13TH BOSIFEST - Belgrade International Film Festival of people with disabilities came to a close with the awards ceremony at the Yugoslav Film Archive.

October 21 2022

The Grand Prix of the 13th Bosifest was awarded to directors Sachi Cunningham and Chandler Evans Vayabobo (USA) for the film "CRUTCH".

Jury's exposition of the Grand Prix was read by the BOSIFEST 2022 jury member Janko Baljak:

The jury made a unanimous decision that this year's Grand Prix goes to the film "Crutch".

This is not just a story about a man on crutches who from early childhood turns his disability into an artistic performance. This is a film about an endless power of human will and the essential need for freedom. Equally important and motivating for all people who face obstacles, as well as for those who have no obstacles in life. Life is a miracle with or without crutches! 

The award was received by Chandler Evans Vayabobo, one of the directors of the film "Crutch" and a guest of this year's BOSIFEST.

He thanked BOSIFEST, volunteers and the audience in Serbian, and then continued his address in English.

- It is my honor to receive this award tonight. While we were making the film, we didn't even dream about coming this far, visiting and getting to know Belgrade. BOSIFEST is an incredible experience and it is a festival on par with all other festivals in the world. All the films you were able to see present another view of the world giving you a new perspective. Therefore, when you leave here brag about everything you saw and experienced at BOSIFEST, so that others will become jealous and want to come to BOSIFEST - said Chandler Evans Vayabobo.

Finally, Mr. Evans said that the whole festival was "awesome" and then turned and took a selfie with the audience while they all shouted "Crutch".

The award for the best director went to Claire Doyon (France) for the film "Penelope my love".

Jury's exposition of the best director award was read by the jury member Janko Baljak:

Is there a more difficult task than directing your own life drama for eighteen years where the leading role is your autistic daughter? A painfully honest autobiography, a story of motherly love and struggle that knows no bounds. Flawless direction, a film that is etched in memory.   

The best-case scenario award went to Josh Dunn, Orit Shimobi (Canada) for the film "Our hearts aren't disabled".

Jury's exposition of the best-case scenario award was read by the jury member Janko Baljak:

Investigative documentary about the very often taboo subject of the love life of people with disabilities. Josh Dunn, one of the authors in the dual role of researcher and actor. Without sounding pathetic, multi-layered and completely sincere. A film in which sadness and bitter humor smoothly intertwine into a whole which teaches us that love is complicated and that love problems are identical regardless of the life circumstances in which romance takes place.

Josh Dunn addressed the audience at BOSIFEST 2022 via video message.

Olgica Marinković received the award on behalf of the award winners as a representative of the Canadian Embassy. She addressed the audience:

-I am extremely glad that I can accept this award on behalf of Canada and Canadian artists. They are with us here in their thoughts and hearts and I am sad that the co-author of the film, Orit Šimani, could not come in the end. People with disabilities face the same struggles all the time wherever they live, no matter which continent they are on. All of you who watched the films at BOSIFEST were able to see that - said Olgica Marinković on behalf of the Embassy of Canada.

She thanked BOSIFEST and the organizers of the Handy Center Colosseum for their perseverance in raising awareness about all the things that people with disabilities are facing on a daily basis.   

The first special recognition of the BOSIFEST 2022 went to the film "I didn't see you there" directed by Reid Davenport (USA)

Jury's exposition was read by the jury member Janko Baljak:

A unique road movie filmed from the perspective of a person in a wheelchair. Reid Davenport's continuous camera movement and long meditative journey through Oakland could be a journey through any city with more or less obstacles. Provocative, engaging and brave, this film is the best representative of an author's film created by a person with disabilities from start to finish.

The second special recognition of the BOSIFEST 2022 went to the film "For those who see" by Andzrej Milewski (England)

Jury's exposition was read by the jury member Janko Baljak:

A poetically philosophical miniature that easily introduces us to the universe of visually impaired people in an extremely suggestive way. This completely new viewing experience brings us the perspective of several people of completely different life destinies and ages. Intelligently conveyed and aesthetically seductive, this work opens up a lot of questions "For those who see", just as the title itself and the dedication to the audience says.

The jury memeber Janko Baljak addressed the audience before reading the names of the award winners,  

The jury had a very difficult task this year. Selection was exceptional. This year, I had the opportunity to take part in two other international juries, but I have to admit that making decisions at BOSIFEST was by far the hardest thing for me - said Baljak.

The director of BOSIFEST, Darko Ivić, addressed everyone present at the closing of the festival.

- I hope you enjoyed the festival because I think you had the opportunity to watch some really great films. I hope that maybe you were able to learn something that escapes our society today, and that is to return to the true values. I hope we managed to give you a closer look at us, people with disabilities, so that when you see in your schools and universities people like me, deaf people, hearing impaired, people with cerebral palsy or any other kind of disability, you might encourage them and not pity them. Maybe you can go out with them to a theater, movies or even a disco, why not. Give them a boost and understand that we are an integral part of the society, that children with disabilities struggle every day to finish school and enroll in universities. Try to think like a disabled person for at least five minutes and imagine all the barriers they encounter, managing in the end to overcome them all. Those years, especially in high school, are very sensitive and if you don't draw near them, it can be even harder for them to reach the end of their education.

I would like to thank everyone who helped and supported the festival. First of all, I would like to thank all the participants who applied for the competition. Some people have to be awarded according to the rules of the festival, but in my opinion all 150 participants who signed up for this year's festival are BOSIFEST winners. They are all heroes because they made 150 films in such difficult times during the pandemic while being surrounded with dark thoughts from every sides.

This year's BOSIFEST - Belgrade International Film Festival of people with disabilities was held from October 17-19 at the Yugoslav Film Archive under the slogan "Invisible Lines". Every year, our jury consists of eminent filmmakers.

Bosifest 2022 jury members are: Dejan Petrović, screenwriter and director, Marija Stojnić, documentary films director and producer and Janko Baljak, film and television director.

BOSIFEST is organized by the Hendi Center Colosseum with the support of Ministry of Culture and Information, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Policy, the Culture Bureau, the Yugoslav Film Archive, the Film Center of Serbia, Lidl, Sky Hotel and Kopernikus Hotel Prague.