The 2017 Sarajevo Film Festival opened Friday night with the screening of The Other Side of Hope, directed by Aki Kaurismäki. The actors who played the main roles in the film were hosted in the first “Coffee with…” of this year’s SFF at the square in front of the National Theater.
Sherwan Haji and Simon al-Bazoon talked about the Finnish director’s first film in six years.
“Everybody felt the movie and that is what matters most,” said Haji, a Syrian who started acting in 2004.
“I thought (my role) will be small and I would be making pizza in the background,” Haji said and added “Aki told me to read the script and say ‘yes’, which is what I did.”
Al-Bazoon said he read the script and asked who Aki was because he doesn’t remember names.
“I went to the first casting test and could not believe I got the role. When I met Aki, I realized what a professional he was, but at the same time he was a very simple man. It is easy to work with him. It is unbelievable how much he does with his hands; he lights, the camera, the music…” Al-Bazoon said.