Bosnian Deblokada (www.deblokada.ba) production company.
Other upcoming national productions are The Scab, directed by Srđan Vuletić and produced by Refresh Sarajevo (www.refresh.ba), and The Key, directed by Timur Makarevic and produced by SCCA / Pro.ba (www.pro.ba).
The most important coproduction in 2011 with Bosnia and Herzegovina involved as a minority participant was Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Once Upon A Time In Anatolia with Zeynep Özbatur (Turkey) and Mirsad Purivatra (Bosnia and Herzegovina) as producers. The success of the film at the 64th Cannes film festival and the special focus on the director in Sarajevo last year served as an important promotional tool for the launching of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a credible coproduction partner.
Another top coproduction in 2011 was 1395 Days Without Red by director Šejla Kamerić recalling difficult moments from the long siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1995. The film was produced by Britain's Artangel (www.artangel.org.uk) and Bosnia's SCCA / Pro.ba (www.pro.ba/en)
By the end of March 2012 only one feature film was completed. Children of Sarajevo by director Aida Begić, a coproduction between Bosnia and Herzegovina (Film House, www.filmhouse.ba), Turkey (Kaplan Film,www.kaplanfilm.com), France (Les Films de l'Après-Midi) and Germany (Rohfilm, www.rohfilm.de). The film was the only Balkan production selected for Cannes Un Certain Regard section, winning a Special Mention from the jury. The international sales agent of this emotional story about two orphans of the Bosnian war is Pyramide International (www.pyramidefilms.com).
Danis Tanović, whose No Man's Land was awarded with an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2002, is working on his 75' HD film An Episode in Life of an Iron Picker. The socially engaged story about a poor gypsy family is a Bosnian French coproduction, is produced by Amra Bakšić Čamo and Čedomir Kolar.
The country often coproduces with the neighbouring countries of the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia.
BOX OFFICE AND EXHIBITION
Cinema attendance is still underdeveloped in the country. Admissions in 2011 were 494,772, and the box office totaled 1,230,128 EUR. There are 40 screens. The average ticket price was 2.8 EUR. Four cinemas with 12 screens are members of the Europa Cinema Network (www.europa-cinemas.org).
Bosnia and Herzegovina has always been an attractive spot for filmmaking. Part of its appeal was without a doubt related to historical and current events such as the First World War or the Olympic games, but it has been also interesting for its natural and geographical potential. Nonetheless, in over a century of filmmaking in Bosnia and Herzegovina, this is a very first attempt in presenting at least part of its filming location potential.
We have decided to present four geographical regions where most of the filmmaking in the past ten years has taken part. The regions focused are centered around four cities: Banja Luka, Mostar, Goražde and Sarajevo.
The Banja Luka region also brings the surrounding of the city including the town of Jajce where six civilizations have crossed their paths. Mostar is featured as the center of Herzegovina, one of the most appealing filming destinations with towns such as Čapljina, Počitelj, Stolac, Trebinje, but also along with rivers and lakes and the coastal part of the Mediterranean part of the country. The region of Eastern Bosnia centered around Goražde has recently become attractive for filmmaking, as this part is famous for its Drina River, beautiful landscape and very fertile soil.
The historical and cultural center is Sarajevo with the most developed infrastructure. Its rich heritage has never been more inviting for filmmaking. The surrounding covered focuses more on the nature including Olympic mountains, mountain settlements and villages as well as the historical sites of the urban center of the city which includes the Ottoman part, the Austro-Hungarian quarter and also certain parts of the city which carry socio-realistic heritage.
