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Sarajevo Film Festival to celebrate its 13th birthday

A film festival will house around 100,000 people and demonstrate 176 movies from 30 countries from Friday evening.

The 13th Sarajevo Film Festival, born in the chaos of the 1992-95 Bosnian War, will include the latest Anthony Minghella movie "Breaking and Entering," starring French actress Juliette Binoche, in which she plays a Bosnian woman. U.S. actor Steve Buscemi will be the festival's special guest, while his British colleague Jeremy Irons will preside over the jury for the feature film competition.

Bosnia's Danis Tanovic, who won a 2002 Oscar for his "No Man's Land," will participate, as well as last year's Berlin Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanic. Organizers expect controversial US director, Oscar and Cannes Festival winner Michael Moore to officially close the festival with his latest film "Sicko". Moore has not yet confirmed his presence due to his busy schedule.

The festival started as an act of defiance during the 1992-95 war with the idea to offer some sense of normal life to the citizens of besieged Sarajevo and to remind the world that the city's population was hungry for culture as well as for food.

The first festival screening was Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction in a basement in 1994 when the audience wondered whether the sounds of bullets come from the screen or from the streets outside. Nine screening locations have now replaced the sand-bag protected basement.

Movies will be shown in 13 programs including competition programs for feature film, short film and regional documentaries.

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