Prishtina International Film Festival

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Prishtina International Film Festival
Location Pristina, Kosovo
Founded 2009
Awards Golden Goddess
Language International

The Prishtina International Film Festival, also known as the Pristina Film Festival and PriFilmFest, is a film festival held annually in Pristina, Kosovo, that screens prominent international cinema productions in the Balkan region and beyond, and draws attention to the Kosovar film industry. It was created after the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence. The first festival was held in 2009, and featured actress Vanessa Redgrave as the host. In 2015, the festival was cancelled due to a cut in funding by the Ministry of Culture of Kosovo. The 7th edition of the festival, which was scheduled to take place from 24 April to 1 May, was thus instead held in Tirana, Albania on 24 and 25 April and renamed to "PriFest in Exile".[1][2]


After its independence in 2008, Kosovo looked for ways to promote its cultural and artistic image. Vjosa Berisha "designed a project on promoting Kosovo internationally and build a better image for Kosovo." The project became PriFilmFest; Berisha served as an artistic director.[3] The organizers submitted a proposal for the festival for June 2009, with actress Vanessa Redgrave serving as the Chairman of the Board.[4] It was rescheduled to September. As of October 2009, it has become one of five active Kosovar film festivals that have emerged from 2002.[5]

PriFilmFest posted that its mission was "to open doors of the newest country in the world, Kosovo, to welcome different cultures of the world through cinema, using it as a medium to promote open dialog between cultures and nations." It brought in international directors and producers, and promotes Kosovar films. Its organizers have stated that Kosovo should not be known solely for political events, but for its culture.[6] Berisha stated that PriFilmFest was inspired by the Sarajevo Film Festival, which had "branded the city internationally."[5]

As part of the event, the winners would each receive a statue called the Golden Goddess, which was based on "Goddess of the throne", a terracotta figure from the Neolithic period that was discovered in Kosovo in 1960, and had become the city's symbol.[7][8]

The PriFilmFest founders are: Vjosa Berisha, Orhan Kerkezi, Fatos Berisha, and Faton Hasimja.[9]

PriFilm Forum[edit]

Starting with the second edition in 2010, the PriFilmFest launched a co-production group called PriFilm Forum. It consisted of seminars, workshops, and discussions designed to connect Kosovar filmmakers with those in neighboring countries. The two-day workshop in 2010 brought together filmmakers from Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia; they listened to presentations from co-production professionals, including EAVE (European Audio-Visual Entrepreneurs), Medienboard (German Film Fund), and Robert Bosch Stiftung. Producers and filmmakers from Bosnia, Croatia and Bulgaria shared their experiences.

PriFilmFest 2009[edit]

The first edition ran from 22 September to 30 September 2009. The slogan for the first edition was "The beginning...", which referenced Humphrey Bogart's Casablanca quote: “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”[5] Actress Vanessa Redgrave, who had worked on many charitable causes in Kosovo, hosted the event.[5][6] Berisha stated that Kosovo was trying to host events that shift media attention from politics, and that the movies in the competition include entries from the Balkans, Germany, UK and Afghanistan.[5] The show opened with the world premiere of Gjergj Xhuvani's East, West, East: The Final Sprint.[10] The event included both competition and non-competition films.[10] Six awards were presented. The event only screened one Kosovar film: Across the Road by Yll Citaku. However, the film was not qualified for the competition section, because it had been filmed in digital camera format.[5] The festival also fostered discussion among the filmmakers and the audience on how to help filmmaking in Kosovo.[5]


The following people served as the jurors for the festival.[11]

  • Isa Qosja, film director. President of the jury.
  • Marcel Maiga, festival organizer.
  • David Gothard, director.
  • Mira Staleva, deputy director of Sofia IFF.
  • Saimir Kumbaro, director.


Source: PriFilmFest website[12] and Southeast Europe website.[10]

Award Film Person
Best Film Snow Aida Begic Bosnia and Herzegovina
Best Director Opium War director: Siddiq Barmak Afghanistan
Best Actor The Living and the Dead unknown[note 1]
Best Actress I am from Titov Veles Labina Mitevska
Special Jury Prize East, West, East: The Final Sprint Gjergj Xhuvani Albania
Jury's Special Mention for the Best Film I am from Titov Veles --
Audience Prize Time of the Comet director: Fatmir Koçi Albania

PriFilmFest 2010[edit]

The second edition ran from 22 September to 29 September 2010. Italian actor Franco Nero attended.[13] Eva Orner, who won an Oscar for the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, opened the event, and chaired the jury. The festival included special screenings of Samuel Maoz's Lebanon, Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, Franco Nero's Angelus Hiroshimae, Goran Paskaljević's Honeymoons (Medeni mesec), and Jan Verheyen's Dossier K. Ten medium-length films were also presented. The Italian Embassy presented The Italian Retrospective which included five films from director Gianni Amelio.[13]

The slogan for the festival was changed to "Friendship continues..."[7]


