Screenwriter and director Charlie Kaufman will receive the honorary Heart of Sarajevo award at the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival, in recognition of his contribution to the art of filmmaking.
The festival will also hold an open-air screening of 2002’s “Adaptation,” which was written by Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze.
Jovan Marjanović, the festival’s director, said: “We are thrilled that, after 15 years, we are welcoming back to the [festival] one of the most significant, world-renowned screenwriters and directors, and honor him for his work and dedication to the art of filmmaking. Charlie Kaufman is an extraordinary filmmaker whose films, though filled with biting humor, compel us to contemplate existential depths of the human experience.”
Kaufman was previously a guest of the festival in 2008 when he presented his directorial debut “Synecdoche, New York.”
Kaufman’s writing career began on the early ‘90s cult classic sitcom “Get a Life,” and he spent much the ‘90s working in comedy and sketch television before moving into film.
Kaufman’s groundbreaking screenplay for 1999’s “Being John Malkovich” earned him nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.
Kaufman’s 2001 screenplay “Human Nature” marked his first pairing with surrealist director Michel Gondry.
Kaufman then wrote the screenplays for “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” based on Chuck Barris’ autobiography, and the meta comedy “Adaptation,” about Kaufman’s own struggles adapting Susan Orlean’s novel “The Orchid Thief.” “Adaptation” earned him another Oscar nomination.
His second collaboration with Gondry, 2004’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” won Kaufman the Oscar for original screenplay.
In 2009, Kaufman won an Independent Spirit Award for directing his post-modern psychological drama “Synecdoche, New York.” He also received recognition for directing the 2015 stop-motion adult animated film “Anomalisa,” which was nominated at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Annie Awards.
His most recent feature is 2020’s surrealist thriller “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” based on the novel by Iain Reid, which he wrote and directed. 2020 also saw Kaufman publish his first novel, “Antkind.”
The 29th Sarajevo Film Festival will take place from Aug. 11 to 18.