Tearful Jolie gets Sarajevo film festival award

SARAJEVO Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:01pm EDT

1 of 2. Angelina Jolie poses with the Heart of Sarajevo award which she received during the 17th Sarajevo film festival in Sarajevo, July 30, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Danilo Krstanovic

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SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie was close to tears as she received a special award during an unannounced visit to Sarajevo's film festival Saturday with partner Brad Pitt.

"I will start crying if you don't stop," Oscar-awarded Jolie told the audience who gave her a standing ovation at the city's National Theater.

Jolie chose Bosnia's 1992-95 war as the setting for her first film as a director. "In the Land of Blood and Honey" is due to be released in December.

She has also visited Bosnia as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N.'s refugee agency UNHCR and funded the construction of several houses for returnees in eastern Bosnia.

Festival director Mirsad Purivatra presented Jolie with a heart-shaped award when she appeared at the closing ceremony.

"Tonight we are giving the honorary Heart of Sarajevo to a great artist, not only for the great impact she has in the world of cinema but also for persisting and her active engagement in the complexities of the real world we live in," Purivatra said.

Jolie, dressed in a long peach dress, stood on stage with eyes full of tears waiting for the clapping to die down.

"I told Brad in the car I was afraid I was going to cry," she said, her voice breaking.

Jolie's film tells the story of a love affair between a Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) woman and a Serb, who were on opposite warring sides during the conflict.

She planned to shoot parts of the film in Sarajevo and engaged a local crew. But she had to move to Budapest after some female victims of sexual violence objected to details in the plot and Bosnian authorities canceled a filming permit.

"I am so honored to be here at this festival," Jolie said after receiving the award. "There is no greater example of the strengths of the artists and the festival that began during the war and grew stronger every year."

The Sarajevo film festival was launched toward the end of the Bosnian capital's 43-month siege by Bosnian Serb forces.

Jolie presented Austrian actor Thomas Schubert with the award for the best actor for his role in the film "Atmen," directed by Karl Markovics.

Atmen, about a young offender searching for his mother, was also named best film in the festival.

Romanian actress Ada Condeascu won the prize for best actress for her role in the film "Loverboy."

(Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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Comments (4)
Apparently all Angelina Jolie cares about is glorification of her “humanitarian” work in Bosnia, while completely ignoring local NGOs.

Regional NGO network representatives have been contacting Ms. Jolie’s manager Mr. Kosinski and his office, Ms. Jolie’s UNHCR contact Mrs. Little-Boyer and her office, asking for Ms. Jolie’s support in upcoming campaign for peace and reconciliation.
All they wanted was her approval to use quotes from Jolie’s UNHCR diaries. Not a single response has been received.

One truly wonders, what is the reason of Jolie’s visit to Bosnia or Kosovo, if she ignores human right associations doing actual work in helping own people, even when asked to show such a minimal support. That being sad, she didn’t mind coming all the way to Sarajevo, in order to receive bogus Award.

It is sad and discouraging. Some true humanitarians should tell her that taking pictures in troubled countries, where she spends few hours max isn’t the support needed. Disregarding cries of help, makes us all wonder – why bother. Buying a halo with other’s tears won’t make you feel better.

Truly disappointed

Jul 30, 2011 6:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KatsNCream wrote:
Fabulous young woman. I can’t wait to see her directorial debut as well as her acting in “Cleopatra” directed by the genius, David Fincher.

How is Angelina ignoring local NGOs? Did she usurp their right to build housing for refugees . Oh right … they weren’t!! AJ has spent way more than a “few hours” on Bosnian issues. Maybe there was no response because of the way Angelina has been treated by Bosnians of a certain ilk.

Jul 30, 2011 7:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sensi wrote:
@ eec-ngo-network
I don’t think that you need any former “approval” to use quotes as far as you mention the sources, moreover if they are excerpts of some UNHCR work/articles you should rather have asked the UN press relations or the relevant people (again if truly needed).

It is a bit candid to think that some celebrity would devote their or their staff time for every local causes and NGOs they will encounter. An actress is doing movies, she can be a spokesperson for some causes/charities, but I wouldn’t expect many much.

Jul 30, 2011 9:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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