8th Prishtina International Film Festival
Kosovo, April 22 - April 29 2016
The 2016 PriFest (Prishtina International Film Festival) is the 8th edition of the event. This year marked the return to Prishtina, Kosovo, after last year’s festival was in exile in Tirana, Albania. It was a protest against the drastic reduction of financial support given to independent cultural projects by the ministry of culture of Kosovo. Eventually, the return home became a triumph: the biggest festival so far.
During the week-long festival, headed by founder-director Vjosa Berisha, there were screenings of 75 feature and middle-length films, among them 2 world premiers, 3 European premiers, 14 regional premiers, 1 national premier and 75 Kosovar premiers. Among the special activities – the well-established British Night, dedicated to British films, and a focus on the American Cohen Brothers films.
The European competition included the films United States of Love, directed by Thomasz Wasilewski (Poland-Sweden 2016), Modris by director Juris Kursietis (Latvia-Germany-Greece 2014), 10,000 KM by Carlos Marques-Marcet (Spain 2014), Wonderland (Heimatland) which was directed by no less than 10 directors (Switzerland-Germany 2015), and Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano (Italy-France-USA-Germany-Qatar 2015) that won a special jury prize. The big winner of this section was the Icelandic Rams (2015) by Grímur Hákonarson which was picked as best film.
But the most interesting section was the main event, “Honey & Blood cinema”, which focused on up to date Balkan films. Among them were A Good Wife by Mirjana Karanovic (Serbia 2016) which won the prize for best film; Sivas by Kaan Mujdici (Germany-Turkey 2014) that took the best director award; The High Sun by Dalibor Matanic (Croatia-Slovania-Serbia 2015) whose lead actress Tihana Lazovic was awarded the best actress award for playing three different characters; and The Judgement by Stephan Komandarev (Bulgaria-Germany-Croatia 2014,) whose lead actor Assen Baltechki was named best actor. Also prominent in this section were Death in Sarajevo by Danis Tanovic (France-Bosnia and Herzgovina 2016) and Why Me by Tudor Giurgiu (Romania-Bulgaria-Hungary 2015). The FIPRESCi prize went to A Blast by Syllas Tzoumerkas (Greece 2014). (Nachum Mochiach, edited by Yael Shuv)
Prishtina International Film Festival: www.prifest.org