Venice: Ballkoni, Kosovo conquers spotlight

Filmmaker Zeqiraj, barriers slow to fall. Passion our weapon

30 August, 14:42

    (By Cristiana Missori) (ANSAmed) - VENICE, AUGUST 30 - After taking part in the Architecture Biennale, Kosovo is gaining a place also at the 70th international Venice Film Festival running until September 7. Representing the small state which proclaimed its independence in 2008 will be Lendita Zeqiraj whose short film Ballkoni (terrace, Kosovo, 20 min.) will be presented within the Orizzonti (horizons) section focusing on new trends in cinema, scheduled on September 5 at 2.30 am at the Sala Perla.

    Born in Pristina in 1972, Zeqiraj has made documentaries and short films presented at a number of film festivals in Oberhausen, Bradford, New York, Barcelona, Cairo, Lausanne and Milan.

    She told ANSA how difficult it is to make films 'in a country which only has one commercial movie theater and no film libraries where up-and-coming filmmakers can get acquainted with new trends and films made by the greatest filmmakers'. However, prospects are not entirely bleak: 'An increasing number of artists since our independence have represented Kosovo in several areas'.

    The first difficulty is represented by including Kosovo in the list of countries taking part in an event. But things are getting better: 'every day we are increasingly more well known internationally. It's great'.

    Passion helps Kosovo's young artists. The atmosphere in other sectors is in fact, not much better. 'I suppose all these challenges make us stronger', she said.

    Filmed in one sequence which begins at dawn and ends at sunster, Ballkoni focuses on the daily lives of Kosovo's citizens. 'With Ballkoni I tried to take the viewer to the heart of our society which often experiences situations that border on the absurd', she said. 'The situations we go through are like Bruegel's parable of the blind' in which the Flemish painter represents the sacred parable on the fact that if a blind leads another blind they will both fall. The situation concerning the young concerns the artist as much as that of the arts. 'With very high unemployment rates, fighting the idea that art is not ephemeral is the last of our problems', she said.

    Over 50% of the population is under 25 years of age, she recalls, and confined in a society which is hermetically closed: 'Though located geographically in the heart of Europe, Kosovo is surrounded by borders of concrete and arrogance with which we are regarded from abroad'. The sad truth, said the filmmaker, is that institutions are absent and the future of youths is uncertain: 'It's like a time bomb ready to explode. We have the choice as to when and how it can explode, whether through art, creativity, or other'- (ANSAmed)
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