The guide gives a different perspective at the country often seen as troubled place still coping with the consequences of war. This is just one side of our country, while the other faces are often neglected. We are bringing out the other side, the side ready for co-productions, ready for collaborations.n the past 10 years, 22 Bosnian feature films have been produced here. The number of coproductions has increased from 0 in 2001 to 4 in 2010. Bosnian films received over 120 awards from all over the world just for feature-length films, among them the most prominent ones such as: Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film, Cannes Film Festival Best Script Award (NO MAN’S LAND, 2002), Berlinale Golden Bear for Best Film (GRBAVICA, 2006), Cannes Film Festival Critic’s Week Grand Prix (SNOW, 2008). The number of documentary, short and animated films has increased for over 10 times just in the past decade. Therefore, B&H cinema is a very vibrant and very young cinema with a lot of potential.
Welcome to the world of filmmaking in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
FILM FUND SARAJEVO
Film Fund Sarajevo was established in 2002 under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a community fund with a national reach. The Fund has to date supported over 150 short and feature films including minority co-productions, among them features such as Fuse by Pjer Žalica, Summer in the Golden Valley by Srđan Vuletić, Grbavica by Jasmila Žbanić, Snow by Aida Begić, Circus Columbia by Danis Tanović and Once Upon a Time in Anadolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Besides production, the Fund also supports training, project development, promotion and archiving.
The Fund’s major objective is to ensure funds for stimulating, developing and improving creativity, entrepreneurship and production in filmmaking within Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially in the domain of:
- film production,
- stimulating entrepreneurship in the field of filmmaking,
- protecting, preserving and presenting archive and film material,
- supporting the organization of film events,
- stimulating authors, institutions and associations in the field of cinema,
- preserving and improving cultural values in the field of cinema,
- research and scientific projects related to cinema,
- publishing activities in the field of cinema,
- education and professional development of personnel in the field of cinema,
- connecting, cooperating and exchanging information and experiences with similar associations outside Federation of B&H,
- adjusting film production according to technological and organizational changes, as well as developing technical standards in the field of audiovisual media.
Specific objectives of the Fund are:
- promoting aesthetic values in all cinema genres and disciplines,
- supporting the continuity of recognized values of film production,
- supporting the education of filmmakers, encouraging innovative approaches to the art of cinema and filmmaking.
Film Fund is financing and supporting the following activities:
- film projects with a relevant artistic value,
- screenplay development,
- promoting, circulating, distributing and screening of domestic films,
- protecting, preserving and presenting of the film heritage,
- international cooperation in the field of cinema,
- publishing activities related to cinema,
- professional development and education in the field of cinema,
- participation in defining and implementing the policy aimed to improve the development of cinema.
Beneficiaries of the Fund may be individuals, filmmakers and film professionals, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and legal entities which are registered for performing film and video activities, and are based in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: producers, distributors, cinemas, film festivals, professional associations and higher education institutions specialized filmmakers.
The Fund supports:
- feature film,
- documentary film,
- animated film,
- experimental film,
- student film,
- feature film minority co-production,
- regional collaboration,
- other categories according to Rules and Regulations of the Fund.
The funds are allocated according to annual plan of Film Fund, which defines priorities and the percentage of allocated funds as planned according to Film Fund Rules and Regulations as well as Procedures and Criteria for Selecting Beneficiaries of Funds.
The Fund acquires funds through a transfer from the budget of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as through other sources. The decision on adopting the spending programme for funds of the transfer is made by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina upon the proposal of Managing Board and in line with the Law on Implementation of the Budget of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with regard to the current year.
THE ASSOCIATION OF FILMMAKERS
The Association of Filmmakers in B&H is a professional association of film workers, authors and artists, who are professionally engaged in filmmaking. It was founded in 1950 under the name Union of Film Workers B&H. At the time it had a membership of 20 – the most prominent members were its founders: Žika Ristić, Mišo Finci, Pjer Majhrovski, Eduard Bogdanić, Kaća Rundo, Slobodan Jovičić, Tomo Janić and Đokica Jolić. The first President of the Association was Sida Marjanović, and the first Secretary was Pjer Majhrovski.
