The program, juries and Honorary Award winners of the 49th FEST revealed
At the press conference announcing the details of the 49th International Film Festival – FEST, held on Tuesday, April 27, in the Ceremonial Hall of the Belgrade City Assembly, Ivan Karl, Belgrade Secretary for Culture, and the president of the FEST board, Damir Handanović, the director of CEBEF and the vice president of the festival board, Jugoslav Pantelić, the artistic director of FEST and Darja Bajić, the producer of the festival, revealed the festival program, honorary awards “Belgrade Winner” and jury members.
The winners of the honorary festival award “Belgrade Winner” for exceptional contribution to film art are actor Rade Šerbedžija and director Puriša Đorđević, who will be awarded at the opening, as well as set designer Miljen Kljaković Kreka, who will receive his recognition at the closing of this year’s festival.
Ivan Karl, Secretary for Culture of the City of Belgrade and President of the FEST Board, reminded of the circumstances in which this year’s edition of the festival is being held: “It is a precedent that the festival is held in May, but it is also a feat. In the year in which the pandemic is still ongoing, in which Berlinale was online, and Cannes is moving to a later date, we have a festival in the conventional sense of the word. A festival that shows films in cinemas, which will have an audience, guests and a festival atmosphere. The essence of this FEST is to have continuity, a working atmosphere, a good dose of energy, optimism and enthusiasm. FEST is not Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Toronto, but what Cannes is in Europe and the world, that is FEST in the Western Balkans and the region. It is the largest, oldest and most significant film festival in this area, and that is something we should be proud of. “
Damir Handanović, Director of CEBEF and Vice President of the FEST Board, thanked the City of Belgrade, Ivan Karl, Secretary of Culture, Ministry of Culture and the sponsor of the festival, LukOil. “The previous festival was visited by over 90,000 people. This edition of the festival will have a limited audience capacity due to compliance with the measures to control the COVID-19 disease, however, the most important thing is that this year’s program is at a high level. The opening and closing will not be as impressive as in previous years when John Malkovich was there for the closing, but since we will award honorary awards at these ceremonies, it will be emotional and very dignified, “said Handanović, adding that FEST will take place in physical form.
Jugoslav Pantelić, artistic director of the festival, presented this year’s winners of the honorary festival award “Belgrade Winner”, members of the jury of the Main Competition Program and the competition selection “Fest Focus”, as well as the jury for the “Nebojsa Djukelić” Award for a film that best combines traditional cinema and art film. The main jury consists of actor Igor Djordjević, director Dane Komljen, Greek director and screenwriter Zacharias Mavroeidis, actress Dubravka Kovjanić, and Bosnian director Ines Tanovic. The jury of the “Fest Focus” program consists of director Darko Nikolić, actress Isidora Simijonović and director Katarina Koljević, while the jury for the “Nebojsa Djukelic” award will include critic, publicist and editor of publishing at the Film Center of Serbia, Miroljub Stojanović, Croatian filmologist Daniel Rafaelić. as well as film director, theorist and esthetician Vlastimir Sudar.
Jugoslav Pantelić commented on film authors who are known to the FEST audience, and who wil this year present their new achievements: “Dalibor Matanić returns this year with the film Dawn, Greek director Argiris Papadimitropoulos was at FEST only three years ago, and was awarded the Belgrade winner for the best screenplay, and this year he returns to Belgrade with the film Monday. Also, I am very pleased that our guest from a couple of years ago, Suzana Nikjareli, is coming this year with the film Miss Marx, which will introduce us to an interesting part of the life of Eleanor, the daughter of Karl Marx. ” Jugoslav Pantelić also pointed out that there will be a large number of films about historical figures at FEST, but also that the audience will be able to watch the world’s biggest stars, such as Francis McDormand, Carrie Mulligan, Johnny Depp, Reese Ahmed, Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman, Colin Firth, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Selma Hayek, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, and many others.
Darja Bajić, the producer of FEST, appealed to the audience to wear masks and respect all epidemiological measures at the screenings. She also referred to the work being done by the festival team: “I would also like to thank the CEBEF team, which did a great job in not at all easy circumstances, a really very demanding event. This year, the visual imiage of the festival was created by CEBEF designer Simona Dašić Raca, and the video was realized by Miloš Đukelić and RED productions, whom we thank on this occasion “.
This year’s FEST will open with the film The Dig, starring Carrie Mulligan, as well as one of the festival’s favorite guests, Ralph Fiennes, who was a guest at FEST in 2011 and 2019. Directed by the Australian director Simon Stone, the film is set during World War Two. A British widow hires a self-taught archaeologist to excavate a mysterious formation on her property, which will lead to a startling discovery.
The announcement video of the festival, directed by Miloš Đukelić, which symbolizes the return to the future, which is also this year’s slogan of the festival, was presented at the press conference. The intention of FEST is, as the largest and most famous film event in the country and the region, to contribute to the revival of cinema screens and the return of film audiences to cinemas.
Tickets for FEST are on sale at the box office of Sava Center (entrance B from Vladimira Popovića Street), Kombank Hall, Belgrade Youth Center and Cineplexx Gallery Belgrade. Tickets for screenings in the Sava Center, Kombank Hall and the Belgrade Youth Center can also be purchased online, via the website www.tickets.rs, as well as at all Ticket Vision points of sale. In the first seven days of the sale, it is possible to get a 10% discount on the purchase of a set of tickets on forward lines in the halls, and a 10% discount on online shopping within the My Set (for 10 or more purchased tickets).
Photo: Željko Sinobad, with permitted use.