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Films From the Balkans Delight British Audience at the Raindance Film Festival

Films from ex-Yugoslavia were among those with the largest attendance at the largest European independent film festival, the Raindance in London, held from 25th of September to 6th of October.

The film selection included the Serbian Oscar candidate When Day Breaks by Goran  Paskaljević; Ice, the debut by Јelena Baјić Јočić, as well as The Whirlpool, the debut  by young director Boјan Vuk Kosovčević, which was nominated for the best debut film of the festival. The British audience enjoyed a rare opportunity to view films from the Balkans, and the Vue Piccadilly cinema was filled up to capacity every night for ten consecutive nights that Balkan films were screened.

Listed as one of the Top 50 independent film festivals in the World, this year’s Raindance saw thousands of films from all over the world submitted. But only the best were screened for its audience. 

Halima’s Way by the Croatian director Arsen Anton Ostoјić won the prize for best international independent film, while the Balkan film selection enjoyed a large attendance, second only to British films. “This only goes to show that British audience is craving films from our region” the chief selector for Balkan films Andreja Kmetović said. “Besides Raindance, where films from ex-Yugoslavia can be seen once a year, British audience rarely has a chance to see films from the Balkans”.

The screening of the winning film Halima’s Way was completely sold out, while When Day Breaks by Goran Paskaljević was recommended by Derek Malcolm, one of the most renowned film critics in Britain, in the Evening Standard. 

The audience was delighted by Vuk Boјan Kosovčević’s film which was nominated for the best debut film. This metaphor about the problems in late 1990s Belgrade presents a visceral plot and uses high quality CGI, which puts it in line with the best independent films from all over the world. The film received an enthusiastic applause that is rare to experience at this festival, as the organizers themselves had testified.

“Raindance festival is well-known for the fact that you don’t have to be an actor or a director to meet and talk with actors and directors here. Our audience comes for the quality of films and because it loves film, which makes them a truly sincere audience”, said Andreja Kmetović, pointing out the importance of the continuous production of high-quality films in Serbia and the rest of the region.
“Our films have much difficulty in reaching the UK after their premieres. However, the audience’s reaction and the success of films from the Balkans at this year’s Raindance point to the fact that British filmgoers crave high quality films from this region. This can only mean that films from the Balkans indeed can find their way here, providing they display stronger marketing efforts”, Kmetović said.

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