Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sarajevo, Day 2

Yesterday was a film-filled day, as we caught up with our competition programme homework and saw two of the eight we have to judge. First off was THE TRIP, a Slovenian debut about three high school friends who reunite for a trip to the seaside. Then we saw AVE, from Bulgaria, another first feature.I won't really review the competition films here as we have to award a prize and it just wouldn't be right.

In the strictly fun category we saw Argentinian film LAS ACACIAS, from first time director (a lot of those here) Pablo Giorgelli, and I can tell you what I think about it: it's fantastic. A small, gentle two-hander that takes place almost entirely in the cabin of a truck, it features a very endearing baby and top notch performances from the leads.

We also popped into the KRITERION cinema, which is an offshoot of its namesake in Amsterdam, a wonderful, student-run venue that is a source of much of the most talented Dutch distributors and exhibitors. We had dinner with the other Juries, the Festival Director and Bela Tarr, who is presenting Turin Horse here.

Sarajevo is a city pulsating with a raw energy that you can feel everywhere, from the hard partying on the streets to the wee hours, to the men playing life-sized chess in the square and shouting like it was football, to the fresh memory of the siege with bullet holes in almost every building. A very special place.

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