The Karić Foundation, that has more than 30 years of humanitarian work behind, awarded for the 17th personalities in the field of culture, arts, economy, business, literature and publishing, humanitarian activities, peace building and cooperation among nations. The Karić Brothers Awards ceremony, at which the awards were presented to laureates by the Karić family members, Dragomir J. Karić and Gordana Karić, was held at the National Theatre this year again.
Milanka Karić, founder and honorary president of the Karić Foundation
“Dear friends, we have gathered together tonight under the roof of our national theatre to laud and reward the best of the best for the 17th time. This year we are marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, the Great War, which was the time of great tribulations for Serbia and the Serbian people. They suffered great losses. Their territory and population were threatened, but they managed to save their state and rise to great fame! We bow deeply before our brave and glorious ancestors! Acknowledgement and praise of other people’s achievements is what makes our award exceptional and prestigious, while its significance and the need for its existence are growing year after year. This year, like in previous years, my thoughts are turned towards my Bogoljub, who, unfortunately, greets us from afar again. Let us greet him too! He always believed that ‘the strength of a state is reflected in the strength of a family’. He is proud of the big family of our laureates, who made Serbia significantly stronger. I am exceedingly happy because, three years ago, with joy and trust, we put the leadership of the Karić Foundation and organisation of the Award into the hands of our youngest daughter, Danica. Our Dana is committed to mastering this wonderful but responsible task with love, conscience, responsibility and dedication.”
With the establishment of the first private Yugoslavian-Soviet enterprise more than three decades ago, the BK Group became a pioneer in the development of private entrepreneurship in the former Soviet Union. We have witnessed the changes made by the great statesman Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in the field of the development of democracy, freedom, market economy, economic development and the policy of peace and stability. Precisely because of this, with pride and deep gratitude, the Karić Foundation is presenting this year’s award for humanity, strengthening democratic principles, peace, cooperation and stability among peoples, to the President of the Russian Federation, a greatstatesman and a great friend of Serbia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
Alexander Vasilyevich Chepurin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Serbia
“Dear Karić family, distinguished laureates, brothers and friends, allow me, following the order of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, to accept the prestigious award on his behalf! Allow me to express gratitude to the management of the Karić Foundation for presenting Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin with this award for humanitarian service, strengthening cooperation, peace and friendship among peoples. It is a great honour, and a great honour for me personally, to accept this award. Acknowledgement of merits of the President of the Russian Federation is a way of expressing high appreciation for his contributions to the development of a modern and more just world, for strengthening Russian-Serbian friendship, and perhaps, that’s the right thing to do, because there is nothing that separates us, the Russians and the Serbs. This award is in a way recognition of the Russian commitment and the commitment of the Russian leadership to development of global affairs, based on equality and mutual respect, without separation lines, sanctions, threats, without those who finance revolutions from the outside. In the very near future, the President of the Russian Federation will visit Serbia. The President will also participate in the military parade and you will have the opportunity to meet him there. As far as I know, it will be the first parade in Belgrade in the past 30 years, which will, in a way, make it possible for the Serbs to feel dignity and excitement again. The award that is presented by the Karić Foundation comes at the best possible time. I understand that as an expression of attachment of the Serbian people for Russia and the Russian people. Good relations between Serbia and Russia represent an advantage and capital of our peoples. We want to turn that into economic cooperation, and the development of a just and peaceful Europe from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, where people will cooperate and live in friendship. I want to wish a great success to the wonderful Karić Foundation!”
The Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister who has been on this position for more than two decades, but also a distinguished Azerbaijani writer whose novels, short stories and plays are translated into a number of languages, based on whose scenarios numerous movies were directed, whose plays were performed on stages of numerous theatres in Azerbaijan and abroad, Mr. Elchin Ilyas oglu Afandiyev, a great friend of Serbia, is presented with this year’s Karić Brothers award for literature and strengthening friendly and brotherly relations between Serbia and Azerbaijan.
Elchin Ilyas oglu Afandiyev, writer and Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister
“Dear Karić family, I am proud to be performing in front of you today as a recipient of this prestigious award. Thousands of kilometres separate Serbia from Azerbaijan, but the fact that an Azerbaijani writer can be honoured with an award in Serbia erases those distances, at the same time reminding of the understanding and emotions between the two peoples. Since its beginnings, literature has always been an ally of good in fighting against evil, so if the works of an Azerbaijani writer are translated into Serbian language and are read, it also speaks of the same spiritual values that the two peoples share.”
