July 31, 2021 | Saturday

The third edition of the European Film Festival was an extraordinary opportunity for Kosovar filmmakers – Driada Matoshi

In the interview of the month, we talked to Driada Matoshi – Event Leader of the European Film Festival in Kosovo 2021, who told us in more details about the third edition of the European Film Festival in Kosovo.

The Festival of European Films is one of the most prestigious film festivals in Europe. Can you tells us a bit more about it?

The European Film Festival (EUFF) is funded by the European Union, and implemented by CineEuropa, Institut Français and Goethe-Institut. The Festival is organized by the European Union delegations in many countries of the world, in a decentralized manner. EUFF has a tradition of 30 years, and for Kosovo, this is the third year it joins this important event for European and world cinema, thanks to the support of the European Union Office in Kosovo.

How many films have been shown in total and how were they selected?

In the international film category, we have screened 5 films. While in the competition for the best short feature and documentary film, 10 films out of 21 applications competed. The films were shown online and on the big screen at the Europe House in Pristina, the Europe House in North Mitrovica, and the open-air cinema of the Ali Podrimja Cultural Park in Gjakova. Meanwhile, during the final evening ceremony, held at Kino ARMATA in Prishtina, three films participating in the short film competition were screened, as well as the main prizes of the festival were awarded.

What has been the most distinct feature of this edition?

In addition to the screening of well-known films of European cinematography, the special part of the third EUFF edition in Kosovo has undoubtedly been the organization of the short film competition at a national level. This was the first time that such a competition was organized within the European Film Festival in Kosovo, in order to support Kosovar filmmakers. The competition was welcomed by local filmmakers, who have applied with many interesting works.

How important is it for Kosovar filmmakers to participate in such a competition and festival?

For filmmakers, any presentation or screening of their work at such a festival is extremely important. In addition to enabling the Kosovan public to get acquainted with their creations, their works have been evaluated and discussed by a professional jury. These have been just some of the key points that have made their participation in this festival extremely valuable. Also, to encourage young filmmakers, EUFF 2021 in Kosovo has awarded the top 3 with monetary awards.

Who are the winners of the short film competition, and how were they selected?

The winning films were selected by a professional jury composed of eminent and internationally acclaimed names of Kosovan film and culture. The EUFF 2021 jury in Kosovo is composed of : Lendita Zeqiri – Director, Shpat Deda – Producer and Armend Ismajli – Actor.

Meanwhile, regarding the winners of the short film competition, out of a total of 21 applications, 10 films of Kosovar filmmakers, after the evaluation of the jury, were directly entered in the competition for the three main prizes of the festival, which were: Best Documentary Short Film; Best Short Film and Best Actor or Actress.

“Daniel” by Loreta Bërbatovci, was awarded for best short film. While “I have never traveled by plane” by Redon Kika was awarded for best documentary short film, and Eli Gashi for acting in the film “A manual for separation” was awarded the prize for best actress.

What can we expect in the next edition of the festival?

We are looking forward to the next edition of EUFF in Kosovo.  An even better, more comprehensive version, with more artists and more awards, and even more beautiful works by local and international filmmakers. Simply a big celebration of European and world cinematography in Kosovo.