SARAJEVO – The 25th Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) kicked off in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 16 August. As the official partner of Dealing with the Past project within SFF, RYCO gathered young people from the Western Balkans as a follow-up activity of a special project EYOF- YOUNG PR Team which took place earlier this year. The activity within SFF gathered the same group of young people but also invited some new participants. The project “In Youth Eyes” is a cooperation of RYCO, French Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Social Innovation Incubator MUNJA.
Upon their arrival in Sarajevo, the team had a brief preparatory meeting held at the RYCO Local Branch Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they discussed concrete tasks during the festival. RYCO Head of the Local Branch Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina Ms Berina Bukva introduced the new participants to the project and presented what has been done in February, but also emphasized the opportunities of their learning, networking and creative engagement on SFF through RYCO lens and dealing with the past topics.
The youth team was attending movie projections within Dealing with the Past corner, participated in panel discussions with filmmakers, but also made a short video of their experience through youth eyes and their perception of history, narratives, youth activism, Sarajevo, film festival, dialogue and networking.
Following the regular activities with the youth group at SFF, RYCO participated in 11th Human Rights Day within the festival. Under the auspices of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the festival presented its eleventh consecutive Human Rights Day program, including screening on 19 August of Rehad Desai’s Everything Must Fall. It was followed by a panel discussion on the topic “The young shall inherit the world – an idea that does not want to be just a myth”.
RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša, who also participated in the discussion, said that the youth generation might be seen as impatient. “Articulation of sense of frustration is different, sends a strong message that young people should make the change in their society,” he pointed out.
“It is the responsibility and obligation of our generation to remember the time when we were asking for rights and power,” Mr Blanuša added and underlined that the accumulated sense of social exclusion has a potential to transform into violence in the Western Balkans.
According to the current cooperation, there is a joint will and plan to sign a general Memorandum of Understanding between RYCO and SFF so that the cooperation could be enhanced in the upcoming period, as there is a creative way for young people to connect, be mobile and to have a better dialogue and region.
The joint project is a synergy of important and valuable partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina which aims to make opportunities for young people from the Western Balkans to be mobile, creative and involved as they are engines for a better region and intercultural community.
Sarajevo Film Festival is the leading film festival in the region, recognized by both film professionals and the wider audience. The festival is an international film festival with a special focus on the region of South-East Europe shining an international spotlight on films, talent and future projects from the region. During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1995, Obala Art Centar initiated the Sarajevo Film Festival with the aim to help to reconstruct civil society and retain the cosmopolitan spirit of the city.