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The Frontier Café – Conversation with Elma Tataragić

The History of Bosnian Cinema and the Role of Memory in Cinema

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This episode features a conversation with Elma Tataragić. Elma currently works as a selector for the Competition Program for the Sarajevo Film Festival and is the President of the Filmmakers Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During our talk, we touched upon the history of Bosnian cinema, her work with film students, and the role of memory in film. Please enjoy our conversation demonstrating the untapped potential of films and their impact on local and global communities!

NOTE: The language spoken in this interview is Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (link to English translation or watch on YouTube with English captions)

About The Guest

Elma Tataragić (1976) is a scriptwriter, professor and festival programmer. She graduated Dramaturgy (Screenwriting and History of Cinema) at Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts and obtained her Master of Science degree and PhD in Film and Literature. She has been with Sarajevo Film Festival since it was founded in 1995, where she now works as selector for Competition Programs and CineLink Industry Days.

She co-wrote short film First Death Experience (2001) and wrote and produced short North Went Mad (2003), both directed by Aida Begić. She has produced and co-written the feature film Snow (2008) also directed by A. Begić, shown in the Semaine de la critique at Cannes Film Festival 2008, where the film won the Grand Prix. The film has been shown at over 80 festivals and won over 30 international awards. She is the General Secretary and a member of Filmmakers Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has been teaching screenwriting at Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts since 2002, now as a professor.

She is member of European Film Academy and has published a book on screenwriting and is also works as a script consultant. In 2016 she has completed her short fiction film I Remember, which is successfully touring the world film festivals. The feature film When The Day Had No Name (2017) directed by Teona Mitevska which she has co-written premiered in Panorama Special at Berlinale 2017. She is currently in preproduction of two feature films she has written: Stitches to be directed by Serbia director Miroslav Terzić and God Exists And Her Name Is Petrunija by Macedonian director Teona Mitevska. She’s also developing a new feature and short experimental films.


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Filmmaker Maja Novaković’s film, Then Comes the Evening beautifully depicts the life of two old women living in the isolated hills of Eastern Bosnia. Nature is the entity with which they speak, listen to, and respect.

The film emphasizes the intangible cultural heritage through the presentation of chants and rituals for taming the adverse weather, hail, and storm. It reflects the simplicity and purity of their way of life, as well as their painstaking work. In the daily activities that they perform, the excellence and distress of these displays are revealed and revived.

Everyday life shows the caring and intimacy the two old women have both in their mutual relations and in relationship with nature. The poetic tone of the frames relies on references from genre scenes of realism paintings, creating documents of bittersweet everyday life in the countryside.

Then Comes the Evening is a discreet, loving witness to the lives of these two old women living isolated on the hills of Eastern Bosnia: their intimacy, their relationship to nature, a whole cultural heritage made out of songs and rituals to tame bad weather, hail, and storm.

Maja Novaković

Maja Novaković’s stunning debut has garnered 32 awards and 52 nominations, won over audiences at all major documentary festivals around the world, and qualified for the Academy Award® in the Best Short Documentary category. 

The program began with a screening of the short documentary that was then followed by a conversation with Vera Mijojlić, Festival Director of the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles, and Logan Crow, Executive Director of The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana. 

The live, virtual event was presented on December 20, 2020 on the co-watch platform Beem.


In order to help us meet our commitment to the 2021 Festival, we hope you will consider becoming a SEEfest Cine-Fan member to see us through as we continue to bring you the best film and culture from South East Europe.

Tickets Are On Sale Now For All Screenings And Events

SEEfest 2019 Kicks Off in 2 Weeks

SEEfest 2019 Cinema of Audacity, May 1-8, 2019Tickets are on sale now for all SEEfest 2019 features, shorts programs, and special events. Screenings will take place in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Echo Park and other locations — find all the venues here and don’t forget to go Metro! Plan your trip using the Trip Planner on the venue page.

This year’s SEEfest, running May 1-8, will explore the theme of cinematic audacity by drawing attention to filmmakers whose works grapple with complex existential, ethical, and historical questions in innovative, and provocative ways. You can secure your festival pass now on Eventbrite.



See more of the festival lineup online and get your festival pass and single tickets today on Eventbrite. 

I Act, I AmI ACT, I AM
Los Angeles Premiere!
Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia
Director: Miroslav Mandic

May 9 at 9:30 pm at Laemmle Music Hall Beverly Hills

Talk about method acting! Three stories examine, through actors, the paradox of life stripped bare of societal constraints. In each story, an actor is either researching or playing a role, eventually beginning to live the life of the character.

Watch the trailer and get tickets here

Borders, RaindropsBORDERS, RAINDROPS 
North American Premiere!
Bosnia Herzegovina

May 6 at 9 pm at Laemmle Music Hall Beverly Hills

Jagoda, a city girl, is on a summer visit to her extended family in the Balkan countryside overlooking the Adriatic. Her presence awakens hope, love, and the sense of mystery.

Watch the trailer and get tickets here. 

North American Premiere!

May 6 @ 8 pm at Echo Park Film Center

An engrossing documentary about guerrilla action initiated by young activists taking over a long-abandoned privatized cinema in Belgrade. The occupation revitalizes the cinema over the course of a year with 500 screenings, dozens of concerts and public discussions, and participation from hundreds of artists, activists, and filmmakers.

Watch the trailer and get tickets here


What Does “Premiere” Mean?

Do you know precisely what it means when a screening is labeled as a Premiere?

World Premiere: first official screening of the film.

International Premiere: first screening outside the country of origin. And also the first festival screening.
SEEfest is proud to be screening many North American premieres such as Occupied Cinema and Borders, Raindrops mentioned above.
Learn more in this article about the various levels of Premieres and what they mean.



SEEfest program and activities are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Special thanks to ELMA for continued support of our programs.