Bosnian cinema

Bosnian cinema


Major Bauk

As part of the former Yugoslavia, the cinema history of Bosnia and Herzegovina matches the rest of the country’s story, being new as independent and with a shared cultural tradition and many tangled plots dealt with in its stories.

The beginnings

The first attempts of cinema in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be traced back to 1950s with the first ever Bosnian feature film called Major Bauk (1950). Curiously enough, only very few of the Bosnian films were directed by Bosnians of birth. Instead, directors from other Yugoslav republics were leading the Sarajevo-based film companies including important Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian names such as Vojislav Nanović, Stole Popović, Fadil Hadžić, Veljko Bulajić and Igor Pretnar.

The first success

Despite sharing a background of ethno-nationalism with the other former Yugoslav republics, Bosnian cinema has tried to break the mould by focusing into other plots, often dealing with suspense and of course, the tragic fate suffered by thousands of people within the development of the Bosnia war.

Among the most important films ever produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Danis Tanovic’s, No Man’s Land. The feature depicts an innovative portrayal of the war by showing two enemy soldiers caught in a trench between their enemy lines and their struggle for survival. No Man’s Land showing of the common things shared between the soldiers in conflict earned the movie an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001.



No Man's Land


Emir Kusturica

Emir Kusturica

As if for a country no bigger than the US state of West Virginia wasn’t enough for talented filmmakers, another big name –probably the most famous one- in Bosnian cinema is Sarajevo born Emir Kusturica, a two-time Golden Palm winner and Commander of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an Order of France to recognize significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.

Bosnia and Herzegovina also holds the largest film festival of Eastern Europe: the Sarajevo Film Festival, created during the days of the siege of Sarajevo while the war was ending. The festival has attracted different stars and premieres including Angelina Jolie, Bono from U2, Brat Pitt, Orlando Bloom, among others. Lately, in a partnership with the Berlinale, the Sarajevo Film Festival has also settled up a Talent Campus as an educational and networking platform to relate Easter and Western European cinema.

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