PRESS RELEASE Bled (March 21, 2014) – Between June 17th and June 21st, 2014, the first international engaged film festival will take place in Bled, Slovenia. The Bled Film Festival will be initiated under the presidency of Rade Šerbedžija. In addition to screenings of global and European film productions, the festival will offer visitors the opportunity to reflect on the importance of water and help find solutions geared towards preserving water resources. The press conference for the first edition of the Bled Film Festival was presented at the Hotel Golf in Bled by: Rade Šerbedžija, BFF Board President; Branko Djurić – Djuro, BFF Director; as well as the Board Members: actress Tanja Ribič; actor Nikola Kojo; and founders, Marko Gajić and Danijel Utješanović, Business Manager and Executive Director, respectively. In addition, American actor Armand Assante will join British actress Vanessa Redgrave as BFF Board Members. In addition to promoting the latest global and regional films, the common theme of the festival will be promoting important environmental issues with an emphasis on water. "The Bled Film Festival strives to use the power of moving images in order to create a better world," said Rade Šerbedžija, BFF President of the Board. "By launching a festival likes this by Bled Lake - one of the most beautiful places on earth - we would like to become a part of the global environmental movement to save our planet. We are witnesses to catastrophic wars that are destroying this world using chemical warfare agents. We are also witnesses to unscrupulous global corporations who are polluting the air, sea, lakes and rivers with their factories, chemical gasses and industrial waste – all due to their desire to increase profits. For this reason, we do not wish our film festival to be just one of many, but rather, we want to start here, by the water, an important environmental campaign to clean our planet. We want to attract film-makers – both known and unknown - to the festival who are eager to join our movement. I also need to stress that we are all initiators of a great humanitarian campaign that is starting here in Slovenia. I wish to thank all those who helped us, and all those who will hopefully do so in the future. Without this support, our movement would not be possible. I would also like to thank the Slovenian Prime Minister, Mr. Pahor, the Ministry, the local community and the tourist organization. Finally, I would like to thank you: the journalists, the media and the sponsors. Special thanks go out as well
to my young friends, Marko and Danijel, who invited me to become a part of the team and join in such an important movement."
The winner will be selected from 12 competing films by a three-member jury panel. Led by Danis Tanović, this panel will give out 'Wishing Bell' awards in six categories. Branko Djurić – Djuro, BFF Director, pointed out that the film selection process is already under way: "The films are being selected in cooperation with Peter Belsito, who participates in all major film festivals with his company - Film Finders. The exact list of selected films will be revealed one month before the beginning of the festival; as is the customary practice at most renowned international film festivals. The program will subsequently be published on our web page."
The main venue for the Bled Film Festival will be the Festival Hall, where full-length films entered in the competition will be screened during the day. Evenings will be reserved for films by Srdjan Dragojević. Danijel Utješanović, one of the founders and Executive Director of the Festival, pointed out that in addition to the Festival Hall other venues will also be full of activity. "In addition to screening full-length films, we are also preparing an interesting accompanying program. As a part of the festival, numerous events will take place in several locations around Bled over four days. The promenade will come to life, and screenings of documentary films with a water theme will take place at the Bled Castle. Furthermore, every evening visitor will be able to watch open-air films on a big screen and then take part in the evening parties." Marko Gajić, one of the founders and BFF Business Manager, believes that the combination of excellent films, world-renowned guests and interesting events will almost certainly attract the attention of both the Slovenian public and those from abroad. "As organizers, the project will present a great challenge and responsibility for us. This is because we are expecting many esteemed guests from the global film industry, both Europeans and Americans." On Saturday, a regular meeting of the European Film Academy (EFA) will be held as a part of the last day of the festival. Members of the academy include: Rade Šerbedžija, Branko Djurić and Čedomir Kolar. Tanja Ribič, actress and BFF Board Member, believes that Slovenians sometimes lack ambition. "We should be more aware of the beauty of our country and the potential of our people. As film-makers, we often fail to take advantage of everything that is given to us. We should be more confident." Serbian actor Nikola Kojo, also a BFF Board Member, added that he is happy to be a part of this engaged film festival. "Bled is an ideal location for a film festival. I really hope that a festival program with an environmental
theme can attract as many visitors as possible." For more information and links go to www.bledff.com . You can also follow us on the Bled Film Festival-BFF Facebook page, or on Twitter @BledFF.