Almost every day of the year a film festival takes place somewhere in the world--from sub-Saharan Africa to the Land of the Midnight Sun. Sundance to Sarajevo is a tour of the world's film festivals by an insider whose familiarity with the personalities, places, and culture surrounding the cinema makes him uniquely suited to his role. Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times, writes about the most unusual as well as the most important film festivals, and the cities in which they occur, with an eye toward the larger picture. His lively narrative emphasizes the cultural, political, and sociological aspects of each event as well as the human stories that influence the various and telling ways the film world and the real world intersect.
Of the festivals profiled in detail, Cannes and Sundance are obvious choices as the biggest, brashest, and most influential of the bunch. The others were selected for their ability to open a window onto a wider, more diverse world and cinema's place in it. Sometimes, as with Sarajevo and Havana, film is a vehicle for understanding the international political community's most vexing dilemmas. Sometimes, as with Burkina Faso's FESPACO and Pordenone's Giornate del Cinema Muto, it's a chance to examine the very nature of the cinematic experience. But always the stories in this book show us that film means more and touches deeper chords than anyone might have expected. No other book explores so many different festivals in such detail or provides a context beyond the merely cinematic.