Hive (film)

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Sundance release poster
Directed byBlerta Basholli
Written byBlerta Basholli
Produced by
  • Yll Uka
  • Valon Bajgora
  • Agon Uka
CinematographyAlex Bloom
Edited by
  • Félix Sandri
  • Enis Saraçi
Music byJulien Painot
  • Ikone Studio
  • Industria Film
  • AlbaSky Film
  • Alva Film
  • Black Cat Production
Distributed byZeitgeist Films
Kino Lorber (United States)
Release dates
  • January 31, 2021 (2021-01-31) (Sundance)[1]
  • November 9, 2021 (2021-11-09) (United States)
Running time
84 minutes
North Macedonia

Hive (Albanian: Zgjoi) is a 2021 Kosovan drama film written and directed by Blerta Basholli in her directorial debut. The film stars Yllka Gashi, Çun Lajçi and Aurita Agushi.[2] It premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2021 and became the first film in Sundance history to win all three main awards – the Grand Jury Prize, the Audience Award and the Directing Award – in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.[3] It was selected as the Kosovan entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.[4]


The movie is based on the true story of a woman, Fahrije, who goes against misogynistic societal expectations to become an entrepreneur after her husband went missing during the 1998–1999 Kosovo War. She starts selling her own ajvar and honey, recruiting other women in the process.[5]

Fahrije’s husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo, and along with their grief, her family is struggling financially. In order to provide for them she launches a small agricultural business, but in the traditional patriarchal village where she lives, her ambition and efforts to empower herself and other women are not seen as positive things. She struggles not only to keep her family afloat but also against a hostile community who is rooting for her to fail.[6]


  • Yllka Gashi as Fahrije
  • Çun Lajçi as Haxhi
  • Aurita Agushi as Zamira
  • Kumrije Hoxha as Nazmije
  • Adriana Matoshi as Lume
  • Molikë Maxhuni as Emine
  • Blerta Ismaili as Edona


The film was produced by Ikone Studio, Industria Film and was co-produced by AlbaSky Film, Alva Film, and Black Cat Production.[1]


The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2021 in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section.[7] On September 8, 2021, Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber acquired the film's U.S. distribution rights and set it for a November 5, 2021 theatrical release in the United States.[8]


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of 75 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's consensus reads: "Anchored by Yllka Gashi's outstanding performance, Hive leads viewers on one woman's fact-based quest for self-determination in a patriarchal society."[9]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Sundance Film Festival February 3, 2021 Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic Blerta Basholli Won [10]
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Won
Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "'Hive' Trailer: Sundance World Premiere Finds a Woman Defying the Patriarchy in Kosovo". IndieWire. January 11, 2021. Retrieved April 30, 2023.
  2. ^ "Film and TV Projects Going Into Production - Hive". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on March 24, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  3. ^ Aftab, Kaleem (March 2, 2021). "Sundance announces its award winners". Cineuropa. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  4. ^ ""Hive" to be Kosovo's official submission for the Oscars 2022". EuroNews Albania. September 8, 2021. Archived from the original on April 22, 2022. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  5. ^ "Review: Widowed and oppressed, the women of 'Hive' assert a gritty independence". Los Angeles Times. November 11, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  6. ^ "Hive". Cineuropa. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  7. ^ Debruge, Peter (December 15, 2020). "Sundance Film Festival Lineup Features 38 First-Time Directors, Including Rebecca Hall and Robin Wright". Variety. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  8. ^ "Sundance Triple Winner 'Hive' Selected as Kosovo's International Oscar Entry". Deadline. September 9, 2021.
  9. ^ "Hive". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  10. ^ Sinha, Charu (February 3, 2021). "Here Are Your 2021 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners". Vulture. Retrieved February 4, 2021.

External links[edit]