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PRODUCTION Kosovo / Croatia / France / Albania

Lendita Zeqiraj's feature debut, Aga's House, to open KVIFF's East of the West

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- The Kosovar filmmaker is set to present her eagerly awaited coming-of-age social drama, which focuses on female protagonists and is competing at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Lendita Zeqiraj's feature debut, Aga's House, to open KVIFF's East of the West
Aga's House by Lendita Zeqiraj

Having already forged a successful career with her short films, award-winning Kosovar writer-director Lendita Zeqiraj is due to open the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s East of the West competition with her eagerly awaited debut feature, Aga’s House [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Lendita Zeqiraj
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]
.

Zeqiraj, who was declared National Filmmaker of the Year in 2014 in her home country, has travelled to over 300 international film festivals with her previous works. Specifically, her short film Balcony premiered at the 70th Venice Film Festival, in the Orizzonti Short Films Competition, and was awarded the Jury Prize at the 2013 edition of AFI FEST. In addition, her last short film, Fence, won the Best Short Award at the Palm Springs, Hamptons and New Orleans Film Festivals, thus qualifying three times for the Academy Award for Best Short Film.

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Aga’s House revolves around the titular nine-year-old boy, who is dealing with the absence of his father while also trying to track him down. He lives with five overwrought women on the outskirts of the city. While making ends meet by selling cigarettes on the street, Aga meets Cera, who, despite his arrogant and abusive attitude, which prevents him from visiting the women’s house, forges a strange relationship with Aga that teeters between violence and affection. At the same time, the women in the house are afraid that Cera will be a bad influence on Aga, but he believes that Cera will be his only real source of support as he continues the search for his missing father.

The script was written by Zeqiraj, and like her previous shorts, it is focused on the complexity of human relations, focusing on the strong female characters that surround Aga. The director has again worked with Arti Lokaj, who plays the lead role of Aga and previously starred in Fence. The rest of the cast includes Rozafë Çelaj, who also starred in FenceAdriana Matoshi (Cold November [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ismet Sijarina
film profile
]
The Marriage [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Blerta Zeqiri
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]
), Basri LushtakuShengyl IsmailiRebeka Qena, and acclaimed actress and theatre and TV director Melihate Qena. Tunisian cinematographer Sofian El Fani, who is best known for Blue Is the Warmest Colour [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Abdellatif Kechiche
film profile
]
, scooped a César Award for Timbuktu [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and recently worked on It Must Be Heaven [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elia Suleiman
film profile
]
, is lensing the picture.

Aga’s House is being produced by Bujar Kabashi, of Pristina-based N’ART FILMS, in co-production with Woof Films (Croatia), Sacrebleu Productions (France), Ska-ndal and SY13 Films (Albania). The film has received support from the Kosovo Cinematography Center (for both its development and its production), the Kosovar Prime Minister’s Office, the minority co-production fund of the Albanian National Center of Cinematography, the City of Vrgorac in Croatia and Creative Europe – MEDIA.

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