Purivatra: It was a great achievement to organize the SFF during the pandemic

Purivatra: It was a great achievement to organize the SFF during the pandemic

SARAJEVO, August 20 (FENA) – Director of the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) Mirsad Purivatra summed up today in an interview with FENA this year’s 27th festival edition, which was held in the context of numerous epidemiological measures introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

He compared this year’s Festival to the one held in 2019, before the pandemic, noting that the 25th edition was the best and most successful so far in terms of films, visitors and guests, but the two festival editions were held in completely different circumstances.

But from the aspect of a pandemic when there were no events and opportunities to gather people for almost 20 months, this Festival will be remembered as a great achievement of the SFF team and all those who worked around the Festival such as media representatives, organizers, suppliers and the tourism community.

“Organizing the festival during a pandemic is limited by very restrictive measures, which was a huge task. That was the success of the Festival. I think that we managed to do everything in these eight days without any problems when it comes to increasing the number of those infected or regulating visits to cinemas.

We have seen smiling people looking forward to films, meetings, encounters, sitting in cafes, and live conversations in general. That is why it is difficult to compare 2019 and 2021, but those two editions meant the greatest possible success not only in terms of a film festival but also from a standpoint of a cultural and social event,” Purivatra pointed out.

The roster of films this year was somewhat smaller, bearing in mind that the production was smaller than it was in 2019, but the quality of the films was very good because there were fantastic films in the competition program according to the jury and the audience, eight of which were directed by women.

“We could see new energy, new aesthetics, new stories. The festival was also visited by big world names such as director Wim Wenders, actor Michel Franco, but also a global star such as Bono Vox,” says Purivatra.

This year, awards were also presented for the best TV series where the best regional authors, actors and actresses and new stars were present, and the audience watched episodes of the series that are yet to be shown on TV screens or online platforms.

“These were great days in terms of the level of energy and interest of people to come here and the interest of the audience to see the films. We planned the arrival of 450 guests, but 900 of them came, which is an indicator that people wanted to come to SFF despite the pandemic, they want to travel and meet each other,” concluded Purivatra.