Docu Rough Cut Boutique in Sarajevo

First a brief intro for those who don’t know about the excellent Rough Cut Boutique initiative, that is a joint programme created by the Sarajevo Film Festival and the Balkan Documentary Center, focused on documentary films from the region of South East Europe and Caucasus, films in post-production. 5 chosen projects are offered tailor made coaching by editors and other documentary experts.

After a session in Sofia (where the Balkan Documentary Center is placed, run by Martichka Bozhilova) the Boutique, that worked for days in a room in Hotel Europe, led by Rada Sesic, presented the 5 projects to documentary interested people at the Sarajevo Film Festival, including me.

Sorry to say, I was not really impressed by the quality. The simple question you put to yourself, when you attend a pitching/presentation like this: Woiuld I like to see that film when finished? Do the films have cinematic quality, do they play with many layers…

One did, one stood out – ”Srbenka” by Nebosja Slijejcevic from

Croatia, produced by the company Restart. The synopsis goes like this – In the winter of 1991 a 12-year old girl Aleksandra Zec was killed. She was Serbian. Although the perpetrators admitted the crime, nobody was ever sentenced for it. 25 years later, theatre director Oliver Frljic prepares a theatre play about the case. The work process brings out to the surface hidden traumas: rehearsals become a collective psychotherapy, and 12-year old actress Nina (who is Serbian but has problems to say so, from that the title) feels as if the war had never ended…

Beautiful in form and content, I am curious to see the final result. Here I was presented with 10 minutes.

The other projects were two from Hungary ”Ghetto Balboa” (Arpad Bogdan), great cinematography but… and ”Paying a Visit to Fortuna” (Matyas Kalman) about lotto winners, need more filmic sense… and Hungarian/Romanian ”Hands of God” (Laszlo Barna) about a roma violonist who has Parkinson… and ”The Other Side of the Medal” from Romania (Denisa Morariu) about the gymnast Andreea Raducan, who won Gold at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 but was disqualified because of doping = a substance found in a flu pill. The filmmakers behind this had not found their form yet.

Photo from one of the sessions here in Sarajevo.

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3859