Awards and conclusion -14th BBB Short Film Festival

Awards and conclusion of the 14th Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival

Niksic, Montenegro


The 14th BBB Short Film Festival, held in Niksic, Montenegro, from the 11th to the 14th of October 2023, with the theme Edgetales, was successfully concluded! The short film Only The Devil Hates Water (North Macedonia), directed by Lidija Mojsovska, was awarded the BBB Best Film award (1000€)!

This year, 33 short films illuminated untold stories and diverse experiences from the Balkan region, shedding light on narratives often concealed and overlooked. The 33 filmmakers challenged our perspectives of the “edge”, prompting reflection and reflexivity on borders, limitations, and liminal spaces.

Our Jury, Ana Grgić (Croatia), film practitioner and scholar; Ivan Bakrač (Montenegro), film director; and Blerta Basholli (Kosovo), writer and director – selected award winners and special mentions, based on the dedication to this year’s theme: Edgetales, the craft, and unique aesthetic and social approach of the directors and their films.

The Jury distinguished the short film Only The Devil Hates Water, awarding it the ΒΒΒ Best Film award, for showing how easily gossip can turn into prejudice and prejudice into stigma, a process which can interfere in the beautiful love of friendship and neglect a child’s precarious domestic situation. Through an understated narrative and convincing performances of two young non-professional actors, the director and the scriptwriters bring our attention to a neglected and ever present issue in Balkan societies we don’t often acknowledge.

The BBB First Entry award (500€) went to the animated short film The Legend of Goldhorn (Slovenia), by Lea Vucko, for her courage to choose such a demanding medium, like animation, for her debut film, as well how she and her team created a novel and captivating universe based on the famous folktale.

Additionally, the Jury recognised exceptional directorial and aesthetic approaches in three short films: Sister directed by Dorentina Imeri (Kosovo); I you he/she we you they directed by Sevin Yaman (Turkey); Cinda Real (Slovenia) directed by Sara Božanić, granting them Special Mentions.

The participation of the audience by voting for their favorite short film has been this year again invaluable. The BBB Audience Award (300€) was chosen to be awarded to Dora (Montenegro), directed by Ana Culum.

The award-statues of the Festival were created by Solid 3D Printing and Scanning.

Beyond the Competition program, the BBB SFF showcased diverse screening sections: BBB Beyond, with international short films; BBB Focus: Italy in collaboration with Villamare Film Festival; and, for the first time in collaboration with the School of Film of the Aristotle University in Greece, the BBB & Co: young creators – fresh ideas screening section, with exceptional films created by the students of the School of Film.

You can find the full programme of the 14th Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival in the online catalog here.

In addition to the screening programme, the BBB SFF organised the 2-day BBB cine-forum titled Unveiling Balkan Cinema: past, present and future. The roundtable discussion Balkan Kaleidoscope: Gazes, Cultural Identities and Nuances Through Cinema, led by an incredible an experienced team of film practitioners and scholars who participated as speakers, provided us with a renewed approach towards understanding the formation of Balkan identity through the cinematic gaze, and how contemporary Balkan cinema continues to reflect and negotiate the representation of diverse and, at times, conflicting balkan identities, histories and narratives. The workshop led by the passionate and motivating PeaceLine ambassadors Giannis Ilkos and Christos Angelidis Dominant vs Edge Narratives: How national history is framed pushed us to reflect on the ways that preconceived notions and assumptions shape our understanding of history(-ies), and shared their experience with Peaceline.

Three masterclasses on filmmaking concluded this two day event on Balkan cinema(s), with our Jury member Ivan Bakrač sharing his directorial approaches in conversation with Ivan Bakrač: from short to feature film, Lazar Radić offered us his unique perspective in Visualising Stories: a journey into cinematography, and Vladimir Perović reminded us of the poetics of film and documentary in Words or Images? THAT is the question!

The 14th BBB SFF was made possible through a collaborative effort with Protos Film, a production company based in Niksic, Montenegro. We extend our sincere gratitude to our partners and supporters, such as, the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, the Film Center of Montenegro, the Greek Film Center, the Tourist Organisation and the Municipality of Niksic.

The 14th BBB SFF is coming to Athens!

Mark your calendars: our traveling festival will come January 12- 14 to Athens for the 14th BBB SFF – Edgetales, Athens Edition, at the Greek Film Archive Foundation, thus “twinning” the cities of Niksic and Athens!

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