When a foreigner becomes a football star in a country where football is more than just a game - in Brazil, it means he has reached the sky in that sport. By playing for the biggest club in Serbia - Red Star, the biggest club in Spain but in the world as well - Real Madrid, and for Brazil’s seven major clubs, including Flamengo, Santos, Vasco da Gama and Fluminense, he built a career that few football players coming from here can boast of. This year’s Karić Brothers award laureate for sports is Dejan Petković Rambo for his extraordinary achievements in global sports.
Dejan Petković Rambo, footballer
“I can say that I am very happy, after the recognitions I got in Brazil, to accept such a prestigious award in my own country, which means to be recognised by my own people. I had the honour of carrying our culture, upbringing and history far away to Brazil. And today, to be in the company of former and tonight’s laureates, makes me very emotional about this recognition, for which I am grateful to the Karić family who recognised my merits.”
An actor, producer and then director, who has pushed the limits of Serbian film industry. The career of a great film artist who managed to carry out on his back the project that many artists today would be pretty afraid to engage in - two films and three television series - “Montevideo, Taste of a Dream” and “See You in Montevideo”, the project that brought beautiful and melancholic film stories back to our lives, reminding us of the time when the football players fought and played for honour, glory, and sports success, and not for money. Actor, director and producer Dragan Bjelogrlić is this year’s laureate for the Karić Brothers Award for culture, art and extraordinary achievements in film art.
Dragan Bjelogrlić, actor, director and film producer
“I feel really good tonight, but also a bit confused, because until now I have never in my life taken a look back at my professional work. Obviously, others have... By giving me this award, I have the feeling you are sending me a message that the works attached to my name are not valuable only in my profession, but hold a greater value for my people. I am grateful to you from the bottom of my heart for this, as well as for the fact that by this award you put me in the admirable company of artists who received this recognition before me.”
One of the most important figures in the Serbian media market in the past twenty years and owner of the company PINK International, owner and founder of the largest television network in Serbia, Željko Mitrović, is the laureate of the Karić Brothers award for extraordinary accomplishments in the field of media, television and film production across Europe. If he was born in the United States or Great Britain, his work could most certainly be compared to the achievements of the large global media corporations such as CNN, Sky and Russia Today, that receive enormous financial support from their respective states. However, he has worked in a country in which he received neither understanding nor support, and quite opposite - there have been many who opposed him and his vision. Because of this, his work has a far greater value. After two decades of work and despite all the difficulties, he can be proud of his success in the media and results accomplished in Serbia and the region, comparable to those of Ted Turner or Rupert Murdock.
Željko Mitrović, owner of PINK International
“I am particularly glad that this award comes from the foundation whose founders were the pioneers in everything I deal with today. I am happy for this award, but I would be even happier if Bogoljub Karić was here with us, because he is, I can say after 20 years of involvement in this business, someone who had a better television channel than me, someone who was better than me in many categories... I hope that I will receive some other future awards in his presence.”
The laureate of the Karić Brothers Award for 2014 for journalism, publishing and strengthening cultural and spiritual relations between the two brotherly Slavic peoples of Serbia and Belarus is the academician Ivan Alekseyevich Charota, a distinguished Belarusian Slavist, professor and president of the department of Slavic literature at the Belarusian State University in Minsk. Foreign member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, academician of the International Slavic Academy of Arts and Education and member of the association of writers of Belarus, Russia and Republika Srpska. His scientific work, particularly significant in terms of Slavic literature and culture, inter-Slavic relations, the history of Orthodoxy and literary translation, is manifested in more than 500 scientific works and works of literary criticism. In particular, he contributed to the deepening of cultural relations between Serbia and Belarus and the strengthening of brotherly alliance of the two Slavic peoples.
Ivan Alekseyevich Charota, academician and foreign member of theSerbian Academy of Arts and Sciences
“I am a Belarusian, but I want you to accept me as a ‘Belo-Serbian’! I am grateful firstly to God for everything, and secondly to the Karić brothers as founders of the Foundation and humanitarians, and especially to the honourable consul of Belarus to Serbia, Dragomir Karić. I would like to express my gratitude to H.E. Ambassador Chushev, who had drawn attention to myself. I would like to address God with an appeal to grant the Serbian people everything that could help them exit this crisis situation. God bless everyone and may all the good people come together in peace, abundance and faith. Long live Serbia!”
This year’s celebration on the occasion of the presentation of the Karić Brothers Awards was again attended by a large number of guests, representatives of the diplomatic corps, figures from the cultural and public life of Serbia. The audience was particularly excited by the song from the movie “Montevideo, God Bless You” performed by Vukašin Vujović, a soloist of the national ensemble “Gradimir”, which at the same time represented a greeting to all the friends in Serbia and abroad, and specially to this year’s laureates of the Karić Brothers Award from its intellectual creator and founder, Mr. Bogoljub Karić.