Besim Ugzmajli’s ‘Beyond the Gates’ wins Best Documentary in New York

Besim Ugzmajli’s documentary “Beyond the Gates” took home the “Best Documentary” Award at the 2017 New York Albanian Film Week Film Festival. The award was announced at the Award Ceremony on Monday, May 29, 2017 held at Producer’s Club Theater, hosted by Ermira Babamusta and Enkelejd Mezini.

After the screening of the documentary “Beyond the Gates”, director Besim Ugzmajli took part in the Q&A, moderated by Enkelejd Mezini.

The festival is organized by Mrika Krasniqi and Nil Production. The Jury members are:  Fatrin Krajka, Jamal Hodge, Lulzim Guhelli, Diar Xani and Amina Zhaman. Lulzim Guhelli led the festival jury as the Jury President for its 6th edition.


Mrika Krasniqi and Besim Ugzmajli at the Red Carpet Ceremony of NYAFW at SVA Theatre (Photo by Ivan Morales, Innovation Media New York)


Official Jury Statements:

Diar Xani on Best Documentary Winner “Beyond the Gates”

“For each film category we had a marathon of discussions, and I can say we discussed it in a very professional way. Each of the jury members had unique thoughts and expressed professionally.

In the documentary category we discussed the competing documentaries and after further evaluations unanimously voted for Beyond the Gates directed by Besim Ugazmajli. Personally I liked the idea of the documentary. It was creative and with a lot of inspiration. I was touched by the stories of the characters. The women expressed sincere happiness after receiving training and learning a profession in prison. Their life was not wasted, and when they are free to be integrated in society.

The treatment of this theme in Kosovo has been missing and it’s a very brave subject. Director Ugazmajli utilized the expressive tools and the passion of the some women who live behind the portals as the as it’s titled. The documentary was direct authentic, not imposing and without any decorative elements in 25 minutes this documentary left a good impression and a unique emotion,” stated Diar Xani, Jury member of NYAFW.

Amina Zhaman on Besim Ugzmajli’s Documentary “Beyond the Gates”

“I loved the documentary “Beyond the Gates” about life in prison. I was deeply touched by two stories within it. It is a special subject that has always been interesting for me personally. I think director Besim Ugzmajli created a splendid documentary and expressed a new side of prisoners’ life. It is a work I would definitely watch again and recommend everyone to see. I wish never-ending success to the best Albanian filmmakers from around the world and more amazing films like Home Sweet Home and Beyond the Gates,” stated Amina Zhaman, Jury member of NY Albanian Film Week.

Beyond the Gates by Besim Ugzmajli (Documentary)

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,  and the 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.


Beyond the Gates, winner of Best Documentary Film, directed by Besim Ugzmajli


Festival Organizer Mrika Krasniqi and co-host Ermira Babamusta, Award Ceremony at Producer’s Club Theatre (Beqir Sina Photography)


One thought on “Besim Ugzmajli’s ‘Beyond the Gates’ wins Best Documentary in New York

  1. Pingback: NY Elite June Cover: Albanian Film Week Special Edition | NY Elite Magazine

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