LGBT drama The Marriage aiming for an Oscar nomination
by Vassilis Economou
- Blerta Zeqiri’s debut feature is the Kosovar submission for the 91st Academy Awards, in the Best Foreign-language Film category
Pristina-based writer-director Blerta Zeqiri’s debut feature film, The Marriage [+see also:
interview: Blerta Zeqiri
film profile], which premiered at the 21st Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting and the FIPRESCI Award, is Kosovo’s submission for the Best Foreign-language Film Academy Award, which will be handed out on 24 February 2019. The movie has already enjoyed a successful festival run in Europe, having screened at the goEast Film Festival, Cyprus Film Days, Transilvania IFF, PriFest and Sarajevo Film Festival, among others.
The Marriage, written by Zeqiri and Kreshnik Keka Berisha, deals with an extremely sensitive subject and follows Bekim (Alban Ukaj), who, together with his fiancée Anita (Adriana Matoshi), is preparing their wedding, which is just two weeks away. Their unexpected encounter with Nol (Genc Salihu), a musician now living in France, will bring back memories for Bekim. Apart from being his closest friend during wartime, Nol was also his secret ex-lover.
The head of the selection committee, writer-director Isa Qosja, stated: “The film we have proposed tackles a different subject to the one we are used to seeing, or rather obliged to see, in our industry. It contains a multi-layered dramaturgical structure, and the actors bring the characters’ fates to life with emotion and in a natural manner. The directing is subtle, and the viewer experiences the tale as one that unfolds naturally.”
The Marriage is a co-production by Keka Kreshnik Berisha, for Kosovo’s Bézé Film, with Eno Milkani, for Bunker Film (Albania). The film was financed by the Kosovo Cinematography Center and received financial support from the Albanian National Center of Cinematography. French company Wide Management is handling the world sales.
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