SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Angelina Jolie attended the closing ceremony of the eight-day Sarajevo Film Festival in Bosnia’s capital Saturday, and organizers presented her with a special award for bringing attention to refugees from the country’s 1992-’95 war.
The award, called “The Heart of Sarajevo,” was handed to Jolie by the festival director, Miro Purivatra, who said it was being given to her not only for her great impact in the movie industry, but also “for persisting in her active engagement in the complexities in the real world we live in.”
Jolie visited Bosnia several times last year as UNHCR ambassador and drew attention to the plight of 117,000 people who haven’t been able to return to their homes even though the Bosnia war ended 16 years ago. Accompanied by Brad Pitt, she visited several refugee camps. The visit resulted in a U.S. government donation that provided housing for the last 15 people living in one of the rundown facilities.
“I told Brad in the car I was afraid I was going to cry,” she said with tears in her eyes as the audience gave her a standing ovation at the Sarajevo National Theater.
Jolie said she experienced the “warmth and hospitality” of the city during her visits and was honored to receive the award – a silver heart she took out of the box and pressed against her chest.