In order to support and promote Serbian film as well as Serbian minority co-productions in 2022, the Association of Film Festivals of Serbia (AFIFS), with the support of Film Center Serbia has introduced awards awards best films in these categories, presenting them for the first time t this year’s 29th European Film Festival (FEF ) on the Summer Stage in Palić, on July 18th.

The jury consisting of journalists who specialize in film – Tanja Nježić (Blic daily), Zorica Dimitrijević (Portal for Culture of Southeast Europe – and Vladimir Džudović (Radio Belgrade) – chose As Far As I Can Walk, directed by Stefan Arsenijević, as the best Serbian film, with the following explanation: “Utilizing praiseworthy film language – which speaks about the most difficult themes in a subtle, refined and powerful way – Arsenijević layered, on one hand, local tradition and myth, together with an acute, burning question of the modern world (migrants) and, on the other hand, a picturesque and eloquent array; from the legitimate so-called values that plague this area, ​​to the bitter taste that is left in the mouth when one is faced with the norms and “justice” of the developed countries, those the entire world supposedly looks up to. After a long, long time, it was this Serbian film that triumphed in the main program at Karlovy Vary, and then continued it streak at other international events as well.”

Stefan Arsenijević

Receiving the award, co-writer and director of the film “Strahinja Banović” Stefan Arsenijević said:

Receiving the award, co-writer and director of the film Stefan Arsenijević said:

“The award means a lot to me in this context, especially because it comes from film professionals whose opinion and work I really value. This recognition is also a kind of closing of the circle because when we started writing the script for the film, one of the first researches we conducted and conversations we had with migrants took place not far from here. Those meetings and conversations with those people changed us forever and showed us the path we should follow in making this film.”

For the best Serbian minority co-production, the commission chose the film Blue Flower by Zrinko Ogrest, a Croatian-Serbian co-production, with the following explanation:

“Through the story of a modern woman, her daughter in her teenage years and her mother who is suffering from a health problem, and her ex-husband and ‘forbidden partner’, utilizing strong but unpretentious film poetics – the film examines the (im)possibility of communication not only between people but also between man and his own self, pointing to ominous consequences and, on the other hand, gives a striking picture of modern society, where one of the focal points is the hopelessness running through multiple generations, as a consequence of the (neoliberal) context in which property is everything and man is nothing.”

Accepting the award, the screenwriter and director of the film Zrinko Ogresta said:

Tanja Nježić and Zrinko Ogresta

“I want to highlight a special privilege that, it seems to me, almost no Croatian director can boast of, and that is that this is my eighth feature film, and all eight have been screened at festivals in Serbia. In parallel with the invitation to the festival in Palić, I received an invitation to go to two festivals that are held at the same time, in the south of Italy and in Egypt, and I am here, in Palić.”

As planned, the awards of the Association of Film Festivals of Serbia will also be presented at the following editions of other festivals that are also members of AFIFS: Film Screenplay Festival in Vrnjačka Banja (best screenplay), Film Encounters in Niš (best acting performance), Leskovac International Festival LIFFE ( best director), Auteur Film Festival – FAF in Belgrade (award for the best production), Šumadija International Film Festival in Kragujevac (best editing) and the Filmmaking Festival (best cinematography). At all these festivals awards will also be handed out for the best minority co-productions in the mentioned categories.