Voice of the Generation - Freedom and the right to choose

The Sarajevo Youth Film Festival (OFF) deals with the problems of young people in the first place through film, film and artistic expression. For the last 14 years, OFF has focused on promoting the importance of young people in society and their problems, and alludes to the importance of involving young people in solving problems that concern them but also societies that want to make a better place to live. For the last 4 years, OFF has been presenting its special “Voice of Generation” program that addresses three main themes: Violence, LGBTQI Rights and Youth in Politics. In the period from 2014-2017, the Festival analyzed the real problems of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and we came to the realization that the biggest and burning problem is the inability of young people to be actively involved in key processes that affect them.

Lack and disrespect of basic human rights, and especially the right to sexual orientation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is something that the system constantly ignores as a problem, and our Festival, every year, through films dealing with these topics, indicates the importance of these topics.

In this regard, the Festival informs, educates and pressures the public and lobbies to deal with topics that afflict young people, and that is to deal with their personal preferences and create a community in which they will be accepted. The consequences of not acting in various spheres of life, including the arts, can be catastrophic, given that a large number of young people are already leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a significant number of them due to inability to express their feelings, sexual and any other orientation. 

The influence of various factors, including systemic ones, not caring about the endangered layers of society, have created an environment in which citizens feel insecure and do not have the opportunity to express their feelings, opinions and attitudes. Failure to address such issues, ignoring the facts can lead to a total disruption of the environment in which we live. That all of the above has already been seen and that this problem exists is evidenced by media reports, police reports and public attitudes about LGBTQI people and their treatment, where the system does not recognize them at all. Every year, out of a total of 40 films shown in one edition of the Festival, our Festival dedicates as many as 10 films to the LGBTQI theme, and in 2022 the number of these films will be increased by 20%.

Youth Film Festival Sarajevo fully supports the right to choice, freedom of speech and expression and advocates for absolute respect for human rights and the true values of a democratic society to which we ourselves aspire. The promotion of equal rights for all should happen every day and at every moment, while the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina should use their rights and power and choose leaders who together with us will create a society in which no one will be endangered, taking into account freedoms must not jeopardize the freedom of a third party.