When FEST, following the tradition, opens doors of its halls on the last Friday in February, you will find a selection of films by which you will remember the 48th edition of our Festival. Filmmakers and actors whose work you have been following for years, but also those you will discover at this FEST, have created and painted films that have been selected for the various programme sections of the Festival for a reason.
Twenty films from Serbia, France, USA, Iran, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Northern Macedonia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Denmark and Columbia are competing for the Belgrade Victor and other awards in the Main Programme this year. What certainly does not dominate these exceptional films is optimism, but even if it can be felt, it is the product of unfounded hopes and belief that everything will turn out well in the end. The heroes in the films of the 48th FEST Main Programme are people most often of strange destinies whose future only somewhat depends upon themselves. Accustomed to the wide variety of social and family, that is to say traditional constraints, film heroes are predominantly turned to the evolutionary life changes for the sake of achieving the ultimate goal, which is usually not achieved.
This year’s festival will be opened by Srdan Golubovic’s film Father, screened as part of the Main Competition Programme. The best films in the Main Programme are decided by a five-member international jury consisting of Slovenian actor Sebastian Cavazza, who was awarded Best Actor at FEST in 2018, Serbian actress Natasa Ninkovic, Croatian director Dana Budisavljevic, German actor Clemens Schick and Serbian actor and director Nikola Ljuca, who was awarded Best Direction at FEST in 2016. A new programme is being introduced this year - FEST Focus, whose premiere screenings will be held at the Cultural Centre of Belgrade. FEST Focus arose from the need to further draw attention to the films that, with their bold expression and choice of theme, deserve it. Therefore, it is not surprising that the best film of this programme will be decided by those whose work is described in the same way, Momir Milosevic and Dusan Zoric, directors whose films you discovered at FEST.
The Festival Gala Programme offers the latest films by Marielle Heller (2016 Belgrade Victor for Best Film), Roman Polanski, Atom Egoyan, Clint Eastwood, Jim Jarmusch, Woody Allen, Terrence Malick, Andrei Konchalovsky, Olivier Assayas, Alejandro Amenabar and many others.
As every year, in addition to the aforementioned programmes, there will be films screened as part of the following programme sections: Out of Competition Main Programme (Costa-Gavras, Goran Paskaljevic, Dardenne Brothers, Cristi Puiu), Special Screenings (Luca Guadagnino, Fatih Akin, Misa Terzic), FEST 48 (Marjane Satrapi, Mario Martone, Takashi Miike) and FEST Classic (Lina Wertmuller, Wim Wenders, Michelangelo Antonioni), which I can rightly characterize as one of the leading programme sections of the 48th FEST. The FEST Classic programme is also dedicated to the work of Neda Arneric (winner of the Belgrade Victor Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film Art in 2018), and Bekim Fehmiu, whose image features the official FEST poster. Within the FEST Classic programme, the final version of Francis Ford Kopola’s famous Apocalypse Now will be presented to the audience in the largest Festival hall - the Sava Centre.
Mira Banjac, Costa-Gavras and John Malkovich are this year’s laureates of the Belgrade Victor Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film Art. A large number of guests are coming to Belgrade to present their films to the Belgrade audience, among them filmmakers and actors who have marked not only the current film season with their work.
FEST may begin!
Artistic Director of FEST