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FEST Focus Selection at the 49th International Film Festival – FEST

In the FEST Focus competition selection of the 49th International Film Festival - FEST, which is held from 7 to 16 May and organized by the Belgrade Festivals Centre - CEBEF, the audience will be able to see 14 films from seven countries at the Belgrade Youth Centre and Cineplexx Galerija Belgrade. In this selection, whose films are characterized by a brave film expression and choice of theme, two domestic productions will be shown: the documentary-animated film ’Scenes from the Life of a Mutt’ by Tanja Brzaković and ’Spring Song’ by Natalija Avramović. The jury in the FEST Focus selection consists of director Darko Nikolić, actress Isidora Simijonović and director Katarina Koljević.  

Three works come from countries of the former Yugoslavia. The film ‘Fishing and Fishermen's Conversations’ by Croatian director Milan Trenc is set in the 16th century and talks about the poet and nobleman Petar Hektorović and his days at sea in the company of two fishermen, daydreaming and recalling his tragic youthful loves. The cast is led by the legendary Rade Šerbedžija, this year's winner of the Belgrade Victor Honorary Festival Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film Art, and Leon Lučev, who will be guests of the 49th FEST. The drama ‘Reach for the Sky’ by Montenegrin director Milutin Darić follows middle-aged Milutin, whose harmonious life shatters when his wife Magdalena experiences a car accident that leaves her immobile. The Slovenian film ‘Sanremo’ directed by Miroslav Mandić thematizes the love of two people in a nursing home, who suffer from dementia and experience every encounter as if they were seeing each other for the first time.     

The Festival audience will be able to see six films from the USA in the FEST Focus selection. Director Julien Temple was a guest of FEST in 2001 when he presented the film ‘The Filth and the Fury’ about the cult punk band Sex Pistols, and on this occasion another of his documentaries with a musical theme - ‘Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan’ about the singer and frontman of the Irish band Pogues will be shown to the audience. Jonathan Quartas' horror film ‘My Heart Can’t Be Beat unless I Tell It’ received a Special Jury Award for photography at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2020, and the plot follows Dwight and his sister Jesse, who are facing the mysterious illness of their brother Thomas.

Jeremy Hersh's drama ‘The Surrogate’ talks about the challenges and moral dilemmas that surrogate parenting brings for three friends, while Adam Rehmeier's comedy ‘Dinner in America’ deals with the relationship between punk rocker Simon and the eccentric Patty in the gloomy suburbs of the American Midwest. ‘I Carry You with Me’ is an American-Mexican film directed by Heidi Ewing, about chef Ivan who makes a difficult decision to cross the border, promising his son and newly discovered love that he will return to Mexico. The documentary film ‘Beyond the Peak’, which deals with mountaineering through the prism of spirituality, was directed by Aleksandar Jović.

Iranian cinema will be represented in FEST Focus by two works: the film ‘No Choice’, directed by Reza Dormishian, once again in this selection deals with surrogate parenting, through the case of a homeless woman in the process against a doctor. Morteza Farshbaf's drama ‘Tooman’ follows David, a passionate gambler focused on sports betting, who keeps spending his entire earnings on online soccer gambling, and hopes that the Serbia-Costa Rica match at the World Cup will change his life. The Romanian film ‘Poppy Field’ depicts the struggle of a young Romanian policeman, Cristi, who is trying to find a balance between the identity of a man working in a macho hierarchical environment and the identity of a homosexual person who is trying to keep his personal life a secret.    

The International Film Festival - FEST will be held this year in compliance with all measures of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the COVID-19 Infection Disease Crisis Response Team. The priority for the organizing team of the Festival is the health and safety of the audience, the guests and the Festival team.

Information about the programme and ticket sales for the 49th International Film Festival - FEST can be found on the Festival website: