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AJB DOC 2021

The fourth edition of AJB DOC is ready to get under way

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- The Al Jazeera Balkans Documentary Film Festival, dedicated to TV documentaries, will take place from 10-14 September both on location in Sarajevo and online

The fourth edition of AJB DOC is ready to get under way
Faith and Branko by Catherine Harte

The AJB DOC Film Festival, organised by broadcaster Al Jazeera Balkans in cooperation with the Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) and the Al Jazeera Media Institute, is about to kick off for the fourth time. This year, the festival takes place between 10 and 14 September, both physically on location in Sarajevo (at the Cineplexx movie theatre) and online, at online.ajbdoc.ba. The proclaimed objective of the festival is to promote auteurs and documentaries addressing social phenomena, focusing particularly on universal human values such as courage, truth, justice, tolerance and cosmopolitanism.

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Eleven titles adapted for TV broadcasting will be screened in competition, while a further three films will play in the AJB Screening programme. Additionally, the out-of-competition Last Minute Cinema programme will air five titles that have already been shown at renowned European and international documentary film festivals. Any film selected for the AJB DOC Film Festival programme may be considered for an acquisition agreement with Al Jazeera Balkans and a screening on the AJB television channel.

Complementing the film programme, a three-day training entitled “Smartphone Documentary Film Production” will be held by the Bosnian Pulitzer Award-winning journalist and photographer Damir Šagolj.

Four short films made at last year's edition of the training will be screened in the newly established Smart Doc section: Zejneb Musić's Choosing Life, Jasenko Pašić's To Freedom, Hana Sokolović's He and I Are Comrades (all from Bosnia) and Paraskevi Karageorgu's From Dermantsi to Paris (Bulgaria). 

"I think it was a revelation for all of us that great films of TV quality can be made with mobile phones," says Festival Director Edhem Fočo. "I hope that we will have this selection in our future editions as well and that it will be successful."

"Another novelty, which is yet to be announced in detail, is the Industry section, aiming to provide 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," adds Fočo. 

The Competition titles include Catherine Harte’s Faith and Branko, Francesco Montagner’s Brotherhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Francesco Montagner
film profile
]
, Sam Soko’s Softie, Damir Markovina’s Wait for Me [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, Magnus Gertten’s Only the Devil Lives Without Hope [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Magnus Gertten
film profile
]
, Stefan Eberlein’s The El-Masri Case and Garin Hovannisian’s I Am Not Alone [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. AJB Screening will showcase three regional documentaries: A Standing Man by Dragan Stanimirović and Almir Berkovac, Last Cow in the Village by Kenan Kulenović, and Scenes from the Life of BIH Film by Mustafa Mustafić. Finally, Last Minute Cinema will air well-known titles such as Juliana Fanjul’s Radio Silence [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juliana Fanjul
film profile
]
, Alexander Nanau’s Collective [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Carmen Losman’s Oeconomia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carmen Losmann
film profile
]
, Vitaly Mansky’s Gorbachev. Heaven [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, and My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan by Phil Grabsky and Sidhat Sharifi.

All of the works screened will be competing for the Audience Award, while the competition titles will be considered for the AJB DOC Main Award and the AJB Program Award. The jury consists of producer Jamal Dallali, filmmaker-screenwriter-editor Una Gunjak, and festival programmer and Dokufest artistic director Veton Nurkollari.

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