Fatmir Koci boards Amsterdam Express
by Naman Ramachandran
- Produced by Film and Music Entertainment, Act Triangle Production, Popov Film and Lara film, Fatmir Koci’s feature is the first ever UK-Albania co-production
Mike Downey and Sam Taylor’s London-based production company Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) has teamed with Albania’s Act Triangle Production, The Netherlands’ Popov Film and Germany’s Lara film to produce Amsterdam Express (photo), the fourth feature by Albanian director Fatmir Koci (Time Of The Comet) as a UK-Albania-Netherlands-Germany co-production. This will be the UK’s first co-production with Albania. The film has completed the first part of its 6-week shoot in Amsterdam and will now move to Tirana to complete shooting.
Amsterdam Express tells the story of a young Albanian emigrant in Amsterdam who is seduced by the allure of the metropolis and falls victim to the threats of ruthless drug and sex slave traffickers.
The cast includes Blerim Destani (Dossier K [+see also:
film profile]) James Biberi (Drive) and Flonja Kodheli (Beyond The Walls [+see also:
interview: David Lambert
film profile]). The film is based on a script that Koci wrote in collaboration with UK writer Jonathan Preece. Key financing was raised from the Albanian Film Centre as well as equity investments from each of the co-producers.
Koci said, “Having made a period piece by our leading national author, Ismael Kadare, as my last film, I wanted to make a contemporary love story. But a love story made complicated by the social conditions of our young people in Albania and what they are forced to do sometimes simply to survive in a world where survival is getting harder and harder.”
Downey said, “Albanian cinema has long been in a stagnant mode. We hope that with Amsterdam Express, Koci’s undeniable talent can give a boost to a film industry which has lingered far too long in the doldrums.”
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