Home Sweet Home to premiere in Karlovy Vary’s East of the West
by David González
- The feature debut by Kosovar director Faton Bajraktari will examine the consequences of his country’s war in the festival’s parallel section
The feature debut by Kosovar director Faton Bajraktari, Home Sweet Home [+see also:
interview: Faton Bajraktari
film profile], will be competing in the East of the West parallel section of the 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (1-9 July). The title is Bajraktari's first foray into feature film, as he has previously directed short films such as the award-winning Tri ditare (Best Short Film at the Tirana International Film Festival) and Lufta, and medium-length films such as the acclaimed Morea.
In Home Sweet Home, Bajraktari directs a script written by screenwriter and playwright Zymber Kelmendi, whose credits also include Isa Qosja’s Three Windows and a Hanging [+see also:
interview: Arben Zharku
interview: Isa Qosja
film profile], the first movie to represent Kosovo in the race for the Academy Award for Best Foreign-language Film.
The story digs deep into the consequences of the Kosovo war on the humble lives of its citizens, following the young father of a family. Agron, a soldier for the Kosovo Liberation Army, was long considered dead after he went missing during the war. One fine day, he returns home, to the shock of his family: his wife Hana, and his children Drita, Luan and Blerta. As the family copes with the new situation, they try to find the best way to tell the whole village about it. But everyone is already used to life without Agron – even a commemorative statue is being created in his honour. Is his return home really something to celebrate?
Agron, the main character, is played by Donat Qosja, previously seen in Three Windows and a Hanging, and known for his work in Kosovo TV and theatre. Arta Muçaj, Monna Mustafa, Albin Bajraktari and Lea Qosja play Agron’s family, and the cast is rounded off by well-known Kosovar actor Shkumbin Istrefi, a regular collaborator of directors Isa Qosja and Gjergj Xhuvani, with a long career in TV and theatre.
Home Sweet Home was produced by Trim Musliu for Kosovo’s N. T. Sh. Cineproduction and was co-produced by Senad Abduli for Arnel Production. Latif Hasolli was the director of photography, Darko Spasovski the music supervisor and Blaze Dulje the editor. The film secured support from the Kosovo Cinematography Center.