Angelina Jolie surprises Sarajevo Film Festival crowd
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt surprised the crowd at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Saturday, walking the red carpet together before Jolie took the stage at the closing-night ceremony to receive an honorary Heart of Sarajevo award.
"I told Brad in the car I was afraid I was going to cry," Jolie said, her voice breaking as she waited, eyes full of tears, for a standing ovation to die down.
The award was given to the actress "for the great impact she has in the world of cinema" and "her active engagement in the complexities of the real world we live in," festival director Mirsad Purivatra said. Jolie, who has visited Bosnia as a U.N. goodwill ambassador, chose the country as the setting for "In the Land of Blood and Honey," her directorial debut about the war there in 1992-95.
"I am so honored to be here at this festival," she said after receiving the gold, heart-shaped award. "There is no greater example of the strengths of the artists and the festival that began during the war and grew stronger every year." (See her acceptance speech below.)
Jolie, whose presence at the festival had been unannounced, also presented the festival's best actor Heart of Sarajevo to Austria's Thomas Schubert for the movie "Atmen."
The mother of six recently said she doesn't need acting as much as she used to, telling the Financial Times, "I'm older and I know who I am ... and I'm less interested in the character helping me answer something ... than in being able to answer it for myself, as a woman, as an adult, with my family."
Her partner, Pitt, whose work in "Tree of Life" made headlines at the Cannes International Film Festival, has been in Malta working on the zombie movie "World War Z."
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Reuters contributed to this report.
Photo: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrive on the red carpet before attending the closing ceremony of the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival. Credit: Elvis Barukcic / AFP/Getty Images