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’Srbenka’ Wins Doc Alliance Selection Award 2018

Doc Alliance Films (DAFilms) announced Croatian documentary director Nebojša Slijepčević winner of the Doc Alliance Selection Award (DAS) 2018 for his film ’Srbenka’. Seven significant European documentary film festivals grant the annual award, which - for the first time - was presented at Cannes Film Festival.

Cover Art of Srbenka, directed by Nebojša Slijepčević
Cover Art of Srbenka, directed by Nebojša Slijepčević

Almost 25 years after the Croatian War of Independence ended, Slijepčević’s winning film bravely addresses the still existing war traumas in former Yugoslavia and explores the continuous hostility between Croatians and Serbs. After receiving the award, director Nebojša Slijepčević gave DAFilms an exclusive video interview.

Slijepčević’s Srbenka first premiered in the main competition section at the Swiss film festival Visions du Réel where it was awarded a Special Mention. By the same token, the award jury of the DAS agreed that Srbenka “is a very important and at the same time very universal story about personal and collective injustices that we all carry with ourselves as heavy burdens.”

Srbenka begins during the rehearsals for a play revolving around the murder of a twelve-year-old girl. The murder occurred in Zagreb in 1991 during the war and the rehearsals soon bring up unsolved issues between the two nations. In the likes of the documentary The Work (Jarius McLeary 2017), the rehearsals soon evolve into collective therapy before the camera. Of this particular choice of format, Visions du Réel’s artistic director Emilie Bujčs said: “Srbenka is rather impressive in that it succeeds in going (very) far beyond the documentation of an artistic process – which is a recurring and rarely interesting cinematic format – to follow a troupe’s rehearsals that turn into collective psychotherapy.” By chronicling the repercussions of the war, Slijepčević illustrates the vitality of art functioning as an active arena in which participants can process and heal wounds and traumas.

About the award

The Doc Alliance Selection Award was first introduced in 2008 and is awarded by seven documentary film festivals: CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Ji.hlava IDFF, and Visions du Réel. The festivals each nominate one film and one film critic from the respective countries to represent them in the DAS jury. The award is presented to the best European documentary film nominated independently by the members of the festivals. The award is a crucial part of the Alliance’s goal to establish further partnerships among the film festivals.

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