Best film

Nebesa/ Heavens Above

Serbia, 2021, comedy, drama, 123’, with English subtitle

Director Srdjan Dragojevic


The film is made in a satirical genre, in which the absurdity of the situation softens the tragedy of what is happening on one hand. On the other hand, it further emphasizes how insane and corrupt the world in which the heroes live is. It’s a very instructive story about the fact that in reality, people do not need saints. They are good for the church, but if one appears in life, they are more likely to create inconvenience for those around them. And it’s also a story about how not everyone who wears a halo over their head can be called a saint.

The film reflects the life of poverty, the everyday life of slums, and the contrast with the middle and wealthy classes. The transformation of their characters and the change in their personalities, in terms of rhythm, the richness of plotlines and their embodiments, make Heavens Above as the Balkan New Film Festival strongest, or best film for 2023.





Best director Dubravka Turic

Tragovi / Traces,

Croatia, Lithuania, Serbia, 2022, drama, 98’, with English subtitles

Director Dubravka Turic


With clarity of intention and execution, the director has led spectator along the path of rethinking about which hidden traces were left to us to recognize them, and which we ourselves leave behind our lives. The Film Traces is a fine-tuned and well-produced film with its own appearance in both intimate and matter-of-fact manner, as well as symbolic and realistic. The sophisticated narration was easy and respectful bore by the main character. A story about sorrow, memories and improvement, resolves ageless traces in order to move on.




Performing award – best actress Marija Skaričić

Tragovi / Traces,

Croatia, Lithuania, Serbia, 2022, drama, 98’, with English subtitles

Director Dubravka Turic


The actress playing the main role faced a challenging task with a few words. External conflict is expressed weakly, while the focus is on the internal conflict, conveyed only through facial expressions, gestures, and body language. Overall, impression is restrained performance with the minimum of the very subtle emotions.




Best editing work

Heroji/Heroes, editor Matija Djukanovic Djuka

Serbia, 2022, drama, 71’, with English subtitles

Director Goran Nikolic



The most notable aspect is that the characters in the film don’t say a word throughout the entire movie. They walk alongside each other, they argue, they make up, they play patty-cake, but not a word is spoken. When it comes to narration path and the ability to tell a story without words, it is a triumph over verbosity, which is sometimes so important in cinematography. As it turns out, the Middle Ages are not as romantic up close; it’s cruel towards ordinary people. However, even in such a hopeless situation, people strive for goodness and friendship. The soundtrack is offering great support to the edited visuals.



Best costumes

Bilo jednom u Srbiji / Onde Upon a Time in Serbia. costume designer Dragica Lausevic

Serbia, 2022, drama comedy, 135 ‘, with English subtitles

director: Petar Ristovski


By introducing the first movie camera into the film and having an operator character that films and narrates the story about his brother, the entire narrative takes on a nostalgic tone. The film features picturesque scenes of the city, streets, nature, and the marketplace in the visual quite beautiful imagery. The interiors of houses, people’s everyday lives, and costumes – is evidence that the artists put a lot of effort into capturing the time in detail.



Special award for the debutant Timon Sturbej

Jahaci/ Jezdeci

Slovenia, 2022, drama, 110’, with English subtitles

Director: Dominik Mancej


Teenagers captivate us with a journey that helps us understand ourselves, our children and contemplate the significance of family and archetypes in shaping one’s personality. Friendship, guilt, love, tunnels, bridges, the sea, scents, and the endless roads, are all vividly portrayed by young actors in the road movie.




Festival award for Film achievement until now to Milcho Manchevski

Not only for “Kaymak” that portray women more liberated, bolder, more independent, while surrogate mothers have become a common phenomenon, including the essence of the story that lies in the fact that one can indulge in cream every day, without thinking about the consequences. However, disappointment can still be a form of retribution

Milcho Manchevski getting Festival Award for his film achievement, for creating images that constantly questioning the boundaries of the genres, by avoiding conventions, which kinesthetically gives him hallow of American-director refugee in Europ/Balkan/North Macedonia.





Award for the Production design

Sveta Petka Krst u kamenu/ A Cross In The Desert, Production designers: Kiril Spaseski and Ayyob Ainahhas.

Serbia, Jordan, 2022, drama, 123’, with English subtitles

Director: Aleksandar Hadzi Djurovic


Film features stunning natural shots, grandiose close-ups, and top-down perspectives, often referred to as a “God’s eye view” in cinema. Best production design.


The best (operator) PUBLIC award

Ala je lep ovaj svet

Serbia, 2022, comedy, fantasy, romance, 90’, with English subtitles

Director: Filip Colovic



The story is ironic, kind, and sad all at once. The tone of the film is comically good-natured and ironic, with a light touch, devoid of sarcasm. It satirizes society, customs and the people, where love ultimately triumphs in the end.