The best film according to the jury of the Main Competition Programme of the 52nd International Film Festival FEST is ‘The Owner’ by Yuri Bykov, and the most successful film of this yea's edition of FEST is ‘Working Class Goes to Hell’ (Radnička klasa ide u pakao) by Mladen Đorđević, which received as many as three awards, including the Belgrade Victor for Best Director, and the film ‘Russian Consul’, directed by Miroslav Lekić, was shown at the closing of FEST.
The 52nd FEST was closed on 3 March 2024, with numerous guests and audiences in the sold- out MTS Grand Hall. The closing ceremony was preceded by a parade of guests on the redcarpet, where numerous officials, actors, directors, members of film crews, members of the jury appeared, including: Ivica Dačić, Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Nebojša Dugalić, Radivoje Bukvić, Vlatka Vorkapić, Marko Đorđević, Vuk Drašković, Miroslav Lekić, Paulina Manov, Svetozar Cvetković, Svetislav Basara, Damir Handanović, Nada Macanković, Tamara Aleksićand many others.

At the closing ceremony, along with the traditional awarding of festival prizes, the curtain was lowered on the 52nd FEST.

Politika's Milutin Čolić Award at the 52nd FEST in 2024, for the director of the best Serbian film in FEST's programmes, is awarded to Marko Đorđević for the film ‘That's It for Today‘ (Za danas toliko). The jury consisting of: Radivoje Raša Andrić, director and producer, Vladimir Blaževski, director, screenwriter and producer, and Dubravka Lakić, the founder of the award and the film critic of the Politika newspaper, explained their decision as follows:
‘For a well-written and finely staged story that exudes a healing joy of life; for a sophisticated directing process that allows the viewer to identify with the plot and characters; for an authentic atmosphere, believable and witty acting, and exquisite artistry of the images. This film is highly recommended to distributors and exhibitors to embrace it and enable it to meet viewers in Serbian cinemas.’
During the presentation of the award, director Marko Đorđević said:
‘Thank you to the jury. These days, I get a lot of messages and the atmosphere at the premiere was amazing. I am very glad that the film communicates with the audience and awakens something beautiful in people. This film means a lot to me and I like it.’
The FEDEORA award for the best Euro-Mediterranean film in the Main Competition Programme went to the film ‘Working Class Goes to Hell’ directed by Mladen Đorđević. Members of the jury: Sergey Lavrentiev - film critic (jury president), Dr Nevena Daković - full professor, film theorist, critic and publicist, Nicola Falcinella -journalist and film critic, unanimously made the decision, which they justified with the following words:
‘A film of an exceptional director's handwriting with a harsh commentary on local everyday life and great acting performances, which stands out for its production belonging to the entire Euro- Mediterranean region.’
Upon receiving the award, director Mladen Đorđević said: ‘Thank you to the jury for the award, this is a great honor. The film "The Working Class Goes to Heaven" by Elio Petri from 1971 is a film the title of which I consciously argue with, I reply to that title. I saw the film in the nineties as a student,’ said Đorđević.
The audience award for the best European film, supported by the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, was won by director Vlatka Vorkapić's film ‘The Holy Family’ (Sveta porodica). The award was presented by His Excellency Ambassador Emanuel Giofre, head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia.
‘Thank you to the audience of FEST, it is always nice when the audience awards a film. After all, we make films for the audience, ’ said Vorkapić.
The Nebojša Đukelić Award for the best film from the region in the Main Competition Programme of the festival went to Mladen Đorđević for the film ‘Working Class Goes to Hell’.
The jury consisting of Ivana Kronja - filmologist and film critic (jury president), Srđan Vučinić, essayist and film critic, and Marko Stojiljković - film journalist and critic unanimously made a decision, which they explained as follows:
‘It is a social drama with the theme of corrupt transition, which skilfully includes genre elements: horror, mystery, action film and dark comedy, thus bringing us closer to the genre in which the reality of post-Yugoslav societies unfolds. The film offers an insightful dramatic analysis of pseudo-religion and depicts the absurd position of the formerly working-class body in neoliberal capitalism. The jury would like to highlight the impressive acting of Tamara Krcunović and Leon Lučev, who lead an extraordinary cast.’
Upon the award presentation, director Mladen Đorđević said:
‘This is the second time I have received the Nebojša Đukelić Award, the first time I received it was for "The Life and Death of a Porno Gang"  This is a great honor for us kids who started working in the film industry in the 90's, Nebojsa Đukelić meant a lot,’ said Đorđević.

