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SARAJEVO 2019 CineLink Industry Days

Sarajevo’s Avant Premiere Lab attempts to find models to make cinema sustainable

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- Offering sneak previews of European films and regional drama series, the Avant Premiere section of CineLink also addressed pressing issues in film exhibition and distribution

Sarajevo’s Avant Premiere Lab attempts to find models to make cinema sustainable
Black Sun 2, one of the new series being previewed in the Avant Premiere Gala section

The Sarajevo Film Festival’s Avant Premiere section, launched in 2014 with the intention of strengthening the regional cinema network, improving placements, and promoting and distributing films from the region, retains its three sections for its sixth edition: Gala, Trailers and Lab.

The Avant Premiere Gala, in which new, highly anticipated films and TV series are screened, this year focused exclusively on TV drama series from the region scheduled to air in the autumn. Festival-goers got a preview of three Serbian crime series: The Group by production company Vision Team; Black Sun 2, a murder mystery set in the 1930s, directed by Dragan Bjelogrlić and produced by Cobra Film and United Media; and in co-production with the UK, Besa, a series by director Dušan Lazarević and production company Adrenalin. Slovenian murder-mystery The Lake, by Klemen Dvornik and Matevž Luzar and production company RTV Slovenija, was adapted from Tadej Golob’s Scandi-inspired bestseller of the same name. And finally, the Macedonian series The Family Markovski was directed by Darijan Pejovski and produced by Art Proekt Lab Skopje.

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The section dedicated to Balkan distributors, Avant Premiere Trailers, showcased 24 narrative films, including animated ones, represented in the region by Serbian companies Art Vista (four Serbian productions, including Miloš Avramović’s South Wind 2) and MCF Megacom Film (Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and others), Croatia’s 2i Film (the Croatian Go, Went, Gone by Ljubo Zdjelarević and others) and Kino Mediteran (festival hits such as Syllas TzoumerkasThe Miracle of the Sargasso Sea [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), and Bosnia’s Una Film/Taramount Film (Ajvar [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ana Maria Rossi
film profile
]
by Ana Maria Rossi and others) and Obala Art Centar (the SFF title Sarajevo Mon Amour).

The Avant Premiere Lab, an educational programme founded to address the most pressing issues in film exhibition and distribution, this year focused on finding models to make cinema sustainable. Focusing on the case study of Cinema Elvire Popesco, Romania, the programmer Ioana Dragomirescu highlighted the importance of partnerships as a means of building a more diverse and attractive programming and developing an audience for independent cinema venues which often lack sufficient resources, in her talk “Audience Development Through Partnership”.

With “Alternative Business Models Made to be Sustainable”, Ramiro Ledo Cordeiro took the example of NUMAX cooperative cinema in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, which, in addition to being a cinema, works as a bookshop, design and audiovisual communication lab and distributor, to present a way for arthouse cinemas to involve the community, transforming them into sustainable businesses where arthouse films can thrive.

Finally, Olimpia Pont Cháfer presented the “European Arthouse Cinema Day”, the first international initiative to promote European films and the cinemagoing experience. The fourth edition of the event, organised by CICAE (the International Confederation of Art Cinemas) in partnership with Europa Cinemas, will take place on 13 October 2019. “We want to promote the image of European film, especially to young audiences,” said Pont Cháfer.

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