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PRIFEST 2018

PriFest celebrates turning ten by showcasing Kosovar cinema

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- The leading Kosovar fiction-film event is now ten years old, and is this year focusing on local creativity, introducing two additional programmes and welcoming Vanessa Redgrave

PriFest celebrates turning ten by showcasing Kosovar cinema
Rooftop Story by Gazmend Nela

The Prishtina International Film Festival (PriFest), the biggest fiction-film festival in Kosovo, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Since its previous edition, the summer festival has been aiming to retain its character as a true cultural diplomacy tool and will take place from 17-22 July in Prishtina. For its tenth edition, PriFest is focusing on productions from Kosovo. Opening with Rooftop Story by Gazmend Nela, the festival will screen a total of 11 Kosovar films (the highest number ever) that have been helmed by local directors and that have been supported by the Kosovo Cinematography Center. Acclaimed British actress Vanessa Redgrave is returning to PriFest for the first time since her visit to its first edition in order to present her debut film, Sea Sorrow [+see also:
trailer
interview: Vanessa Redgrave
film profile
]
, and she will be honoured with the festival’s Golden Goddess Award.

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A total of 58 films will be screened in the various competitive and non-competitive programmes, including six world, two international, three European and 14 regional premieres. PriFest’s main competition section, the European programme, includes six films this year: the British effort Apostasy [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by debuting director Daniel Kokotajlo, the Latvian thriller Foam at the Mouth by Janis NordsI Was a Dreamer [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alessandro Borghi
interview: Michele Vannucci
film profile
]
 by Italian debutant Michelle VannucciWajib [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir, the LGBTQI drama Anchor and Hope [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlos Marques-Marcet
film profile
]
by Carlos Marques-Marcet and Ukrainian director Marysia Nikitiuk’s debut, When the Trees Fall [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marysia Nikitiuk
film profile
]
.

Ten movies will make up the Balkan film competition, dubbed the Honey and Blood programme. The majority of the films hail from the countries of the former Yugoslavia, and three of them are from Kosovo. The titles taking part in this competition are Directions [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile
]
 by Stephan KomandarevThe Witch Hunters [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Raško MiljkovićMen Don't Cry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alen Drljević
film profile
]
 by Alen DrljevićYear of the Monkey [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Vladimir Blazevski, Comic Sans [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Nevio MarasovićA Prishtina Story by Burbuqe BerishaRooftop Story by Gazmend Nela, The Smell of Money by Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, Zer [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Kazım Öz and The Return by Kastriot Abdyli, which will be screened out of competition.

Last year, PriFest introduced the PriDocs competition, focusing on documentaries, and this year, the slate will include six features and three shorts. In partnership with Outfest in Los Angeles, the non-competitive Let it Be special programme will screen three feature films with overarching LGBTQI themes: Evening Shadows by Sridhar RangayanThe Marriage [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Blerta Zeqiri
film profile
]
 by Blerta Zeqiri and God’s Own Country [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Francis Lee
film profile
]
 by Francis Lee. Furthermore, PriFest is introducing the competitive Students’ Programme and the Experimental Programme, which will screen four films, two as world premieres.

The core event for the Kosovar film industry, PriFORUM, is also organising its tenth edition and will run from 19-22 July, retaining all of its main components. Seven projects from the region will participate in the Best Pitch Competition and will receive support in partnership with EAVE. Furthermore, the third edition of Prishtina Rendezvous will help distributors and sales agents from Europe to find out more about current Balkan film projects. Finally, PriFORUM is pressing on with its Work in Progress and Script Development sections alongside panel discussions, master classes, meetings and training programmes.

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