Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie was close to tears as she received a special award during an unannounced visit to Sarajevo’s film festival Saturday with partner Brad Pitt.
“I will start crying if you don’t stop,” Oscar-awarded Jolie told the audience who gave her a standing ovation at the city’s National Theater.
Jolie chose Bosnia’s 1992-95 war as the setting for her first film as a director. “In the Land of Blood and Honey” is due to be released in December.
She has also visited Bosnia as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N.’s refugee agency UNHCR and funded the construction of several houses for returnees in eastern Bosnia.
Festival director Mirsad Purivatra presented Jolie with a heart-shaped award when she appeared at the closing ceremony.
“Tonight we are giving the honorary Heart of Sarajevo to a great artist, not only for the great impact she has in the world of cinema but also for persisting and her active engagement in the complexities of the real world we live in,” Purivatra said.
Jolie, dressed in a long peach dress, stood on stage with eyes full of tears waiting for the clapping to die down.
“I told Brad in the car I was afraid I was going to cry,” she said, her voice breaking.
• x001 July 30 – Sarajevo Film Festival – Sarajevo, Bosnia.