Cultural program in BiH
August 2000

Zelenkovac Jazz festival

For the second time the Zelenkovac Jazz & Music festival was organized in the mountains near Mrkonic Grad. Two beautifull days with fantastic music and a great audience. Around 2000 people saw groups like Hazari (Belgrade), Sarajevo Drum Orchestra (more about them in one of the upcomming newsletters), Don Guido and the Missionairies (from Sarajevo), Troitsa (from Belorussia), Edo Bosnic and band (Sarajevo), Vasil Hadzimanov (Belgrade, Macedonia) and some others of which I forgot the names.
Why did I do this? At first we arrived too late due to a visa problem. We have solved this by taking another border and tested the slavic brotherhood. That worked. I also forgot a little because in the mountains on this great place with such a beautifull music and people, the alcohol is used quite some and it affects the brains (on a nice way).
With support of SFOR, ARC, OSCE, CARE and others this festival was organised by lovers of music and exotic places. This input was translated to the complete atmosphere of the festival which made it as great as it was.
Next year, in the first weekend of august the festival is again on the agande and we hope that even more people will be able to join this very special gathering, a mix of everything.
More info about Zelenkovac

Sarajevo Film Festival

The month August and many people from OBALA ART CENTER brought another SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL. Sixth in a row. Bigger than before and a lot better than before. Things concerning the SFF have grown so big that the Festival is beginning to get international importance. And, without a doubt, the status of the most important film festival in the South (c) East Europe. According to the SFF direction: "...Questions why and who are we making this festival for, are finally getting their answers this year. For the first time, Sarajevo is clearly showing the symptoms of a pre-festival fever, the condition known to the citizens of numerous cities around the world, cities familiar with great sport and cultural events. That alone makes our obligations toward the public more serious than they were six years ago, when we first started the festival. Now we must respond to our viewer's great expectations. I believe that we'll have the best program, the most interesting guests, and the greatest number of viewers for the largest number of films (home and foreign) so far." Some doubts mentioned before the beginning of the festival got positive confirmation during nine days of the SFF. This year's festival had projections of 115 films from 35 countries, divided in ten programs and played in five Sarajevo cinemas.
In order: Panorama, New Stream, Regional program, Open Cinema, Special program, Children program, TV festival, 'Tribute to' program, and, especially interesting programs Insert and Bosnia. The first was a selection of low(c)budget video work of Bosnian authors and the second was a selection of films made by Bosnian authors, regardless of their current place of residence. This is very interesting since, last year, there were no films from the new BH production. There was a very simple and poor reason for that. In the year before the 5th SFF there were no films made by Bosnian authors. Fortunately, the situation today is different. That makes the two programs even more important. The 'Tribute to' program had an addition in the name of Steve Buscemi. The program dedicated to the hero of the new independent US film was a personally selected retrospective of Buscemi films, starting with his first film - Parting Glances, up to the newly made Animal Factory which had its first European opening right here, in the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Rewards: in Panorama program the awards went to films "Topsy Turvy" by Mike Leigh, the cult British, and "Yi-Yi" by a Taiwanese Edward Yang. International FIPRESCI jury decided that the best film in the New Stream program was "The Blooded" by German director Nicolas Widing Refn. Special award was given to Srdjan Vuletic for his film "Hop, Skip and Jump", from the Bosnia program. The Regional program award was given to a Polish film "Railway Junction" made by Urszula Urbaniak. Within the TV festival program, the first award went to TV Macedonia for a TV film "Multilevel", by Goran Trenchovski, and a special prize was given to a BH director, Semsudin Gegic, for his TV drama "Following the Footsteps of Shadows". In the Insert program, the best short films were: "The Secret of a Mobile Telephone" by Selimir Sokolovic and "Incarnation" by Demis Sinacevic. Just to mention (c) Sokolovic's video work was made by a VHR camera and edited by two VCRs. So much for talent and skills. The awards are supposed to make the working conditions for young directors a bit more humane. To bring thios award review to an end, let's say that, according to the public, the best film in the Open Cinema was "The Gladiator", by Ridley Scott.
According to the information announced after the festival, the visit statistics shows that the films were seen by 60.000 visitors, which is the greatest number of the SFF visitors so far. There were 160 guests from 20 countries and 230 reporters from BiH and abroad. This information sais it all. Inspite of the attempts of sometimes showing things in a different light, the SFF is a central cultural event in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And this fact alone makes hundreds of film fans impatiently wait for the next summer.
More information about the SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL here.

