This year, the Serbian Film (Serbia and Friends) Competition Programme included selected films representing Serbian minority co-productions. The goal of this decision is to qualitatively increase the competitiveness in selecting films for the programme and raise awareness of the importance of minority co-productions that have successfully represented us for years at the most prestigious international festivals, and beyond. In this edition of FEST, within the national film programme, we will see Serbian co-productions with Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Montenegro and Croatia.
There will be 13 films in competition for one of the prizes: Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Debut and Jury Award. The best film will be awarded the Belgrade Victor, while the winners will be decided by the jury consisting of Wang Yao (President), Lazar Bodroža, Daniel Rafaelić, Milan Marić and Albert Wiederspiel.
Wang Yao (President of the Jury) is an assistant researcher at PhD studies at the China Film Culture Centre at the Beijing Film Academy. He is also a film critic, member of NETPAC (Regional Advisor for East Asia), member of FIPRESCI and curator of the Beijing and Shanghai International Film Festival. His field of work is history of film, eastern European cinema studies and studies of film festivals. His articles are published in Contemporary Cinema, the Journal of the Beijing Film Academy, the Close UP (UNATC) and other academic journals. He also writes reviews of films for many sites and other media, and his book Romanian New Wave is underway.
Lazar Bodroža is the laureate of the last year's Serbian Film Programme. Born in 1983, he graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. He is a co-founder of the Metaklinik studio, a member of the Kosmoplovci group, author of the book Law and director of the interactive film Uber Life. In 2011 Bodroža was selected by the PRINT magazine as one of the top 20 world artists under the age of 30. His second film, Ederlezi Rising, triumphed at the 46th FEST, where it won awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress in the national programme.
Milan Marić is a Serbian actor. He participated in this year's European Shooting Stars programme at Berlinale. He studied acting at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. He began acting at a very young age, starting in the Dadov Youth Theatre, and then worked in other professional theatres in Serbia, such as the Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Bitef Theatre and Atelier 2012. Marić acted in several successful short films and played supporting roles in films such as A Good Wife and Humidity. He gained international popularity in the title role in the film Dovlatov, which brought him the Chopard Talent Award at the Moscow Festival, which was also screened at FEST last year. He also appeared in the TV series Military Academy, Nemanjići and Morning Changes Everything.
Daniel Rafaelić has been the head of HAVC (The Croatian Audiovisual Center) since 2017. For many years he has been active on the Croatian film scene as a filmologist / archivist, publicist of film works, creator of festival programmes, film critic and theorist. He worked as a filmologist /archivist in the Croatian Film Archives of the Croatian State Archives from 2002 to 2010. From 2007 to 2009 he headed the department for conservation and restoration of film materials. He focuses on the research of domestic and international film history as well as the research of film archives in order to find forgotten and lost film records from Croatia.
Albert Wiederspiel is a longtime director of the Filmfest Hamburg Festival. Born in Warsaw in 1960, he grew up in Copenhagen. He studied film at the University of Sorbonne, and then gained his work experience at Twentieth Century Fox International. Later he became director of marketing for the German branch of Fox. He was marketing director at PolyGram Film Entertainment in Hamburg, as well as chief administrator at Tobis StudioCanal in Berlin. Albert is a member of the European Film Academy, and was honored with the Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2013.