Depot of the Sarajevo Film Center: Moisture and rot are destroying state treasures

The depot of the Sarajevo Film Center is located in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Nahorevo. It is home to film treasures or, in other words, what is carefully nurtured in other countries, and in our country it has been collecting dust, absorbing moisture and water for 25 years and, to put it simply, it is slowly decaying.
The premises of the depot are filled with the heavy smell of moisture, which has been slowly destroying BiH films since the end of the war. cinematography. Laid in a visibly unprotected place, the film’s treasure rests directly under cracked windows that have been leaking water for years.

It is partially protected from complete devastation by thin nylon placed over cracked windows by the center’s employees in an attempt to protect the interior of the building from rain.

How the film’s treasure is left to complete destruction and whether it is possible to save it?

The director of the Sarajevo Film Center and director Ines Tanović takes us through the long hallway of the depot, showing each of the rooms we pass by individually.

The depot houses 80 feature films and just over 500 documentaries made from 1952 to 1994. Some films are left unprotected on the floor of these rooms, while others are placed in cardboard boxes that have been swallowed by moisture for years. The third, on the other hand, are placed on shelves where they are more or less protected from complete destruction.

“All these films are owned by the Sarajevo Film Center, which is the successor to Bosna Film, Studio Film and Sutjeska Film. They are both a treasure and a confirmation of our identity. I can’t believe that even 25 years after the war no funds were found to these films are deposited in the right way, ” she commented indignantly.

Some rooms are filled with films, in others on the floor lies a broken projector surrounded by other objects that were probably last used before the war. The pile of unwrapped films also includes devices for the production and editing of the film, which Tanović points out have not been functional for a very long time. He adds that the Film Center would be happy to dedicate itself to discovering the content of these films, but they do not have the technology to do so.

An appeal to save the depot and new projects that contribute to the promotion of BiH. cinematography.

Tanović says that the first phase would be the renovation of the center, followed by the procurement of technology needed for digitization, and then the forwarding of films to other countries in digital form.