Home Sweet Home chosen to represent Kosovo at the Oscars
by Fran Royo
- Kosovo sends Home Sweet Home, the debut feature by Faton Bajraktari, as the country’s entry in the Best Foreign-language Film category at the Oscars
Faton Bajraktari, who studied Film and Television Direction at the University of Tetovo, has previously directed many short films, including Tri dritare, which won him the Best Short Film Award at the Tirana International Film Festival, and Lufta, in addition to medium-length films such as the acclaimed Morea. But his introduction to the feature-film world, Home Sweet Home [+see also:
interview: Faton Bajraktari
film profile], seems destined for success, as it was screened in the East of the West competition at this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (read the news) and has now been chosen by Kosovo to represent the country in the Best Foreign-language Film category at the Oscars.
The film tells the story of Agron, a young man who was considered dead after he went missing during the Kosovo War, while he was serving as a soldier in the Kosovo Liberation Army. When he returns home, he is faced with the shock of his family: his wife, Hana, and his children Drita, Luan and Blerta. They, and even the village where they live, had already got used to Agron’s death, which means that his return leaves a bittersweet taste.
Agron, the main character, is played by the well-known Kosovar TV and theatre actor Donat Qosja. His family is played by Arta Muçaj, Monna Mustafa, Albin Bajraktari and Lea Qosja, and the cast list also features remarkable local actors such as Shkumbin Istrefi.
The film is a co-production between Kosovo and Macedonia, and was supported by the Kosovo Cinematography Center and the Macedonian Film Agency. In Home Sweet Home, Bajraktari directs a script written by Zymber Kelmendi. It 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.
This is the third year that Kosovo has submitted a contender for the Best Foreign-language Film Oscar. Last year's hopeful was Babai [+see also:
interview: Visar Morina
film profile] by Visar Morina, and in 2014, it was 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 in this category. Moreover, in 2016, the Kosovar short film Shok was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the Oscars, marking the first time in history that Kosovo had entered the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Now, the upcoming 89th edition of the Academy Awards will decide the future of Home Sweet Home.