news 21 Jan 13

Bosnian Serbs Welcome Monica Bellucci

The Italian film star brought some glamour to Banja Luka when she dropped in with director Emir Kusturica on the way to Serbia.

Elvira M. Jukic

Milorad Dodik, the president of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska entity, greeted Bellucci at his residence in Banja Luka when she stopped by with Kusturica on Saturday on route to the Kustendorf film and music festival in Serbia.

Responding to journalists’ questions afterwards, Bellucci said that she found Dodik “very charming” and that she did not have any prejudices about Serbs.

She also said that she was glad to be “in Serbia for the first time” but, after Kusturica interjected, she corrected herself, saying she was glad to be in Republika Srpska.

The actress was brought to Banja Luka in a Republika Srpska government plane and taken to the presidential palace, where a crowd of fans had gathered to see her arrive.

Bellucci said that she will play the female lead in Kusturica’s new film “Love and War”, which is to be shot from May onwards in Trebinje in southern Bosnia.

Dodik said it was an honour to see her in Banja Luka and thanked Kusturica for arranging the visit.

“That shows that Emir Kusturica is a man who can spread positive news and energy. I am thankful to Monica Bellucci for being here and I'll see her in May in Trebinje,” Dodik said.

The Kustendorf film and music festival runs until January 22 in Drvengrad, a small wooden town built by Kusturica on the slopes of Mount Zlatibor in Serbia.

French actress Audrey Tautou has also been a special guest at this year's festival.

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