SARAJEVO: Vesna Ljubić, the first female director who made a feature film in Bosnia and Herzegovina, died of COVID-19 at the age of 82. Vesna Ljubić paved the way for Jasmila Žbanić, Aida Begić and all the other important females of Bosnian and Herzegovinian film industry.
Vesna Ljubić graduated in Film Directing from Centro Sperimentale di Roma and had an opportunity to work as an assistant to Federico Fellini while studying.
After returning to Sarajevo, she started working for Radio Television Sarajevo, where she stayed until her retirement and where she directed her first television film Simha in 1971.
In 1980, she made her first feature film Defiant Delta (produced by Sutjeska Film), which won best film and best screenplay at the Bergamo Film Festival.
Ljubić spent the war in Sarajevo and during and after the war she concentrated on documentaries. All three of her last documentaries Ecce Homo (1994), Adio Kerida (2001) and Bosnian Rhapsody: At the Margins of Science (2011), all produced by Ton Light Film, premiered at the IDFA Documentary Film Festival.
Rada Šešić, Head of Sarajevo Film Festival’s Competition Programme – Documentary Film, who worked as an assistant on Ljubić’s second film The Last Switchman of the Narrow-Gauge Railway (Sutjeska film, 1986), pays her a tribute: “Vesna Ljubić was an excellent storyteller and truly a cineast, an auteur who managed to create her personal cinematic style balancing skilfully between the surreal and deeply researched issues in the socio-cultural reality. Lucidly and with charm, often humorous and playful, she was narrating stories always connected to her home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, tales of ordinary, wise men, who she obviously admired so much”.