The competition programme of FEST includes films that will have their world premiere in the main programme (the Competition) of the upcoming 73rd Berlinale: ‘The Survival of Kindness’ by Rolf de Heer from Australia and ‘Totem’ by Lila Avilés from Mexico. In the race for the Belgrade Victor will be ‘Father & Soldier’ (Tirailleurs) by the French filmmaker Mathieu Vadepied with Omar Sy in the lead role, ‘Luxembourg, Luxembourg’ by Antoni Lukich from Ukraine, the French-Belgian-Moroccan co-production ‘The Damned Don't Cry’ (Les damnés ne pleurent pas) by Fyzal Boulifa and ‘World War III’ (Jang-e jahani sevom) by the Iranian director Houman Seyyedi.
Serbia will be represented by Nina Ognjanović's film, ‘Where the Road Leads’ (Ovuda će proći put), which had its world premiere at the 29th Slamdance Festival in Park City, where it won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature as well as an Honorable Mention from the Grand Jury. The focus of the film is an unexpected visit that will fundamentally change the life of an isolated village in Serbia. The leading roles are played by Jana Bjelica, Zatan Vidović, Svetozar Cvetković and Pavle Čemerkić.
The competition programme also includes three minority Serbian co-productions - the debut feature films: ‘Traces’ (Tragovi) by Dubravka Turić, ‘Wake Me’ (Zbudi me) by Marko Šantić and ‘Snow and the Bear’ (Kar ve Ayı) by Selcen Ergun.
The film by Croatian director Dubravka Turić, ‘Traces’, co-produced by Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia, is an intimate story about an identity crisis. The lead roles are played by Marija Škaričić, Nikša Butijer and Lana Barić, the director and Danijel Žeželj wrote the script, and the cinematographer is Damjan Radovanović from Serbia. The film was co-produced by the Serbian film company ‘Corona film’.
Director Marko Šantić follows life after amnesia in ‘Wake Me’. In this Slovenian-Croatian-Serbian production, Šantić wrote the script with Sara Hribar and Goran Vojnović, and the lead roles are played by Jure Henigman, Timon Šturbej and Nataša Barbara Gračner. The Serbian co-producer is the film company ‘Living Pictures’.
Screenwriter and director Selcen Ergun made ‘Snow and the Bear’ about a young nurse working in an isolated, snowy Turkish village. The film was co-produced by Turkey, Germany and Serbia and had its world premiere in Toronto. Serbian film professionals also worked on it: production sound mixer Dejan Kragulj, boom operator Bojan Lung, VFX team and co-producers Miloš Ivanović and Andrijana Sofranić Šućur from the film company ‘Set Sail Films’.
The celebrated filmmaker from this region, Milčo Mančevski (‘Before the Rain’, ‘Dust’, ‘Mothers’, ‘Willow’), returns to FEST with the black comedy ‘Kaymak’, as he says ‘a cheeky story about the rich and the poor and all of us who go to great lengths to try to make the most out of life.’ Sara Klimoska, Kamka Točinovski and Aleksandar Mikić play the leading roles in this film, filmed in a co-production between North Macedonia, Denmark, the Netherlands and Croatia.
In the competition for the Belgrade Victor Award are the films ‘In Limbo’ (Mezhsezone) by Aleksandr Khant from Russia, ‘Return to Seoul’ (Retour à Séoul) by Cambodian director Davy Chou, the German-Austrian ‘The Fox’ (Der Fuchs) by Adrian Goiginger, ‘A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On’ (Një filxhan kafe dhe këpucë të reja veshur) by Albanian filmmaker Gentian Koçi, the Spanish-French festival hit ‘The Beasts’ by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, nominated for 17 Goya Awards (Spanish Oscars), as well as the film ‘Daliland’ starring the British Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (‘Gandhi’) in the role of Dali, Barbara Sukowa in the role of Gala, German actress, winner of prestigious film awards, including awards from Cannes and Venice. The film ‘Daliland’ is a co-production of the USA, Great Britain and France.
Apart from Best Film, the Main Competition Jury will also present the Belgrade Victor Award for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Debut.