The Sarajevo Film Festival has modified its scheduled activities on Wednesday after the Bosnia and Herzegovina government declared it to be a “Day of Mourning” following three murders committed in Gradačac on Friday.
The perpetrator, a bodybuilder, reportedly livestreamed the murder of his first victim, his former wife, on Instagram. He then killed a man and his son, and injured a further three people, before committing suicide.
The festival has posted a message on its website stating: “Solidarity with all victims of violence against women!”
In a statement, the festival said: “We hereby inform you that the festival will focus exclusively on key activities – film screenings, workshops, lectures, and presentations [on Wednesday]. Out of respect for the victims, there will be no social events organized by the Sarajevo Film Festival on this day, including the absence of red carpet coverage and the passing of guests without ceremonial announcements, statements, or photography.”
There will also be changes to the CineLink Industry Days program. The Industry Drink hosted by Film Center Slovenia has been canceled, and the Talents Party has been rescheduled to Thursday.
The festival has added a panel to its program on Wednesday titled “Femicide in Film, Television and New Media,” which will feature directors Aida Begić, Vanja Juranić, Kumjana Novakova and Ademir Kenović, and actor Nadine Mičić.
Croatian director Vanja Juranić dedicated the festival screening of her film “Only When I Laugh” to the victims in Gradačac. “This film is a universal story about a woman trapped in a patriarchal environment. Despite being a victim, she is active and tries to change the situation, as happened in reality in Gradačac, and that’s why we want to dedicate this screening to the victims of this great tragedy,” Juranić said at the screening.