Robert De Niro to open Sarajevo Film Festival
SARAJEVOThe Sarajevo Film Festival will honor two-time Oscar-winning U.S. actor and producer Robert De Niro with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to film on its opening night on Aug. 12.
“We are honored to have Robert De Niro as the first recipient of the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo – Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Mirsad Purivatra, the director of the Sarajevo Film Festival. “Ever since we met 10 years ago at the Tribeca Film Festival, we were hopeful that Robert De Niro would be able to come to Sarajevo. That day has come and as a film professional and a great lover of film, I am sure that when I say this, I am speaking for both the audience and film professionals too – we are truly excited!”
De Niro will present Martin Scorsese’s digitally restored movie “Taxi Driver” in which he starred, in honor of its 40th anniversary, the statement said.
The film will be screened as part of the prestigious Open Air Program, the festival’s largest screening venue, where De Niro will also receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo in front of an audience of 3,000 film enthusiasts.
“Taxi Driver” is regularly cited by critics, film directors, and audiences alike as one of the greatest films of all time.
The acclaimed actor will also hold a talk about his career “In Conversation” for the festival audience and press at the festival’s flagship National Theater in Sarajevo.
Previous recipients of the Sarajevo Film Festival’s Heart of Sarajevo Award include Angelina Jolie, Benicio Del Toro, Gael Garcia Bernal, Steve Buscemi and acclaimed international award-winning directors Atom Egoyan, Jafar Panahi, Mike Leigh, Béla Tarr and Danis Tanovic, among others.
British film director Stephen Frears, who will be awarded for extraordinary contributions to the art of film, will present his latest film “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
Until Aug. 20, the Sarajevo Film Festival, founded as an act of defiance toward the end of the 1992-95 siege during the Bosnian war, is the leading film festival in the region.
The event will show 222 films from 61 countries to an audience of about 100,000.
Shorts, Documentaries, In Focus, Kinoscope, Summer Screen, Children’s Program, Avant Premieres, Dealing with the Past, Human Rights Day are some of the sections in the festival.
An international jury will be chaired by Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman.