3rd Moveast International Film Festival Pécs
Hungary, September 30 - October 7 2007
The Moveast Film Festival, in the historical southern Hungarian town of Pécs, is now in its third year and is the first time FIPRESCI have been represented there. That a critics jury (also the first such FIPRESCI involvement in Hungary) is already sitting alongside the main competition jury underlines that Moveast quietly has big ambitions. Pécs, which proudly proclaims itself as being ‘a city without borders’, is therefore suitable for a program of films which are impartial in their selection.
This year’s main competition program consisted of some 37 films, surely an exhaustive amount in which to pick a winner from in a short space of time. Fortunately, FIPRESCI foresaw this situation and the critics competition was cut to 12 films, one from each of the countries represented in the festival, also based on films from first time and young directors. As a consequence, it meant that the films varied in quality but, nonetheless, it did at least mean that it was a fair and democratic system for the countries involved.
Though the FIPRESCI jury considered some elements of certain films in competition to have individual and stylistic expressions that were very commendable, in the end it came down to two films that have already had plenty of exposure in festivals. We chose Grbavica by director Jasmila Zbanic (photos on this page) as our winner over 12:08 East of Bucharest because we felt it showed an accomplishment in its aims of portraying the lives of people who are still bearing the domestic, psychological and emotional scars of the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s. In this case, it is a snapshot of the life of a Bosniak single mother, Esma, and her highly dependent 12-year-old daughter, Sara, living in the Grbavica quarter of present day Sarajevo while still being tied to a not too distant past which evokes the treatment of Bosniak women by Serbian troops.
Pécs, which is looking forward to sharing the title of European Capital of Culture in 2010, is hoping to have a film festival to justify its place in the cultural spotlight before, during and after this event in what is a friendly and proud city. (Steven Yates)