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The power of film to interpret and
communicate our changing world

A conversation - 27th July, 5pm to 7pm,
Hotel Europe, Garden

Cinema is one of the most powerful mediums of communi-
cation of our time. This conversation will address the respon-
sibility of film and filmmakers to interpret and reflect our
changing world.

At a time in which freedom of communication and thought
are the essential driving force of revolution everywhere, with
political, military, media and fiscal accountability the
rallying cry … does film, both feature and documentary, have
its own important role to play in building a better future?

And at this crucial juncture, we ask if support and dialogue
through all forms of culture should be an imperative.

In conversation with

Khalid Abdalla (UK/Egypt) - Actor, Producer
Tamer El Said (Egypt) - Writer, Director, Producer
Aida Begić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) - Director, Scriptwriter
Olivia Hetreed (UK) - Screenwriter
Annemarie Jacir (Palestine) - Writer, Director
Ossama Bawardi (Palestine) - Producer
Hala Lotfy (Egypt) - Writer, Director
Faruk Šabanović (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Writer, Director

MODERATOR - Cat Villiers (UK ) - Producer
Play fullscreen

Aida Begic's documentary: Children

This film is a story about three schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina which work with different curricula (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian), and the acters are students, teachers and educational experts.

Film reveals how students respond to a question on the language which they speak, how do teachers speak about nationality of various writers and the differences between Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian language, and in particular, how are literary texts treated in class and how are they interpreted.

With the documentary approach and expert’s opinions, film de-masks models by which BH educational system works, focusing on the need for comprehensive educational reform.

This film is produced by Mediacentar Sarajevo, within the Initiative for Righteous Education in BH”, launched by Save the Children Norway, UNICEF and Open Society Fund in BH.
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Unutma beni Istanbul / Otel(o)

Istanbul memories in focus for six filmmakers

'I have no doubt that within the next few years, Turkish cinema will be the most important in Europe.' Aida Begic, director

Christoph Terhechte selects 10 best new filmmakers


Director: Aida Begic

Film: Snow (2008) 

Synopsis: In Bosnia, 1997, only six women, one old man, and a few children live in the war-torn village of Slavno. Their families have been killed - though their bodies were never found - the villagers have created a very special world, one in which the absent are still very much present. One day, two businessmen show up unexpectedly, demanding that the residents leave Slavno in return for money. But when a sudden storm traps them in town, it forces the outsiders to face something bigger than anticipated - the truth. 

Christoph Terhechte says: "Aida Begic was sixteen years old when the siege of Sarajevo, her hometown, began in 1992. The city was cut off from the outside world for nearly four years, hardly the typical way for a European teenager to grow up in the 1990s. Snow (Snijeg, 2008) is the young Bosnian director’s feature debut, which allowed her to address the trauma of experiencing violence in an incisive and unsentimental way. Cinema is actually capable of playing a unique role in revisiting the eternal question of how we live together in communities, our history becoming an essential form of sustenance. By avoiding the pitfalls of the history book and by taking the necessary artistic liberties, this sustenance can even become a true delicacy, as is the case with Snow."


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Rahima (23) and Nedim (14) are orphans of Bosnian war. They live in Sarajevo, a transitional society which has lost its moral compass, including in the way it treats children of the people who had been killed fighting for freedom of their city. After crime-prone adolescent years, Rahima has found comfort in Islam and she hopes her brother will follow in her footsteps. Their life of bare survival becomes even more difficult after Nedim gets into a fistfight with the son of a local strongman and breaks his expensive mobile phone. This will trigger a chain of events leading Rahima to the discovery that her brother leads a double life...
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