Topics: Peace and Human Rights
Culture and Urbanism
Social Change
Regional focus: Europe
Origin: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Fellowship: Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow

Mirsad Purivatra is Director of the Sarajevo Film Festival. In the 1980s, he oversaw numerous stage productions as director of the Sarajevo Obala Art Centar, which were shown at distinguished theatre festivals in Edinburg, Paris, Toronto, New York, Montreal and London. During the war (1992-1995), he organized exhibitions at Obala Art Centar with artists from around the world and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and initiated what became known as a “war cinema”. In 1995, Mirsad Purivatra co-founded the Sarajevo Film Festival, now one of the most influential film festivals in Europe, with the Centar, and retains the post of festival director.

Starting in 2003, Mirsad Purivatra initiated and developed the CineLink Co-Production Market as a part of the Sarajevo Film Festival, with a goal of aiding the development of regional cinematography, discovery of new talents, and the launching of new projects on the wider European market. CineLink is recognized as the most potent catalyst for regional film production today.

In 2007, with Mirsad Purivatra’s initiative, the Festival further expanded to include an educational platform in form of the Sarajevo Talent Campus to those who will form the future of the region’s cinema. In 2008, he launched a project within the Festival called Sarajevo City of Film to create micro-budget short films, which are shot by Talent Campus participants in Sarajevo. Mirsad Purivatra was producer of the film Circus Columbia, directed by Danis Tanovic, and co-producer of the film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. He also teaches production at the Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts.

He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and recognitions, such as the French Knight of the Order of Arts and Humanities (Chevalier de l'ordre des arts et des lettres).

Last updated: 2016