We headed to Serbia for the British Council's PlayUK film festival! PlayUK is a unique festival celebrating British film and bringing British cinema to six Western Balkans states. This year ten films including our documentary The Man from Mo'Wax made up the three day program that screened simultaneously across ten cinemas in Belgrade, Podgorica, Prizren, Sarajevo, Skopje and Tirana.
We flew from London to Belgrade for the first leg of our Balkans tour and after getting settled in at the hotel and coming to terms with the freezing temperatures we headed to the festival's opening reception. Danny Boyle's T2 Trainspotting opened the festival on Thursday night, the film really is great sequel to the original and a chance to revisit the much loved characters. After the screening we attended a wonderful dinner with Milica Božanić, Executive Director of the Serbian Film Commission, and writer Paul Fraser (who was attending to give a talk on script writing and editing). We spent Friday exploring and taking in some of what Belgrade has to offer and were lucky enough to experience some local haunts with our Serbian distributor friend Igor Stanković.
Next we headed off to Sarajevo, where we were greeted by a foot and half of snow, for the festival's first screening of The Man from Mo'Wax on Saturday night which was attended by a brilliant audience at the Kino Meeting Point. After the screening the film's producers M J McMahon and Brian A. Hoffman took part in a Q&A with DJ, producer and sound designer Nenad Kovačević. It was a brilliant evening, from the Mo'Wax tracks from the film's soundtrack playing in the cinema's foyer before the screening to the reception afterwards, our first screening at PlayUK was a huge success!
There was certainly no rest for the wicked on this trip, on Sunday morning we were back on our way to Belgrade (with Brian taking the scenic route aka a road trip from Bosnia to Serbia!) to close the festival with another screening of The Man from Mo'Wax. M J McMahon and Brian A. Hoffman introduced the doc before it screened simultaneously in Belgrade, Podgorica, Prizren, Skopje and Tirana. After the film we headed to the Mo'Wax party thrown in tribute to our film - what a great way to finish up our trip to the Balkans!
Check out some photos from our time at PlayUK: