Angelina Jolie Honoured at Sarajevo Film Festival

Angelina Jolie has been honoured at the Sarajevo Film Festival for her acting and “active engagement in the complexities of the real world”.

The award, called “The Heart of Sarajevo,” was handed to Jolie by festival director, Miro Purivatra, who said it was being given to her not only for her great impact in the movie industry, but also “for persisting in her active engagement in the complexities in the real world we live in.”

Jolie’s directorial debut — The Land of Blood and Honey — is a film about the war in Bosnia. One of the film’s lead actresses, Zana Marjanovic, introduced Jolie to the crowd by saying she had a friend there to help her present an award.

“I told Brad in the car I was afraid I was going to cry,” she said with tears in her eyes as the audience gave her a standing ovation at the Sarajevo National Theater.

Jolie said she experienced the “warmth and hospitality” of the city during her visits and was honored to receive the award – a silver heart she took out of the box and pressed against her chest.

“There is no greater example of the strength of artists than a festival that begun during the war and grows stronger every year. I find it remarkable,” she said.

The Sarajevo Film Festival started in 1994 in the besieged city, as its founders tried to offer citizens some sense of normal life. Residents braved mortar shells raining on the city to gather in a downtown basement and watch Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” sometimes unsure whether the sounds of shooting came from the soundtrack or battles outside.

The festival began as an act of resistance in 1995 with residents braving mortar shells to gather in a basement to watch Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Some scenes from Jolie’s film In the Land of Blood and Honey – due for release in December – were shot in Bosnia while others were shot in Hungary.

On her visits to Bosnia for the UN last year, Jolie drew attention to the thousands of people who have been unable to return to their homes despite the war ending 16 years ago.

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