Futura 2000

SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL had not been finished and yet there was another festival beginning in Sarajevo the electronic music festival FUTURA 2000. The third in a row, it took place in Vaso Miskin Crni factory, on Saturday, August 26th. The gloomy space of the factory which is a part of the railway industry complex whose workers have not received salaries for months (years almost), was replaced by a sight of a dozen thousand electro (c) music fans enjoying the festival which is, according to the organizer, one of the biggest of the kind, in this part of Europe. This sort of thing has been happening to our Western neighbors in the 90s, so this electronic culture projected itself that night in FUTURA 2000. Somber factory halls were transformed that Saturday night into a techno floor,a house floor and a free style floor looking as if they had been built a long time ago specially for FUTURA. The techno floor, the house floor and the free style floor received locally and internationally known DJs. As well as thousands of those who wanted to hear them. And I mean thousands, literarly. A guest in FUTURA 2000 was Dr. Motte, a DJ from Berlin who started the LOVE PARADE festival about ten years ago. The festival today gathers millions of people. The only difference between similar things happening in the West and here in Sarajevo FUTURA 2000, was in the fact that the workers returned to Sarajevo factories a few days later unlike the abandonned factories in the West which remain available to subculture. The FUTURA 2000 fairy tale stops and Cinderella vanishes in early morning hours when the police arrive with a clear message:"It is enough." The festival is officially over while the hardcore visitors are moving towards the near by STAGE to an afterhour party.
Sarajevo AKCIJA, Munich SARAJEVO IS NEXT with a support from the German SHL, signed as the organizers of the festival, proved in the best way possible that it is possible to organize an internationally relevant event in the city that looks like a place on a way to the bottom. It is disappointing that Sarajevo still has no space available for the gathering of people who prefer subcultural way of thinking and acting. If FUTURA 2000 was the first step toward the initiative of finding such a space, then it was a great step. And even if the step lasted only one night, I am sure that for the most visitors it made a lot of sense. I hope it will have some effect. Just to note, what we said at the beginning of this newsletter, about the political and civil/cultural relation, is best seen through the fact that two days after FUTURA 2000 the workers of Vaso Miskin Crni factory started to strike because of the salaries they have not received for months.
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Beton 2000

A group of enthusiasts from Mostar, gathered around the Alternative institute, will organize a concert named BETON 2000 on September 9th. That day, in a sports hall Sjeverni logor you will be able to see the following bands: OBOJENI PROGRAM (Novi Sad/YU), THE BEAT FLEET (Split/HR), RAMBO AMADEUS (Herceg Novi/YU), MARA (Mostar/BiH), SPLATER PINK (Italy) and Mostar DJs: DJ Narcis JR, DJ Romeo, DJ Baraka... For 7 KM/DM that you will be kindly asked to pay in the entrance, Mostar organizers promise you a thing that will last till the following morning.
Although it has become usual to claim that Mostar is a cradle of the postwar depression, it seems that the activists from the Alternative institute are on the way of removing that "gloomy" Nick-name off Mostar. Something like this takes courage and good will but also needs support from you. After MOSTAR INTERCULTURAL FESTIVAL 2000 - Hercegovina alternative meetings, the Alternative institute continues its activity with BETON 2000 - proving that there is courage and will. The support depends on you. Aside from the concert we mentioned in the lines above, the Alternative institute has been behind the magazine named KOLAPS for some time. In the 'magazine for urban sleepers' (as it says on the cover), conceptually similar to a pioneer of that kind ALBUM, you can find literary, photo and graphic works of the young (and those who are not any more) from BiH and its surroundings. KOLAPS has 2 published issues so far.
Judging from all this, the Alternative institute has plenty of enthusiasm and desire to move on. Let us hope that there will be at least have as much of those with 'deep pockets' (read:money).
Alternatief Instituut contact