While last year’s FEST was marked by many novelties, this year these novelties may be considered a standard of the biggest film festival in the region. This year too, the best films will be rewarded in three competition programs: the films were picked by Art Director Jugoslav Pantelic, as well as the programming director of “Frontiers”, Thrills & Kills and Microwave Mladen Djordjevic. Nikola Ljuca’s debut “Humidity” will have the honor to open the Festival.
The main competition program will feature 15 films from 13 countries: France, Iran, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Israel, Mexico, Vietnam, Italy, Croatia, Guatemala, Bulgaria and the US. The international five-strong jury will decide about the awards in the categories of Best Film, Best Script, Best Director Work, Best Male Lead Role, Best Female Lead Role and Best Debut, as well as the Award of the Jury. The best film will be presented with the Belgrade Victor Award.
The national competition program will have the awards presented for the same categories, also to be awarded by a five-strong jury. A total of 19 films well be shown, including premieres – Humidity, A good wife, Patria, Rift, Apophania, Open wound, Signature work... As of this year, the national program also includes films with Serbia as a minority co-producer. These films will compete for special awards for minority co-productions in three categories – Best Film, Best Director Work and Best Acting Work.
The third competition program is “Frontiers” with 11 subversive films from Germany, France, Croatia, Japan, Thailand, Argentina, India, Ethiopia and Poland.
In addition to the official awards of the jury, the Nebojsa Djukelic Award, the FIPRESCI Award of the Jury and, for the first time this year, the FEDEORA Award o the Jury – the award of the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. The recipients of the Belgrade Victor Award for Life Achievement and Exceptional Contribution to the Art of Film will be announced subsequently, as well as the recipient of the Honorary Belgrade Victor Award for previous accomplishments.
The 44th FEST will present many films from “small” film industries – Vietnam, Guatemala, the UAE, Ethiopia, Albania, as well as those in English, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Chinese and Japanese language; a record number of female directors (18). Thomas Winterberg will have two films, just like his Japanese colleague Sion Sono, as well as Croatia Actress Ksenija Marinkovic (we will see her in five films!). There will also be 20 directing debuts. The main program will features contenders for the Oscars, such as Brooklyn, Carol, Spotlight, The danish girl, Trumbo i Sicario. The viewers will also have the opportunity to see the films of famous directors, such as Hercog’s Queen of the desert, 99 Homes by Ramin Bahrani, Hail, Caesar by Ethan and Joel Cohen, Youth by Paolo Sorrentino, Irrational man by Woody Allen, Jorgos Lantimos’ Lobster, Kollektivitet and Far from the madding crowd by Vinterberg, Nie Yin Niang by Hou Hsiao Hsien, Quand on a 17 ans by Andre Techine…
The FEST Classics programme will mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Nebojsa Djukelic; it will also feature several films as homage to David Bowie.
The crews of the following films have confirmed their presence: Dheepan, The Angel: The Prescription For Liffe, III, Crumbs, 99 Homes, Nachthelle, Šiška Deluxe, H., Blue Hour, Las Elegidas, Julija i alfa Romeo, Baskin, Der Bunker, Les Anarchistes, Narodni heroj Ljiljan Vidić, Zvizdan…
FEST will also host the legendary director John McTiernan, Pedro Almodovar’s muse Victoria Abriel, as well as the famous actor Anthony LaPaglia. The President of the jury for the national selection is Dragan Bjelogrlic and Pavel Lungin will preside the jury for the international programme.
The first FEST, under the slogan “A Brave New World” was opened on the 9th of January 1971 in Dom Sindikata, with the screening of Robert Altman’s Mash. Envisioned as the annual review of the best films of the season, the Belgrade International Film Festival – FEST – evolved to become one of the most important festivals on the continent and a pillar event of Belgrade’s cultural life and an indispensable element in the coming of age of many generations of film amateurs.
An important feature of FEST all these years was its openness to films from all parts of the world, as well as to all relevant authors and works that would never have the opportunity to be shown in cinemas. Authors like Theo Angelopoulos, Bob Rafelson, Volker Schlondorff , David Cronenberg, Ken Russel, Wim Wenders, Kieslowski, Herzog had the opportunity to meet each other for the first time in Belgrade, on FEST.
You can find out more on www.fest.rs