The Sarajevo Film Festival will fete U.S. director and screenwriter Paul Schrader with its Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the festival’s 28th edition, which runs Aug. 12-19.
The filmmaker is being honored for a decades-spanning career that includes the screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Raging Bull” (which he co-wrote), as well the dozens of films he directed, including “American Gigolo,” “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters” and “The Comfort of Strangers.”
In 2019, Schrader was nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay for “First Reformed,” which he also directed. He was in Venice last year with “The Card Counter,” starring Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish, which has been a critical and box office success.
The filmmaker will receive the Heart of Sarajevo Award at a ceremony on Aug. 13, which will be followed by a special screening of “The Card Counter,” which stars Isaac as a former Abu Ghraib interrogator coming to terms with his past. Earlier in the day, Schrader will hold a masterclass to open this year’s Talents Sarajevo Masterclasses program.
The award is among a series of recent and upcoming honors for one of the leading figures of New Hollywood cinema, who directed his first film, “Blue Collar,” in 1978, two years after “Taxi Driver” won the Palme d’Or in Cannes. Schrader was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Zurich Film Festival last year and will receive a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement this year in Venice.
Of “The Card Counter,” Variety’s Owen Gleiberman wrote that Schrader directed his “card-sharp noir…with consummate ease and skill,” noting that it “sets up a heady thriller framework and embeds it with a topical issue that’s like an open wound, a scar on our national psyche.”
The writer-director is currently working on “Master Gardener,” which stars Joel Edgerton as a horticulturist who tends to a beautiful and historic estate owned by a wealthy dowager, played by Sigourney Weaver.