Director and writer Mark Cousins will be honoured with the prestigious Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival. Cousins, known for his outstanding contributions to the art of film, will receive the award in recognition of his remarkable career.
Cousins’ connection with Sarajevo dates back to the mid-1990s when he visited the city during the Siege. Alongside the Edinburgh International Film Festival, he showcased films at the Obala Art Centar cinema, demonstrating support for the besieged citizens of Sarajevo. Interestingly, this very cinema later became the birthplace of the Sarajevo Film Festival.
The Scottish-Irish filmmaker, has explored various themes in his works, including the transformative power of cinema, cities, walking, childhood, archives, and recovery. His career began with directing TV documentaries on topics such as childhood, neo-Nazism, and Mikhael Gorbachev. Cousins’ first book, Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary, received critical acclaim.
One of his notable achievements is the documentary The First Movie (2009), which focused on children in Iraqi Kurdistan and their relationship with cinema. Cousins’ repertoire also includes the acclaimed documentary series The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011), which screened at prestigious film festivals worldwide, won the Peabody Award, and received a BAFTA Scotland nomination. He later directed its sequel, The Story of Film: A New Generation (2021). Other notable works include What is the Film Called Love? (2012), Here be Dragons (2013), A Story of Children and Film (2013), and Life May Be (2014).
Mark Cousins’ Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award will be presented at the upcoming Sarajevo Film Festival, scheduled to take place from August 11th to 18th, 2023. The festival will also feature a special screening of his film March on Rome as part of its Dealing with the Past section.