In partnership with the Sarajevo Film Festival, Connecting Films provided a boost to the strongest cultural asset of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the cinema. Already a recognizable cultural meeting place, Sarajevo offered a unique experience of historic cinema in 2014 to its audiences from across the region and the world. Sarajevo’s role as a leading place for the development of regional film policies and the strengthening of creative collaborations and European coproductions was reinforced through the engagement of international film professionals at the SFF’s industry section.
This was the year to celebrate the centenary of what is considered the first case of film export from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Namely, the footage of Franz Ferdinand's assassination in Sarajevo went round the world after it was sold by the author Anton Valic, the pioneer of national cinematography. To mark the milestone and new prospects, we presented an exclusively curated collection of newsreels from the British Film Institute’s archives dating to the period of the early 1900s. The archive films were screened during the 20th Sarajevo Film Festival.
Connecting Films welcomed a delegation of twenty film professionals from the UK to the industry programme of the 20th Sarajevo Film Festival, with focus on further collaboration with film professionals of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. Discussions of cultural cooperation in the course of the past century engaged regional film professionals in Sarajevo to open ways for strengthening creative collaboration, preserving this foundation of diversity and reinforcing Sarajevo’s role as a meeting place for European cultural collaboration. It was an opportunity to share professional experiences and best practices in film industry in the context of historically significant events. Combinations of workshops, panel discussions, professional presentations and round-tables promoted the creation of dialogue around common European heritage and the common future visions.