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Gala Programme at the 49th International Film Festival – FEST

The Gala Programme of the 49th International Film Festival - FEST, which is held from 7 to 16 May, organized by the Belgrade Festivals Centre - CEBEF, in the Sava Centre, Kombank Hall and Cineplexx Galerija Belgrade, will include 19 films from eight countries. This selection includes five Oscar-winning films at the recent American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards ceremony, as well as films starring some of the most famous actors, including Kate Winslet, Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche, Sigourney Weaver, Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman, Vigo Mortensen, Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth, Francis McDormand and many others.

Most of the films in the Gala selection come from English-speaking countries - Great Britain, the United States and Canada. At the opening of the Festival, on May 7 at 7 p.m. in the Sava Centre, the audience will be able to see the film ‘The Dig’ starring Carrie Mulligan, as well as one of the favorite Festival guests Ralph Fiennes, who was a guest at FEST in 2011 and 2019. The screening at FEST will be a unique opportunity to see this film from the popular streaming platform Netflix on the big screen. In the film of the Australian director Simon Stone, on the eve of the Second World War, the British widow hires a self-taught archaeologist to excavate a mysterious formation on her property, which will lead to a startling discovery.

The film ‘Minamata’ attracted the attention of the domestic audience two years ago during the filming in Belgrade. The famous Hollywood actor Johnny Depp was in our capital again, who visited FEST back in 1992 during the sanctions, together with Emir Kusturica. In Andrew Levitas new film, Depp plays war photographer William Eugene Smith, who travels to Japan in 1971 to investigate the poisoning of residents of a fishing village known as Minamata.

In the film ‘The Roads Not Taken’ directed by Sally Potter, our Branka Katić is starring alongside world famous actors Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, and the plot follows the main character Leo who floats through alternative versions of his life in his mind, while his daughter Molly desperately tries to bring him back to the real world. Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan are the main stars of Francis Lee's ‘Ammonite’ about the renowned and self-taught paleontologist Mary Anning, who worked on the coast of southern England in 1840. Director Harry Macqueen's ‘Supernova’, starring Oscar-winner Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, tells the story of Sam and Tusker, partners of 20 years, who are traveling across England in their old RV visiting family, old friends and favorite places from their past, after life-changing diagnosis. The FEST audience will also be able to see ‘Rifkin's Festival’, the latest film of the legendary director Woody Allen, shot in Spain, in which a married American couple go to the San Sebastian Festival and get caught up in the magic of the event, the beauty and charm of the city and the fantasy of films.    

The Gala programme of FEST will also include the directorial debut of the famous Hollywood actor Viggo Mortensen ‘Falling’, for which this versatile director wrote the screenplay and plays the lead role, in a film that thematizes the relationship between the main character and his stubborn father. In the film ‘My Salinger Year’ by Philippe Falardeau, the main character answers questions from fans on behalf of the cult author Jerome David Salinger.

The audience will also be able to see ‘Final Report’ (Zárójelentés) in the Gala programme, a new film by the famous Hungarian director István Szabó, who opened the 46th edition of the International Film Festival three years ago. His film is a drama about a cardiologist who retires and returns to his home village to work as a general practitioner. The French comedy ‘How to be a Good Wife’, directed by Martin Provost, is about a married couple who run a housekeeping school during the transformation of society and protests throughout France, in May 1968. The film ‘It Snows in Benidorm’ (Nieva en Benidorm) by Spanish director Isabel Coixet, is about the hero Peter, who, after retiring early, decides to visit his brother in Benidorm, only to discover that he has disappeared. French director Nicole Garcia directed and wrote the film ‘Lovers’ (Amants) about a passionate couple who are separated by force of circumstances, when their paths cross again three years later on an island in the Indian Ocean. The film ‘Hope’ (Håp) by Norwegian director Maria Sødahl is about the relationship between two artists and emotional partners, Thomas and Anja, which is put to the test after Anja gets a life-threatening diagnosis. The Japanese film ‘Wife of a Spy’ by Kiyoshi Kurosawa deals with the events before the outbreak of World War II and the fate of the local merchant Yūsaku.     

We remind you that this year's Gala selection will include five films that recently won Oscars: Chloé Zhao's ’Nomadland’, which won Best Picture, Directing and Actress in a Leading Role Oscars (Frances McDormand), Florian Zeller's ’The Father’, winner in the categories of  Actor in a Leading Role (Anthony Hopkins) and Adapted Screenplay (Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton), ’Promising Young Woman’ whose director and screenwriter Emerald Fennell won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, ’Sound of Metal’ with awards for Best Film Editing and Sound, as well as the film ’Minari’ by Lee Isaac Chung, which won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Youn Yuh-jung).

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: