SFA Celebrates Film in Cinéfondation Selection!

Sarajevo Film Academy (SFA) once again made the prestigious Cinéfondation selection of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, this time owing to the great talent of our BFA student Stijn Bouma and his short film “Lejla”.

Stijn’s work found itself among the 16 titles chosen by Cinéfondation, from among the 2,600 shorts submitted this year by film schools around the world. Bosnia and Herzegovina was represented among fourteen countries from three continents, with entries competing for the three coveted Cinéfondation prizes. “Lejla” was shot entirely in Sarajevo, in Bosnian language, using all local, non-professional actors.

Marking the program’s 20th anniversary, Cristian Mungiu chaired this year's Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury. The director, screenwriter and producer, Mungiu has a long and glittering history with the Cannes Festival: he won the Golden Palm in 2007 for his acclaimed “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days”, and went on to receive both the Best Screenplay and the Best Actress awards for “Beyond the Hills” in 2012. Last year, his “Graduation” won the Best Director prize. We are proud to note that we had the honor of welcoming this remarkable filmmaker as a guest lecturer at the Sarajevo Film Academy on two occasions, with workshops in 2014 and in 2016.

Short film “Lejla” is a SFA's project developed as a coproduction between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Netherlands (Alchemic Film). It is young director’s Stijn Bouma’s first venture onto the coveted platform of one of the world’s leading festivals and judging from accolades by both his peers and his professors, it is the first of many to come. We are overjoyed to share in his success.

This is the second time SFA project has entered the Cinéfondation Selection: in 2016, our MFA student Marta Hernaiz Pidal presented her short film “Dobro”, a Bosnia and Herzegovina and Mexico coproduction.