SARAJEVO Aug 15 Sarajevo's film festival,
founded as an act of defiance while the city was besieged during
the 1992-95 Bosnian war, marks its 20th anniversary on Friday
with its biggest line-up of movies.
Nine films are competing for the top Heart of Sarajevo
Award, among them Kosovo's "Three Windows And A Hanging" about a
school teacher giving an account of her rape during the
Other contenders for the for the 16,000-euro ($21,397) award
come from Georgia, Turkey, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Austria,
Germany, Hungary and France.
Festival director Mirsad Purivatra said future events would
look even further afield for competitors.
"I think the Festival is entering a new phase in which we
want to build a stronger bond between the region and the rest of
the world," he said, adding the event had been building contacts
in the Middle East, Mexico, India, Lebanon and North Africa.
The Sarajevo Film Festival has grown into the largest event
of its kind in the Balkans and draws around 100,000 fans to the
Bosnian capital every year. This year's programme lists nearly
250 films from 60 countries.
The jury will be chaired by Hungary's Bela Tarr, who retired
from directing films after the release of "The Turin Horse" in
The event will hand out honorary awards to Mexican actor
Gael Garcia Bernal, French designer and filmmaker Agnes B. and
Oscar-winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic.
French director Michel Hazanavicius, best known for "The
Artist", and Hungary's Kornel Mundruczo will also present their
Cannes festival contenders, respectively "The Search" and "White
(Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Andrew Heavens)