August 25, 2017 | Friday

Talking films and cultural breakthrough at the EUICC

In August, the EU Information and Cultural Centre launched its newest campaign that aims to promote Kosovo’s cinematography and it cultural breakthrough.

On 11 August, the EUICC screened Zoti i Shpisë [Lord of the House], a documentary that portrays a rebellious Kosovar midwife fighting for acknowledgement from her family, which has always lived by century-old Albanian traditions based on male-dominance. The documentary that was partially helped by the EU-funded project ‘Culture for All’ is directed by Dutch journalist and filmmaker Daniele Bremer and produced by Kosovar actor and director Edon Rizvanolli.

This documentary opened the EUICC campaign titled Kosovo Cinematography: The Cultural Breakthrough. During her presentation director and author Bremer said that she found it interesting to explore the lives of her characters and how they interact with their family, especially the social pressure on girls and women in rural areas.

As part of August campaign, short film Home was screened on 14 August in front of a numerous audience to be followed by a panel talk with director Mulloy and the Kosovo-UK team of producers, Afolabi Kuti, Shpend Qamili and Shpat Deda, who spoke of the filmmaking process of Home, the community collaboration and the great potential that Kosovo has in the field of cinematography.

Daniel Mulloy’s BAFTA winning short Home tackles the dehumanisation of the refugee, reversing the story of the stereotypical refugee and portraying instead an English comfortable family whilst sending a strong message to the audience that a refugee status is not exclusive to countries in conflict. Mulloy is a proactive partner of the United Nations in raising awareness on current crisis for migrating populations and refugees.

As Kosovo has by a very nascent film industry, this movie made it possible for the people involved to continue with other projects and it presents an important stepping stone, noted producer Shpat Deda. Deda praised the community spirit and their collaboration, especially their great commitment in making this film happen.

Shpend Qamili, producer and Communications specialist at UN Kosovo team, mentioned that Home represents a pioneering film that tackles the migration theme, whereas people from academia, programs that deal with migration and development projects are interested to screen it at their universities as part of the curricula.

Home was released on World Refugee Day, having won awards at Clermont-Ferrand, Dresden and Palm Springs festivals, along with its BAFTA. The film was supported by United Nations Kosovo Team, and many other UN agencies.

The aim of this campaign was to bring to light the latest achievements of Kosovo’s cinematography and present its major breakthrough and acknowledgment in the world of culture and cinema globally.