SARAJEVO, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The 25th Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) kicked off Friday in Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) capital, presenting artists with the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo award, the highest prize at the event.
Polish-born film director and screenwriter Pawel Pawlikowski and Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won the glamourous award.
Pawlikowski, during the award ceremony, said that the heart of Sarajevo is really strong, stronger than ideologies, and nationalism.
"This festival is something that portrays it," Oscar-winning Pawlikowski said, recalling that he has made a number of visits to Sarajevo over the past decades and that his movie "Cold War" opened last year's SFF.
The Heart of Sarajevo award was also given to Inarritu, three-time winning Oscar, for his outstanding contributions to filmmaking.
During the award ceremony, Inarritu saw the award as extraordinary recognition, and also as a present for his 56th birthday which he celebrated on Thursday.
The world premiere of movie "The Son", directed by BiH's Ines Tanovic, opened the 25th SFF by telling a story of a boy named Arman who was adopted by Jasna and Senad.
The movie depicts Arman's hard time coping with being an adopted child, getting in trouble together with his schoolmates, and despite being very intelligent, he was labelled as a problem child.
A record number of 270 films will be screened in 18 programs from 56 countries.
After the red-carpet ceremony in front of the National Theater in Sarajevo, SFF director Mirsad Purivatra stressed the importance of jubilee edition of the festival, pointing out it has grown into a very significant event in Southeast Europe.
The SFF runs from Aug. 16-23 and receives patronage from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.