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WELCOME TO SARAJEVO

About The Production
Welcome to Sarajevo, 1992, only the 14th most dangerous place on earth (according to the U

Welcome to Sarajevo, 1992, only the 14th most dangerous place on earth (according to the U.N. that is) and well on its way to becoming number one. This sophisticated, multi­ethnic European city ­ once the sparkling host of the 1984 Winter Olympics ­ has now fallen under siege to the Bosnian Serbs who surround the city and bombard the civilian population with mortar and sniper fire.

At first, whether you are an ambitious, hardened war correspondent or new to the game, it is the place to be, never mind the danger. (More journalists were killed or injured in Bosnia than in any other modern war.) But even the most veteran journalists ­ men and woman who have been in Vietnam, South Africa, Northern Ireland, the Middle East ­ find themselves reacting to Sarajevo in unexpected ways. Here, in this city where the human capacity for violence and for hope seem to be at their most extreme, journalists are moved by the city's tenacious spirit to do whatever they can to help the people survive.

Based on true stories from the siege, WELCOME TO SARAJEVO is a high-adrenaline, powerful, yet ultimately inspirational introduction to one of the most important events of our time. The film invites audiences into the world of the jaded international press corps as it discovers the city's complex heart. Shot in an unsentimental style in the war torn city itself (the first Western film shot amidst the continuing dangers of Sarajevo since the siege ended), WELCOME TO SARAJEVO tells the story no one saw on the news ­ the up close story of how the news coming out of Sarajevo changed the lives of the people on the inside.

Director Michael Winterbottom's attempt to capture the chaotic essence of wartime Sarajevo has already been lauded by former Sarajevan war correspondents for its uncanny realism. Richard Holbrooke, US envoy to Bosnia, who helped forge the Dayton Peace Accords and continues to be a major force in trying to prevent a resumption of fighting, and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are among the many politicians who have embraced Winterbottom's unflinching look at the suffering and unsinkable spirit of the people of Sarajevo.

The original inspiration for WELCOME TO SARAJEVO comes from the true story of British journalist Michael Nicholson, who after months of reporting on the Sarajevan siege smuggled a child out of Bosnia and later adopted her. Loosely based on Nicholson's book, "Natasha's Story," WELCOME TO SARAJEVO was sparked by the idea that in Sarajevo even the toughest­skinned reporter could be moved to a personal and risky act of compassion. But the film goes beyond the story of one journalist, weaving in many other true stories, to pay tribute to the city that refused to give in.

Says director Michael Winterbottom: "I want audiences to feel what I felt when I first heard these stories, what I felt whilst the war was happening, what I felt when I first went to Sarajevo. How is it possible that we sat through this war, watching it in our living rooms on TV, and then flicking over to the sitcom on the other side and never really doing anything about it? How is it possible that these stories happened to the people of a European city today?"

Adds producer Graham Broadbent: "This is the first Western flm made on the subject of Bosnia. At its core is an anti­war statement about a terrible war that happened in front of our eyes and was ignored for too long."

Channel Four Films and Miramax Films present a Dragon Pictures Production, WELCOME TO SARAJEVO,<

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