Film festivals are an opportunity to be introduced to great filmmakers from all over the world. This year, the Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) has dedicated the retrospective section to one of Europe's most respected independent directors, Goran Paskaljevic. Variety International Film Guide, in 2001, marked him as one of the world's top five directors of the year.
Born in Belgrade, Goran Paskaljevic was raised by his grandparents in Niš in southern Serbia. Paskaljevic spent much of his adolescence at the Belgrade Cinematheque, which his stepfather founded. At the age of 20, he began studying cinema at Prague's celebrated film academy, Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts. After the Soviet invasion, Paskaljevic returned to Yugoslavia. He then made about 30 documentaries and 16 feature films, which were screened at many international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian. They were all met with critical acclaim. The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2008 and the British Film Institute (London) in 2010, both screened his feature films, along with the publication of a monograph in English about his work.
Paskaljevic's style is mostly narrative-based. His works revolve around idiosyncratic and humane characters. His films portray the extraordinary in the reality of everyday.
This year, DIFF is celebrating seven of his films, namely, Dev Bhoomi (Land of the Gods), Anđeo čuvar (Guardian Angel), Optimisti (The Optimists), San zimske noći (Midwinter Night's Dream), Tango Argentino, Kad svane dan (When Day Breaks) and Cabaret Balkan (Powder Key).