Director/writer Igor Drljaca’s The White Fortress premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year and is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s official submission to the International Feature Oscar race.
In the film, two teens from very different backgrounds meet in post-war Sarajevo. Faruk (Pavle Cemerikic) lives with his ailing grandmother and forages for scrap metal while also dabbling in crime to get by, yet against his better conscience. Mona (Sumeja Dardagan) is from an affluent and influential family and dreams of escaping her toxic home life. The pair almost shouldn’t have met, but go on a journey that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.
Drljaca, who left Sarajevo at age nine and lived for a year with his family as refugees in Europe, ultimately settled in Canada in 1993.