The Main Competition Programme Jury, consisting of: actor Radivoje Raša Bukvić (who chairs the jury), director Zrinko Ogresta, director of the Slovenian Film Centre Nataša Bučar, screenwriter Biljana Maksić and actor Marko Grabež, made the following decisions:
• Belgrade Victor for Best Film: ‘The Owner’ directed by Yuri Bykov
In the explanation of the jury, it is stated that the director Yuri Bykov made a powerful film devoid of any naturalism, which in a rarely suggestive and believable way draws us into the life of a community that has been privatized by one man and in which that man controls literally all aspects of life, and in return he demands that the man hand over to him the most valuable thing he has - his dignity. The symbolism of this Russian-French-Swiss film is clear and current, but in no way intrusive and with its clear message it rises from the local to the universal. This is the second time that a Russian director has received the FEST award for the best film, since in 2015
he received the FEST Main Competition Programme Jury Award for the film ‘The Fool" (Durak).

• Best Director: Mladen Đorđević for directing the film ‘Working Class Goes to Hell’
‘I thought I got two awards. I lost weight in this half hour, thanks to all the judges for that. I want to dedicate the award to my crew, who put up with me all these years and put up with my madness, and I want to dedicate this award to Mirsad Tuka, who left us a month before the world premiere of this film in Toronto, in September of last year,’ Đorđević concluded.
• Best Screenplay: Slavica Šnur and Vlatka Vorkapić for the film ‘The Holy Family’
‘Thank you to the Belgrade audience. Thanks to Vlatka for recognizing this story and thanks to the producers,’ said Šnur.
‘I would like to thank Slavica for coming to me with this story, and I would also like to thank her mother who told the grain of the story from which the script was created. Thank you to all the actors who breathed life into the whole story and thank you to the crew,’ Vorkapić said.
• Best Actress: Ivana Vuković for her role in the film ‘That’s It for Today’
‘Thank you to the jury from the bottom of my heart. I have not had time these days to thank everyone: thank you, Marko, for the Šarenac family, Filip, Nikola, Miona, thank you. And thank you to the audience that selflessly shares itself with us these days, showering us with positive impressions,’ said Ivana Vuković in the packed MTS Grand Hall.
• Best Actor: Saleh Bakri for the film ‘The Teacher’
• Best Debut Director: Katalin Moldovai for directing the film ‘Without Air’ (Elfogy a levegő)
‘Thanks to my crew, because the film is not a "one man show", we tried our best to make this film. I hope that we will have the freedom in our hearts to implement such miracles again, I thank the organizers of the festival,’ said Katalin Moldovai before the Belgrade audience.
The programme of this year's FEST was held in six halls and eight cinema halls, with special screenings in the Sava Centre. FEST was officially closed by Jugoslav Pantelić, who reminded us of what we had seen at the 52nd FEST. ‘This festival continues to do what it is supposed to do, which is to move the younger generations towards his majesty of film. It is wonderful that Belgrade has FEST, it is wonderful that it has these young people who recognize the privilege that in one place you can in 10 days walk through everything that marked the film season behind us and that comes from all corners of the world,' Pantelić concluded.
The ceremony was followed by the screening of the film ‘Russian Consul' directed by Miroslav Lekić, based on the novel by Vuk Drašković, starring: Žarko Laušević, Nebojša Dugalić, Paulina Manov, Svetozar Cvetković, Visar Vishka, Danica Radulović, Petar Zekavica, Meto Jovanovski, Nada Macanković , Slaviša Curović, Enver Petrovci, Tamara Aleksić and others.

This year once again, FEST offers the opportunity for people who did not get to see films they wanted during the 52nd FEST to see those films in the PostFESTum programme. PostFESTum takes place from 4 to 7 March 2024, in two cinema halls in Belgrade - the Belgrade Cultural Centre and Cineplexx Ušće Shopping Center.
During the four days of PostFESTum, the films from this year's 52nd FEST for which tickets were most requested will be shown, including: Firebrand, Black Tea, The Zone of Interest, Cottontail, Monster (Kaibutsu), Fallen Leaves (Kuolleet lehdet), Priscilla, Green Border (Zielona granica), among others.
Tickets for PostFESTum are sold at the box offices of the Belgrade Cultural Centre and Cineplexx Ušće, as well as through Cineplexx online sales.

Ministry of Culture
Grad Beograd


Knjaz Miloš
Italijanski kulturni centra