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Friday, 17 August, 2001, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Sarajevo film festival opens
Sarajevo was badly damaged by the 1992-1995 war
The seventh Sarajevo Film Festival has opened with an open-air screening of an award-winning film about the Bosnian war.

No Man's Land, written and directed by Danis Tanovic, won the prize for Best Original Screenplay at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

On Thursday Tanovic was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French ministry of culture for his achievements in art and literature.

The festival features a special programme of children's films, and Bosnian youngsters will be offered transport into the capital so they can see the movies.


The festival will also show the mainstream hits Pearl Harbor and The Mummy Returns in a week-long programme.

British actress Lena Headey, French designer Agnès B and the Croatian writer Miljenko Jergovic will award a festival citation for the best feature film.

Stephen Frears, the British director of High Fidelity, will be a guest of the festival.

Tanovic's film No Man's Land is a satire about Bosnia's bloody 1992-95 war.

It tells the story of two soldiers, one a Serb, the other a Muslim, who meet by mistake in the no man's land between trenches.


Tanovic, who now lives in France, made the film with French and Italian money.

The Bosnian premiere at the opening of the Sarajevo Film Festival will be a home-coming for the director and a celebration for the city, and tickets for the screening sold out within hours.

The director was born in 1969 in Zenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina and studied at the Theater Academy in Sarajevo from 1989 to 1993.

During the first two years of the Bosnian war, Tanovic was responsible for the army archive of Bosnia-Herzegovina and made 300 hours of documentary material.

He has previously received awards for his films and documentaries in Dublin, Ireland, Fribourg, Germany and in Auxerre and Paris in France.

See also:

24 Apr 01 | Europe
Ruling redraws Sarajevo map
16 Apr 01 | Europe
Sarajevo's tunnel of hope
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