Sarajevo, August 8, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
Sarajevo film festival (SFF) established a new award called “Honorary Heart of Sarajevo – Lifetime Achievement Award” and the first Laureate is famous actor Robert De Niro.
De Niro will come on the opening ceremony of SFF in Sarajevo to receive the award personally. This actor, director and producer, two-time Academy Award winner, five-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner, will receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo at August 12, when 22. SFF will be opened in Bosnia and Herzegovina capital.
“We are honored to have Robert De Niro as the first recipient of the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo – Lifetime Achievement Award. Ever since we met ten years ago at the Tribeca Film Festival, we were hopeful that Robert De Niro would be able to come to Sarajevo. That day has come and as a film professional and a great lover of film, I am sure that when I say this, I am speaking for both the audience and film professionals too – we are truly excited!”, said SFF director and founder, Mirsad Purivatra.
In honor of its 40th Anniversary, De Niro will present Martin Scorsese’s restored “Taxi Driver,” in which he starred. The film will be screened as part of the prestigious Open Air Program, the festival’s largest screening venue, where De Niro will also receive the award in front of an audience of 3,000 film enthusiasts.
The SFF management announced that it is planned that De Niro, during his visit to Sarajevo, will hold a talk about his career for the festival audience and press at the Festival’s flagship National Theatre in Sarajevo moderated by Mike Goodridge, former journalist and CEO of London-based Protagonist Pictures who also programs the Kinescope section of the festival.
De Niro is currently in post-production on “The Comedian” with director Taylor Hackford and HBO’s “Wizard of Lies”, in which he is starring as Bernie Madoff and is executive producer. He will next be seen in The Weinstein Company’s boxing film “Hands of Stone” and Grindhouse Entertainment’s “Bus 657.”
Previous recipients of the Sarajevo Film Festival’s Heart of Sarajevo Award include Angelina Jolie, Benicio Del Toro, Gael Garcia Bernal, Steve Buscemi and acclaimed international award-winning directors Atom Egoyan, Jafar Panahi, Mike Leigh, Béla Tarr and Danis Tanović, amongst others. De Niro is the first to receive an Honorary award with this name.
The heart of Sarajevo Award was designed by French designer and filmmaker agnès b who is also a patron of the festival.
SFF organizators expect that this issue of the Festival will be the best ever and that a large number of movie lovers will have the opportunity to find something for themselves in the eight days of this manifestation.