Veljko Bulajić Obituary, Former Montenegrin Film Director And UNESCO Kalinga Prize Recipient Has Died

Veljko Bulajić Obituary, Death Cause – Veljko Bulajić (22 March 1928 – 3 April 2024) was a Montenegrin film director and UNESCO Kalinga Prize winner. Bulajić is best known for directing World War II-themed Partisan films, having spent most of his life in Croatia. Croatian Public Broadcasting Company says his videos have reached over 500 million viewers globally. All four most-watched Yugoslav films were directed by Bulajić. MUBI says Bulajić is “a creator of made-to-order epic blockbusters”. At the age of 96, Bulajić passed away on April 3, 2024. Bulajić received the Kalinga Prize from the UNESCO Director-General for his significant contribution to worldwide artistic filmmaking. He won for his documentary Skoplje ’63 on the 1963 earthquake that decimated the city. The film won Bulajić his third nomination and sole win at a “Big Three” film festival. At the 25th Venice Film Festival, he won the Golden Lion.

Bulajić received numerous awards for the film, including the Cannes Film Festival film critics award, the Golden Spike at the Valladolid International Film Festival, an award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Golden Nymph at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, and the CIDALC award from the International Committee for the Diffusion of Artistic and Literary Works by the Cinematograph. The Swedish Film Institute named it one of the 15 finest 1920–1964 pictures. The International League of Humanists named Bulajić humanist film director of the 20th century in 2012. Bulajic received the honor during Elizabeth Rehn’s international league leadership.

Bulajić won best director or film awards at various film festivals, including Sitges, Cairo, Vancouver, Saint Petersburg, Florence, Avelin, Cuneu, Dok Leipzig, San Sebastian, and the International Film Festival of India (formerly New Delhi). For his contributions to international film, the Manaki brothers International Film Festival granted him a Special Award Golden Camera 300 in 2008. Battle of Neretva was named one of the 10 most essential World War II films by the 32nd Moscow International Film Festival Commission in 2010. This placed the film with David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai and Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun. Throughout his career, Bulajić collaborated with Hollywood stars like Orson Welles, Hardy Krüger, Sergei Bondarchuk, Franco Nero, Christopher Plummer, and Yul Brynner.

Bulajić has won several awards, including ten golden arena awards at the Pula Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival audience award, a lifetime achievement award at MedFilm Festival, and the Nastro d’Argento, Europe’s oldest film prize, from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists. Bulajić was a Cannes Film Festival juror in 1968, 1969, and 1980. Only 15 people have served on the jury three or more times. Bulajic has served in Venice, San Sebastian, and Delhi International Film Festival juries.Politico called Bulajic “one of the most successful director’s of his day” in 2011. He received the SEE Film Legend Award from the International Committee of the South East European Film Festival in 2016.

Bulajić received numerous state awards and medals. The city of Berlin award, the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia award, the “Sacred Ground of Stalingrad” award of the Soviet Union, the July 13th Lifetime Achievement award (Montenegro’s highest civilian honor), the City of Skopje (Macedonia) award, the City of Zagreb (Croatia) award, and the Vladimir Nazor Award for

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