By Alma Djekovic
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Academy Award nominees may be screened at this year's Al Jazeera Balkans International Documentary Film Festival, according to the event director on Monday.
Edhem Foco told Anadolu Agency two films that were awarded at last year's festival were later nominated for Oscars.
"This year's festival could also have serious Oscar nominees," said Foco.
The international film festival will take place between Sept. 20-24 in Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital, Sarajevo, where 23 documentary films will be screened.
Foco said that Sarajevo has come to the forefront with film festivals and it wants to spread the excitement of the festival to other countries in the region.
He said preparations are nearing the end for the festival and it will be attended by important names from outside Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The festival is organized under the slogan "change” this year.
"Most of the films in the competition section are change-oriented films. In these films, the changes that are or should be experienced are the main theme. Our slogan comes from here," said Foco.
Foco said the festival will include more works by female directors, producers and actors.
"These films are often more emotional and have deeper meanings," said Foco.
"For Sama" by directors Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts will be screened on opening day.
Palestinian director Rawan Damen will be the guest of the festival and will receive three prizes: "Main Award," "Program Award" and "Audience Award".
More than 400 documentary films from 21 different countries applied. Tweleve will be selected for the competition section while 11 will be screened outside the competition section.
The festival is organized by Al Jazeera Balkans, in cooperation with Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) and Al Jazeera Media Institute.
Anadolu Agency is the festival's "Global Communication Partner.”