‘The Diary of Diana B.’: The Best Film at the Jerusalem Festival

‘The Diary of Diana Budisavljević’ written by a director Dana Budisavljević, won the award for Best Feature Film at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival International Competition, which is the 12th prize for this Croatian masterpiece!

The jury argued that film deals with an unknown chapter of World War II – the persecution of Christian Orthodox Serbs from the NDH, an alliance of Nazis. “Based on the diaries of Diana Budisavljević, a woman who recorded the course of action to save thousands of children, the film strictly and carefully combines the finesse of fiction, archival materials and testimonials,” the jury noted.

‘The Diary of Diana Budisavljević‘ won a total of 12 awards, after winning six awards at the Pula Film Festival, including the Grand Golden Arena for Best Film, it was awarded in Germany’s Cottbus as the Best Debut Film, in Belgrade at the Free Zone Festival and at the Zagreb Film Festival. In Croatian cinemas,it has been playing for eleven weeks and has been watched by more than 31,000 viewers since its premiere in Pula. It has been regularly screened in cinemas in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia, where it is still being screened and has so far had more than 22 thousand viewers, making it the most watched Croatian film in that country!

The film shows Diana Budisavljević, a woman who leads a comfortable life among the Zagreb upper-middle class alongside her family. In the fall of 1941, she learns that Jewish and Christian Orthodox women and children are being taken to the Ustasha camps, where they are left to die of starvation and disease. Since the Jewish community can only send provisions to Jewish prisoners, the Christian Orthodox women and children are left helpless. Taking matters into her own hands, Diana begins collecting provisions and organizes a campaign that, by the end of World War II, will have saved more than 10,000 children. The film is based on the diaries of Diana Budisavljević (1941-1945), this docu-drama interweaves dramatic enactments with survivors’ testimonies.