Budapest backwards

TransConflict is pleased to present a short-film – entitled ‘Budapest backwards’, by Jeroen Sebrechts – winner of the prize for ‘Best Film’ at the third Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival, which recently took place in Tirana, Albania.

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‘Budapest backwards’ is about two lovers who look back to where their relationship took off, and where it started going wrong. An improvised modern tale set in Budapest, the film explores the relationship between a Croatian boy and Hungarian girl, and the challenges such a multi-cultural relationship faces.

According to the jury – comprised of Joni Shanaj (a film director from Albania), Yorgos Zois (a film director from Greece) and Idro Seferi (a journalist and writer from Kosovo):

“this movie stands out from the rest and was closer to the topic of this year’s festival about multilingualism and communication. The story is masterly told and the acting is outstanding. Both actors are absolutely genuine and the directing is superb. The story is told in a simple humanistic and strong way and relates most of Balkans people feelings about separation. Most of us coming from the Balkans really do understand this film dealing with love and separation (or non separation). It is very difficult in cinema to genuinely tell a love story. Not many filmmakers succeed in achieving this.”

The ‘Audience Prize’ went to the Albanian short fiction film, “Beyond the river”, directed by Sabir Kanaqi. Taking into consideration the high-quality of this year’s films, the Jury gave ‘Special Mentions’ to:

  • ‘A day of clear weather’ – a fictional documentary, directed by Odeta Cunaj and Alketa Ramaj from Albania;
  • ‘RF’ – a fictional film directed by Stavros Liokalos from Greece;
  • ‘Scrap Material’ – a documentary directed by Stefan Ivancic from Serbia.

Celebrating Balkan diversity, multilingualism and communication, the third edition of the festival brought together a selection of thirty short films from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo, Slovenia, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Moldova, Belgium and Italy, respectively.

Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival is a festival that travels each year to a different city in the Balkans, and is dedicated to encouraging young film makers to express themselves on issues relevant to their region and lives, thereby helping build bridges between the peoples of the Balkans.

This year’s festival was entitled, ‘Talk to Me: Multilingualism and Communication’, and was co-organized by Balkans Beyond Borders and Tirana Art Lab, Centre for Contemporary Art – with the support of the European Fund for the Balkans.

To learn more about TransConflict’s TransCulture initiative, which showcases efforts to explore and transcend conflict through a variety of cultural means, please click here.



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