Sarajevo launches Regional Cooperation Forum

By Pavlina Jeleva

    The 16th Sarajevo Film Festival launched its Regional Forum on the future of the film industry organized with the support of the UNESCO Venice office (www.unesco.org/en/venice), the Regional Cooperation Council (www.rcc.int), the Royal Norwegian Embassy (www.norveska.ba) and the British Council (www.britishcouncil.org/bih.htm) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Focused on the potential of the 150 million inhabitants market, the Regional Forum initiative is based on the Council of Europe's (www.coe.int) recommendations on national film policies and the diversity of cultural expressions and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

    Conceived and realized as an important cross point meeting of policy makers, national film bodies, producers, distributors, exhibitors and TV commissioning editors from around the world, the Regional Forum quickly became the key regional platform for film professionals from Central/Southeast Europe representing the countries between Turkey and Austria.

    Searching a successful model for the creation of a regional co-production fund, underlining the role of the national film commissions in the production services area, and analyzing the circulation of European films in the region and the art-house screening in the digital era are the main discussion topics of the Forum.

    The Sarajevo Film festival director Mirsad Purivatra calls the Regional Forum "phase 4" of the 16-years evolution of the event with an audience of over 100,000 viewers.

    The ambition of the organizers is that the next Sarajevo Regional Forum in 2011 continues to strongly contribute to the "improvement of the film business quality."