LIGHTS OF SARAJEVO – While the lights of Sarajevo burn…

A gift to a worldwide audience film Lights of Sarajevo

The film Lights of Sarajevo directed by Srđan Perkić had its premiere in 2022 in the official documentary selection of the Sarajevo Film Festival, after which it ended its festival life with its premiere in the Al Jazeera Balkans program (December 2023).

The title is a paraphrase of the title of Chaplin’s film City Lights, which successfully combined comedy and drama, making the audience alternately laugh and cry.

In 2019, the iconic Sarajevo cultural and sports center Skenderija marked its 50th anniversary, and Srđan Perkić decided to mark half a century of existence of this temple of music and culture with a film story through which the frontman of the legendary Sarajevo band Zabranjeno pušenje Davor Sučić alias Sejo Sexon guides us.

This is an intimate film story, which starts from childhood, youthful dreams, failed attempts, and first successes, all the way to the post-war return and career peak, crowned with a concert on the occasion of the joint jubilee of the band and the hall, in whose basements Zabranjeno pušenje began its musical journey during the 1984 Olympic Games.


The film Lights of Sarajevo takes us on cold winter nights through the unique, colorful neighborhoods of Sarajevo and through the myths and legends related to the hall itself, built in 1969 during socialism. The camera often, without censorship, peeks into the intimacy of the space behind the scenes and the band’s preparation for the gig, evoking all the tension and excitement ahead of the biggest solo concert in a long career.

I have always been interested in the phenomenon of seeing the band not only on stage but in the most direct, honest way – when there is that latent nervousness before the big, biggest independent concert, through events in a van or in a bar, which is part of our identity,” said Perkić in an interview for the Al Jazeera Balkans portal.

According to them, the production company Imaginarium and Perkić started the realization of the film completely irrationally, with personal funds, without a budget, but with a full heart. Fortune follows the brave. Very soon after enthusiastically starting this production venture, the importance of the project was recognized by Al Jazeera Balkans, BH Telecom and numerous sponsors, who helped this universally interesting story from Sarajevo appear on the screens of numerous film festivals from Sarajevo to Los Angeles.

Festival awards in Zenica, Tuzla, Bjelovar and Los Angeles testify to the film’s success.

The author said in interviews that “this film is a gift to all those people whose life stories Zabranjeno pušenje turned into songs and who have been a loyal supporter of the band all these years. Zabranjeno pušenje is not a fashion band, it is a group that – in addition to myths and legends – sang about simple, ordinary people and their everyday life, so the film is dedicated to them.


The work on the production of Lights of Sarajevo and the festival screenings was accompanied by the positive energy of the audience and of all those involved in the realization and production of this project.

That is why Imaginarium and the film’s producer Amra Hadžihafizbegović-Deović, together with Al Jazeera Balkans as a co-producer, decided that the film would not go to cinema distribution, but to share it on the YouTube channel of Al Jazeera Balkans as a gift to viewers around the world so that as many people as possible could to feel and share the positive energy radiated by this shared film story of ours.

This is precisely what Cockta, which decided to be the main sponsor of the film, recognized, as Naima Abadžić, head of brand for Cockta in Bosnia and Herzegovina, told us: “By collaborating with the producers of the film “Lights of Sarajevo” and the main actor, the band Zabranjeno pušenje, we wanted to show how Cockta as a brand encourages and appreciates local and authentic creativity. This film shows the spirit of this city uniquely through an emotional story, and Cockta, as a brand that speaks authentically and about important topics, fits naturally into this collaboration.”

The culture of one city and one country is a unique and universal way of communicating with the whole world. That vision, as well as the quality of the film, were recognized by renowned brands such as Bingo, Gorenje, Hifa Oil, and the Visit Sarajevo organization, which are partners of the film.

The largest retail chain in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Bingo, as a socially responsible company, also expressed its pleasure to be part of this project and to be able to help the film industry, and as a global partner of prestigious events throughout Europe and the world, believing that authenticity, quality and emotional with the power to win the hearts of the audience, Lights of Sarajevo was also supported by one of the leading European manufacturers of household appliances, the Slovenian company Gorenje.

Bosnian the Hifa Oil brand also provided support, and happily joined the project, supporting the unique story of the great Bosnian brands: Zabranjeno pušenje and Skenderija hall.

As an ideal form of promotion of Sarajevo, the film was also helped by the Tourist Board of Sarajevo Canton (Visit Sarajevo), recognizing its values of authentic creativity created in a city known, among other things, for the band Zabranjeno pušenje and good movies.

Movie link:

We believe that you will enjoy the film and remember all those stories that make so many people love Sarajevo.

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