The Croatian limited series The Last Socialist Artifact (original title: Područje bez signala) won the top prize for best drama series at the Hearts of Sarajevo TV Awards, the small-screen section of the 28th Sarajevo Film Festival.

The TV awards honor excellence among television productions from the region.

In addition to the top prize of best drama series, The Last Socialist Artifact scooped the best actor and actress honors for stars Izudin Bajrović and Lana Barić, as well as the best director nod for Dalibor Matanić and best screenplay honors for writers Hana Jušić, Jelena Paljan and Milan F. Živković.

“I didn’t expect to win this big, it was quite s surprise,” said Tilić, who produced the series through her Zagreb-based Kinorama in partnership with Slovenia’s production company Perfo, Serbia’s Sense Production and Finland’s Citizen Jane. “I’m especially happy and proud because the votes came from peers, regional professionals and colleagues, which makes it even more special.”

The prize for best actress in a drama series went to Ivana Vuković, the star of Serbian crime series Awake (Kljun). Her co-star Stefan Vukić picked up the Rising Star award for his performance.

Top comedy honors went to the Bosnian series Advokado, while Strange Kinds of Love, a Serbian romantic comedy about two former lovers on opposite sides of two feuding wine-growing families, took home the best director and best screenplay honors in the comedy categories.

The Last Socialist Artifact follows two men from Zagreb, a businessman and an engineer, who, on the bidding of a mysterious client, take over an abandoned turbine factory in a small, depressed town with the intention of restarting the business. The series was adapted from the novel No-Signal Area by Croatian writer Robert Perišić.

“The novel really impressed me, not only because of the strength of the subject matter, but also the strong characters which were very well written,” Tilić told The Hollywood Reporter. “I realized right away it is perfect material for a TV series. I thought this was the optimal format to convey the spirit of the book.”

The Last Socialist Artifact premiered at the Series Mania TV festival in Lille last year, where it won the best series in the International Panorama competition.

Some 17 series from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Slovenia were nominated for the Hearts of Sarajevo TV honors, with winners picked by a jury of more than 400 film and TV professionals from the region.

The 2022 Hearts of Sarajevo TV Awards Winners

Best Drama Series: The Last Socialist Artifact
Best Leading Actress in Drama Series: Ivana Vuković (Awake)
Best Leading Actor in Drama Series: Izudin Bajrović (The Last Socialist Artifact)
Best Supporting Actress in Drama Series: Lana Barić (The Last Socialist Artifact)
Best Supporting Actor in Drama Series: Slavko Štimac (Black Wedding)
Rising Star in Drama Series: Stefan Vukić (Awake)
Best Director for an Episode of Drama Series: Dalibor Matanić (The Last Socialist Artifact)
Best Screenplay for an Episode of Drama Series: Hana Jušić, Jelena Paljan, Milan F. Živković (The Last Socialist Artifact)
Best Comedy Series: Advokado
Best Screenplay for an Episode of Comedy Series: Boban Jevtić, Nikola Kojo (Strange Kind Of Loves)
Best Director for an Episode of Comedy Series: Nikola Kojo (Strange Kind Of Loves)
Best Leading Actress in Comedy Series: Jasna Đuričić (Advokado)
Best Leading Actor in Comedy Series: Mustafa Nadarević (1943 – 2020) (Crazy, Confused, Normal)
Rising Star in Comedy Series: Jovan Jovanović (Strange Kind Of Loves)
Best Screenplay for an Episode of Comedy Series: Boban Jevtić, Nikola Kojo (Strange Kind Of Loves)
Best Director for an Episode of Comedy Series: Nikola Kojo (Strange Kind Of Loves)

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