Al Jazeera’s documentary film festival ends in Sarajevo

By Lejla Biogradlija

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (AA) – The international Al Jazeera Balkans Documentary Film Festival wrapped up Tuesday with an award ceremony in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.

The award ceremony in Cinema City mutliplex saw the attendance of many documentary producers and directors from the Balkans and Europe.

Anadolu Agency was the global communication partner of the event.

The festival featured 15 documentaries on humanitarian values and social issues.

Karin Hayes from the U.S., Ingrid Falck from the U.K., Montaser Marai from Qatar, Robert Tomic Zuber from Croatia and Zoran Galic from Bosnia and Herzegovina were at the jury committee.

“Why Slavery? A Woman Captured” — a documentary by the Hungarian director Bernadett Tuza Ritter — shared the AJB Main Award with “Of Fathers and Sons” — a German-Syrian-Lebanese joint production directed by Talal Derki.

Serbian director Aleksandar Reljic’s “Grandson” claimed the AJB Program award, while “The Russian Job” by Czech director Petr Horky was honored with AJB Jury’s Special Award.

“A Feat of Perseverance” — a documentary by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Nerma Emric — won the AJB Audience Award.

In his address to the award ceremony, Ahmed Mahfouz Nouh, Al Jazeera Documentary Channel Director, said the the first-ever Sarajevo festival “deserves to grow”.

“I strongly believe in the power of picture and visuality. There's no place they can't reach. Such festivals also contribute to their circulation,” Nouh said.

The award ceremony closed with the screening of French production “Arkan’s Legacy: The Serbian Mafia”.