Welcome to Sarajevo ... Film Festival, that is. The Bosnian capital just had its 10th annual fest, and interestingly enough, the Uniqa Insurance Viewers Award (or Audience Award) went to The Road to Guantánamo, which was directed by Michael Winterbottom, who also made Welcome to Sarajevo. The top award, or Heart of Sarajevo, went to Das Fräulein, the feature debut of Swiss-born Andrea Staka, who is of Bosnian-Croatian heritage. The film, about three female immigrants from different sections of former Yugoslavia -- one Serbian, one Croatian, one Bosnian -- now living in Zurich, also took top honors at this year's Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. Hopefully an American distributor will pick up this title so we can add to its accolades.

Winner of an Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award was Mike Leigh. The filmmaker was recognized for his "outstanding contribution to the art of cinema and the support to the development of the Sarajevo Film Festival." According to the festival's website, Leigh has been an important influence on the relationship between the British film industry and the cinema of the Balkan region, and on the success of the festival, which was founded in 1997, less than two years after its city had been devastated by war.
categories Awards, Cinematical