In 1951, film professionals became freelancers. This meant that most of them left film and looked for other employment. 1953 was the first big crisis in B&H documentary production. At the initiative of the Association of Film Workers B&H, a special company was established, designed for documentary production only: Studio Film. The second big crisis happened in 1960, again in documentary production, a short film production company Sutjeska Film was founded, also at the initiative of Association of Film Workers B&H. From 1960 to 1972, the Association worked with the funds available and played an active role in the life of culture of the city, fighting for the promotion of film among the widest audience. In addition to their professional engagements in filmmaking, many members of the Association were also film critics and writers. In 1967, at the initiative of the Association, a new company was founded designed to produce feature film primarily.
The Association has been led by: Toma Janić, Vlado Branković, Slobodan Jovičić, Milan Kosovac, Edo Bogdanić, Suad Mrkonjić, Midhat Mutapčić, Žika Ristić, Dragan Resner, Nenad Dizdarević, Miljenko Uherka, Nedžad Begović, Benjamin Filipović, Milenko Prstojević and Faruk Lončarević.
The Association is also actively involved in developing and guiding the B&H film industry. In the past 10 years, our members have won the world’s most prestigious film awards: Oscar, American Film Academy Award for NO MAN’S LAND, European Film Academy Award for short 10 MINUTES, Tiger Award at Rotterdam Film Festival for SUMMER IN THE GOLDEN VALLEY, Award for Best Regional Film of Sarajevo Film Festival and Silver Leopard at Locarno Film Festival for the film FUSE, Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival for GRBAVICA and Grand prix at Critic’s Week of Cannes Film Festival for SNOW.
In January 2004, the Association re-established its pre-war annual award “Ivica Matić" and Pjer Žalica was the first director to receive it after a break of 12 years for his 2003 film FUSE. For the year 2004 the award was given to Srđan Vuletić for his film SUMMER IN THE GOLDEN VALLEY and for 2005 it was posthumously awarded to late Mensud Arlsanović for his contribution to B&H cinema. Jasmila Žbanić was the winner of the “Ivica Matić" award for 2006 for the successes of her debut film GRBAVICA along with former Federal Minister for Culture and Sport Gavrilo Grahovac who received an honorary award for his contribution to B&H cinema. In 2007, veteran directors Gojko Šipovac and Vlatko Filipović were given the Ivica Matić Award. In 2008 the award was given to Aida Begić and Elma Tataragić for their film SNOW, and in 2009 and 2010 it was given to veteran filmmakers Aziz Arnautović and Vefik Hadžismajlović for their life contribution to B&H cinema. Awarded for 2011 are Pero Burić, for his lifelong contribution to B&H film, and Srđan Šarenac, for his documentary film VILLAGE WITHOUT WOMEN, which had its premiere at IDFA, one of the most important festivals for documentary films.
Since 2003 Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Hezegovina publishes its annual catalogue of B&H. Film, the only publication that promotes total annual film production of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For nine years now, this catalogue promotes film production of B&H at all important film festivals and events worldwide. In 2011 Association of Filmmakers in B&H issued the catalogue "Filming Locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina" in collaboration with USAID Sida FIRMA Project BiH. This is the first catalogue ever to present Bosnia and Herzegovina as an attractive spot for fimmaking and film production.
In August 2003, the Association organized the First B&H National Film Festival that featured all films made that year. The festival was also successfully organized in 2005 and it featured over 20 features, short, animated and documentary films. The Festival gathered over 80 film professionals from Bosnia and Herzegovina and film academies from Bosnia and Herzegovina were specially presented. The 2007 edition gathered a record number of over 40 features, documentaries, animated and short films. The festival was successfully held in 2009 and, since 2010, it has become an annual event and an integral program of Sarajevo Film Festival.
In December 2010, Assembly of the Association nominated Amra Bakšić Čamo for the Board President and also Jovan Marjanović, Elma Tataragić, Faruk Lončarević, Nedžad Begović, Danis Tanović and Srđan Vuletić as new Board members.