SARAJEVO, September 2 (FENA) – The fourth edition of the Al Jazeera Balkans International Documentary Film Festival (AJB DOC) will be held in an online format in Sarajevo from 10 to 14 September.
Challenge, as the guiding theme of the Fourth AJB DOC Film Festival, which is symbolically presented on all visual materials, reflects both the challenges the society has been facing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenges faced by individuals around the world, whether they were self-imposed or put before them by society.
The AJB DOC Film Festival managed to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, by combining new solutions with previously established norms. Carefully selected documentaries from the region and the rest of the world are returning to the big screen at the fourth edition of AJB DOC. The festival program will also be available on the digital platform of the official festival website ajbdoc.ba. All films can be viewed for free and without registration.
“We are glad that AJB DOC has become a festival which is traditionally held in September. We have faced many challenges, especially in the pandemic. But we have used them as an opportunity to make the festival more accessible to people by allowing them to watch the films online, with one click and for free. I hope that the fourth edition will bring us new success. We are preparing more beautiful surprises in the years to come”, said Tarik Đođić, director of Al Jazeera Balkans.
Edhem Fočo, director of the AJB DOC Film Festival, announced two novelties in this year’s edition.
This year we have a new selection called SMART DOC, in which we will show films made by the participants of our last year’s training in Mobile Phone Documentary Filmmaking. I think it was a revelation for all of us that great films of TV-quality can be made with mobile phones. I hope that we will have this selection in our future editions and that it will be successful. Another novelty, which is yet to be announced in detail, is Industry – financial support for the production of new documentary films. I hope that this will raise AJB DOC to a new level and that in this way we will become the most important documentary film festival in the region in the next few years “, said Fočo.
The organizers say that out of almost 300 submissions, 23 documentaries have been selected to be screened as a part of the AJB DOC Film Festival program. There will be 8 regional premieres, 5 BiH premieres, 6 world premieres, and three special screenings.
“Although we expected the number of submissions to be much lower due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no difference in the number as compared to the previous editions of the festival. We have selected 11 films for the Competition Programme, eight of which will have their regional premieres, two films will have their national premieres and one film will have its world premiere “, said the programmer Đani Hasečić.
The AJB Screening selection offers three regional productions – three films by authors of different generations.
“As a part of this selection, we will present the Last Cow in the Village, a debut film by a young director Kenan Kulenović; A Standing Man, a film made by Dragan Stanimirović in collaboration with Almir Berkovac and Scenes From the Life of BiH Film, a film by Mustafa Mustafić, which is specific in that it deals with the history of cinematography in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from its beginnings to the present day. A small shortcoming of this year’s selection is that all three films come from BiH. However, next year marks the 75th anniversary of BiH cinematography and this is our small contribution to that jubilee which, I am afraid, will go quite unnoticed.
Furthermore, the content of Mustafić’s film will show us the importance of film, both documentary and feature, in the building of general culture and our identity”, noted Sead Kreševljaković, a member of the program committee.
Last Minute Cinema, an out-of-competition program that gives the audience an opportunity to watch films in their original, longer form, brings five films: Radio Silence, Collective, My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan, Oeconomia and Gorbachev.Heaven.
“This year we have an excellent selection of films which reexamine modern-day society, the functioning of the system, and generally accepted and established truths, through protagonists who challenge us. But, at the same time they are educating us about our surroundings that we are sometimes completely oblivious of”, says Lejla Dedić, one of the programmers.
AJB DOC Film Festival will present three awards. The international professional jury comprising an award-winning film producer Jamel Dallali, writer, director and editor Una Gunjak and artistic director of DokuFest Veton Nurkollari will choose the best film from the Competition Programme to be awarded the “AJB DOC Main Award”.
All films from the Competition Programme also compete for the “AJB Program Award”, awarded by the Al Jazeera Balkans Programme Department Jury.
All films screened at the AJB DOC festival will also compete for the “Audience Award”.
This year’s edition of the AJB DOC Film Festival is held under the auspices of BH Telecom and in partnership with Samsung, announced the AJB DOC Film Festival.