KUSTENDORF FILM FESTIVAL

JANUARY 14 2010 11:08h

Depp opens Serbia film festival

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Johnny Depp officially opened a film festival launched by Serbian director Emir Kusturica in a western Serbian mountain settlemt Drvengrad.

MOKRA GORA, January 13, 2010 (AFP) - US actor Johnny Depp on Wednesday officially opened a film festival launched by Serbian director Emir Kusturica in a western Serbian mountain settlement Drvengrad.

Greeted by several hundred enthusiastic fans who defied cold weather, Depp unveiled a life-sized bust of himself, representing the actor leaned on a street light with his arms crossed.

The unveling of the statue marked the opening of the third Kustendorf International Film and Music Festival in Drvengrad, built in 2005 as a setting for Kusturica's film "Life Is A Miracle."

Wearing a wide-brim hat and a grey coat, Depp was accompanied by Kusturica as he greeted crowds lining the streets of Drvengrad, built in mountains of western Serbia close to the border with Bosnia.

At the festival, which runs until January 19, 28 films from 18 countries will be shown and the best will be awarded with Golden, Silver and Bronze Egg by a three-member international jury chaired by French comic book author and director, Iranian-born Marjane Satrapi.

The festival is aimed at providing film students with an alternative perspective on the Hollywood-dominated industry.

Bosnian-born Kusturica has won two Golden Palm awards at the Cannes film festival for "Underground" (1995) and "When Father Was Away on Business" (1985).

His latest movie, "Promise Me This" flopped at the box office despite a Golden Palm nomination.

Kusturica recently announced he would make film about Mexico's 19th-century bandit-turned-revolutionary Pancho Villa, to be played by Depp.