Robert De Niro to open the 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival is kicking off with Robert De Niro presenting Martin Scorsese’s restored “Taxi Driver.” The actor will also receive the festival’s first lifetime achievement award at the opening night.

De Niro starred in the 1976 film in the role of Travis Bickle, a mentally disturbed Vietnam war veteran.

Over nine days starting Friday, some 100,000 expected guests will choose among 223 movies from 61 countries in nearly a dozen locations in the city, including an open-air theater for 3,000 guests.

The festival was born in a sandbag-protected basement during the Bosnian war when a few enthusiasts organized screenings of whatever movie they could get in order to offer some sense of normalcy to Sarajevans who braved snipers and mortars to come watch.

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