Albanian Film Week Festival has announced its line-up for its four-day, four-night festival May 26-29 at SVA Theatre and Producers Club Theatre in Manhattan, NY. This year’s line up includes 18 films that were narrowed down from 46 films submitted to the festival, selected by Fatrin Kraja, Jamal Hodge, Lulzim Guhelli, Diar Xani and Amina Zhaman. The opening ceremony is hosted by actor Enkelejd Mezini.
Today, AFW Director Mrika Krasniqi announced the entire program of the Albanian Film Week in New York. AFW is honored to present 18 films: 3 feature films, 12 short films and 3 documentary films. To purchase festival tickets please visit EventBrite.
Every year, Albanian Film Week Festival gives New York city a cultural boost with an exciting 4-day program of visual arts, films and entertainment. AFW festival offers a bridge between the local artists and international filmmakers. AFW attracts artists and cultural enterprises to the New York community. The festival enhances the artistic identity of the city and offers an excellent opportunity for European and Albanian filmmakers to integrate into New York arts programs.
AFW PROGRAM OF 2017
MAY 26/FRIDAY/SVA THEATRE (333 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011)
7:00pm -Red Carpet/Black Tie Event
8:00pm -Opening Ceremony/20’
AFW Program Moderator/Host: Enkelejd Mezini
8:00pm –Hije /Jotti Ejlli/ Crime/Thriller/60’16’’
Cast: Alfred Trebicka, Genti Kame, Antonio Kowdrin, Egla Ceno
Synopsis: Several homicides have shocked an Albanian small town. Gangs of the same criminal band have been murdered within a night.
The prosecutor is investigating the case, while interrogating the only ocular witness of the crime scene. It seems like it may have been a simple passion crime, because of jealousy…
But no one will ever know the real truth. It will remain a mystery forever.
Followed by Q&A
MAY 27/SATURDAY/PC THEATRE (358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036)
12:30pm -Open Debate & Cocktail/The Importance of Post-production
PAUL’S On Time Square /136 West 42nd treet New York, NY 10036 Floor HL
4:00pm -Drums of Resistance/ Mathieu Jouffre/ Documentary/65’00’’
Synopsis: When ex-YU began to fall apart in the early ‘90s, the Serbian regime banned Kosovar Albanians from participating in public life.
Albanian employees across public institutions were fired; Albanian media outlets were closed down; many elementary and high schools were closed to Albanian students; the entire university system was shut down.
But a self-organization took place, and it was mostly evident within the education sector.
6:00pm -Brava/ Bujar Alimani & Erand Sojli/Drama/22’13’’
Cast:Rina Narazani, Erand Sojli, Flonja Kodheli, Greta Sojli
Synopsis: Arian, a forty year old man, living in Tirana, Albania, goes to the rink in order to take the belongings of his late, seven years old, son. At the parking lot he encounters Asia, a Syrian single mother and Leila, her daughter. They are homeless and Arian decides to help them, by offering them a hotel for a while.
The two refugees are not welcome in the hotels Arian accompanies them, so he decides to take them at his place.
While Asia and Leila are getting some rest from their difficult journey, Flora, Arian’s wife, comes home and discovers the two refugees.
–A Long Way Home/Iber Deari/Drama/14’
Cast: Mirsad Abazi, Sefedin Shabani, Musa Isufi
Synopsis: Olti has served a long prison sentence for killing a man based on the ancient code of revenge.
He wishes to see his mother and help his family but the ancient code prohibits him from entering the village.
Now, on his way home, he has to choose between abandoning his family and risking his life just to be with them.
-Water for the roses/ Luli Bitri/ Drama/15:45
Cast: Amelia Ndoni ,Gora Bardho
Synopsis:Lena, a 5-year-old girl, is spending her summer in a small village in South Albania. Her mother and her grandmother are taking care of her newborn brother.
The family awaits the father to return, who immigrated abroad.
One day an unexpected visitor will turn their life upside down. It is 1997 and Albania is in turmoil.
-Lost Souls/Xhustin Kristian/Drama/9’45
Cast: Xhustin Kristian, Sindi Cela,Enkel Gurakuqi
Synopsis: It’s Gabriel’s birthday. He is determined to celebrate this special day even if alone.
He ends up having dinner with Orelia.
This casual meeting will affect their lost souls.
Followed by Q&A
8:30pm –Home sweet Home/Faton Bajraktari/Drama/ 92’
Cast: Donat Qosja, Arta Muçaj, Shkumbin Istrefi, Mona Mustafa, Lea Qosja, Albin Bajraktari
Synopsis: 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, with the help of family friend and former fellow soldier-turned-school headmaster Bashkim, they try to find the best way of breaking the news to the whole village. But everyone has moved on and adjusted to life without Agron.
Followed by Q&A
MAY 28/SUNDAY/PC THEATRE (358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036)
5:00pm -Beyond the Gates/Besim Ugzmajli/Documentary/22’
Synopsis: A 3 prisoners, a young guy, painter, (A.I) sentenced to 4 years in prison, A 40 years woman (Q.I) sentenced to 14 year, and N.S. sentenced to 4 years, tells their stories on courses and workshops that have held in prison.
-first prisoner become a painter, -second prisoner become a tailor, -third prisoner become a hairdresser.
This made it possible for us to be present in the detention centers of Kosovo so these categories can see that someone is working to their benefit and is trying to enable them to rejoin society successfully upon their discharge.
6:00pm –The Last Journey/Elis Gjoni/ Fiction/7’ 13’’
Cast: Ndrec mustafa, Ergest Musabelliu
Synopsis: Space experiences and feelings that accumulate within us when we lost r
elatives, members of the district makes a strong enclosure inside and forced a monotone.In this case, is the grandfather he was trying to encourage his grandson for a way out of this dream in color without leaving behind any realities that influenced coverage for a withdrawal.
-Ana/Ajola Daja/Drama/26’ 29’’
Cast: Ina Gjonci, Igli Zarka, Enkel Gurakuqi
Synopsis: Ana (28) a literature teacher at the University of Languages, lives together with her boyfriend Beni (32) a successful businessman.
Ana has an affair with one of her students, Ergi (22) who likes motor racing and sea sports. Beni tries to get Ana back.
At some point, Ana must make a choice.
–Meeting/Durim Kryeziu/Drama, Comedy/25’ 00’’
Cast: Hysen Binakun, Miradije Muriqi, Ramadan Kurti
Synopsis: Bush as Director of a cultural institution has an appointment for some investments.
He has prepared the agreement, speech and cocktail, but there is only one thing he doesn’t have..!?
–Përralla/Sabidin Ali/Drama/13’ 00’’
Cast: Sefedin Nuredini, Merita Cocoli, Arsi
m Kaleci, Shpetim Beadini, Aurela Shabani, Naime Azi, Elmedina Ameti
Synopsis: The sad love story between Agron and Lena will be the next story that Grandfather Beni will tell his niece Rona.
-Në pritje të fatit/Kastriot Abdyli/Short/5’12’’
Cast: Liridona Shehu, Ismail Kasumi, Hamdi Rashiti, Bekim Ismani
Synopsis: “In one Albanian village of Balkan where the youth are unemployed and they do not see any perspective for their future, everything is a routine and their only activity is “killing (wasting) time” in the “Coffey Bar of Village”, where is prevailing only one subject which is: “How to emigrate in the West (Western countries of world). Where hero is the one who gets married with some foreign woman “Regarding documents for citizenship” having no consideration about the age differences and assuring some kind of false visas form the criminal traffickers.”
Followed by Q&A
8:00pm -Eho/Dren Zherka/Drama/60’32’’
Cast: Klara Hofels, Selman Jusufi
Synopsis: Hanna, a 65 year old woman is involved in an accident in Germany. Subsequently, a young man Luan dies.
Hanna tries to condole with the young man’s family, but she finds out that nobody knows who is because he stayed illegally in Germany (under a false name). Out of guilt she tries to find the unknown family.
Little by little she is involuntarily exploring the man’s life in Germany and opening her own well of sadness.
Followed by Q&A
MAY 29/MONDAY/PC THEATRE (358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036)
5:00pm -City of Walls/Eneos Çarka/Documentary/22’00’’
Cast: Stivi Imami, Franko Dine, Sidrit Tarifa, Çeta, Shook Ones
Synopsis: This documentary gives an insight on the street art & graffiti culture in Tirana, Albania.
During the shooting process, City Hall interferes in the art scene with their own project and creates a conflict with a political street art collective.
6:00pm –Toka/Ibrahim Deari/Drama/24’ 41’’
Cast: Adem Karaga, Afrim Mucaj, Amernis Nokshiqi, Sefedin Nuredini, Sefedin Shabani, Vebi Qerimi and Muzbajdin Qamili
Synopsis: The father, who is old and in death bed, calls his oldest son Bardi.
He gives him advice how trough effort and hard work, he will ensure a better future for his family.
For him, the land is priceless. Just after the death of the father, the younger brother Lis appears who lives for eight years in a west European country, and in the meantime has lost contact with his family.
He, actually, returns to his village to sell part of the family land to pay off his debt to some people from the underworld.
-Beneath the Surface/Dhimitër Ismailaj-Valona/Drama/11’
Cast: Danny Boushebel, Khalid Alzouma, Raleigh Dean, Elza Zagreda, Jason John Beebe, Rick Lewis, Christopher Dickerson
Synopsis: A father and son of Arabic ethnicity is traveling home and waiting for a train on the platform when confronted by a gang of four.
They hurl racist comments as jokes and taunt the father to “do something about”.
A small crowd that is around the father and son look dismissive at them while watching the news of a recent terrorist attack on their cell phones.
The situation seems to get critical when a large MC Biker type comes in and places himself between the gang and the father & son.
-My Hero/Arbër Krasniqi/Fiction/13’
Cast: Labinot Lajci, Avni Dalipi, Fron Zehri, Çerkin Krasniqi
Synopsis: After a fierce battlefield, unit understands that one of the soldiers had remained somewhere injured, between the area that is controlled by them and the area that is controlled by the enemy.
Ilir, one of the soldiers and friend of the injured soldier, whose name is Genc, goes to seek for his friend. Mali, Ilir’s son, seven years old child, makes military salute in front of the cemetery, one by one by the graved and in front of the tomb of his father.
Followed by Q&A
8:30pm Award Ceremony
Albanian Film Week Jury 2017
Fatrin Krajka – Composer & classical pianist
Jamal Hodge – Director, screenwriter, producer
Amina Zhaman – Filmmaker, musician,critic and scientist
Lulzim Guhelli – Actor, director, screenwriter
Diar Xani – Actor, director, producer
Enkelejd Mezini – AFW Program Moderator/Host
Mrika Krasniqi – Director of Albanian Film Week Festival in New York
FESTIVAL AWARDS 2017
Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Production Award