Award Film Person
Best Film On the Path (Na putu) Bosnia and Herzegovina[note 2] --
Best Directing Tehroun (Teheran) IranFrance Nader T. Homavoun
Best Actor[note 3] The Albanian Nik Xhelilaj
Best Actress On the Path (Na putu) Zrinka Cvitešić Croatia
Special Acknowledgements by the Jury Alive (Gjalle)
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle
Artan Minarolli
Florin Şerban Romania
Media Award War is over Republic of MacedoniaSwitzerland Mitko Panov
Audience Award Border Donkeys (Gomaret e Kufirit) Kosovo director: Jeton Ahmetaj
Special Award of the Jury The Albanian AlbaniaGermany director: Johannes Naber

PriFilmFest 2011[edit]

The third edition of the festival was held from 24 September to 1 October 2011.[7] It opened with The Forgiveness of Blood, a film by American director Joshua Marston, and finished at the Square 21 with a red carpet gala. The president of the jury was Gedeon Burkhard (Inglourious Basterds), who had also submitted a medium-length film called Bridges.[14]

The slogan for the third edition was changed to "Friendship. Forever."[3][7]

The second edition of PriFilm Forum was held on 25 and 26 September, connecting worldwide directors and producers with those in Kosovo. Presenters included Sarah Calderon (Karma Films), Satu Elo (EAVE), Bernd Buder (Berlin International Film Festival), Roshanak Behesht Nedjad (Flying Moon), David Grumbach (French filmmaker), and Elma Tataragic (Program Selector, Sarajevo Film Festival).[7][14][15]


Source: PriFilmFest website.[14]

Award Film Person
Best Film Loverboy Romania director: Cătălin Mitulescu
Special Jury Prize Punk's Not Dead director: Vladimir Blazevski Republic of Macedonia
Best Director Shelter Dragomir Sholey
Best Actor Loverboy George Piştereanu[note 4]
Best Actress Amnesty Luli Bitri
Silver Goddess - Best Film in Middle-Length Category Daddy director: Umut Dag Austria
Special Jury mention Room 304 Denmark director: Birgitte Stærmose
Audience Award Amnesty Albania director: Bujar Alimani
Media jury award - Best Film Our Grand Despair director: Seyfi Teoman Turkey

PriFest 2012[edit]

The fourth edition was held from 24 September to 1 October 2012.


The jury for the fourth edition were divided into four groups:[16]

  • Competition Program Jury: Daniela Weber, David Gothard and Blerta Zeqiri
  • Honey & Blood Program Jury: David Gant, Sylvia Stevens and Barbara Lorey de Lacharierre
  • Middle-Length Program Jury: Alban Ukaj, Nikola Ljuca and Igor A. Nola
  • Media Jury: Arbana Osmani, Kushtrim Sudiku and Adriane Pajaziti


Source: PriFest website.[17]

Award Film Person
Best Film Three Worlds France director: Catherine Corsini
Special Jury Prize Avé Bulgaria director: Konstantin Bojanov
Best Director tie: Kuma
Just the wind
tie: Umut DagAustria
Bence FliegaufHungary
Best Actor The Repentant Nabil AsliAlgeria
Best Actress Three Worlds Arta DobroshiKosovo
Special Jury Mention The House Slovakia Zuzana Liova
Red Goddess - Balkan film category Honey and Blood Parade Srđan Dragojević
Silver Goddess - Middle Length Program Vast Netherlands director: Rolf van Ejik
Media Award[note 5] Three Worlds director: Catherine Corsini
Audience Award Agnus Dei Kosovo Agim Sopi


  1. ^ The PriFilmFest website listed "The crew of actors" as the best actor.
  2. ^ Actress Jasmila Zbanic and Actor/Co-Producer Leon Lucev accepted the award.
  3. ^ The Bekim Fehmiu Award for Best Actor is given by Kosovo's Ministry of Culture.
  4. ^ Piştereanu was 21 years old when he starred in Loverboy, and it was his second film.
  5. ^ The Media Award for 2012 was awarded by the Dritan Hoxha Foundation


  1. ^ "PriFest in exile, Minister of Culture responsible". PriFest. 
  2. ^ "PriFest cancelled owing to lack of state support". Cineuropa. 
  3. ^ a b "Our Fellow Vjosa Berisha Promoting Kosova". National Albanian American Council. Hope Fellowships. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  4. ^ "PriFilmFest - Prishtina International Film Festival 1 Annual June 05, 2009 to June 12, 2009". Without A Box. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Kassapoli, Veton (2009-10-15). "Kosovo's cinema, a new beginning". Balcani Caucaso. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  6. ^ a b "Vanessa Redgrave: Kosovo makes me happy". New Kosova Report. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Indiano, Andrea (2011-09-15). "Kosovo is not just about war. The importance of Prishtina International Film Festival – PriFilmFest". Prishtina Press. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  8. ^ Thorpe, Nick (2007-06-04). "Kosovo contest for state symbols". BBC. Pristina. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  9. ^ "Founders". Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  10. ^ a b c Bislimi, Bekhim (2009-11-10). "Kosovo's Film Fest: A Good Start with Vanessa Redgrave". Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  11. ^ "Editions - Jury 2009 - Jury". Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  12. ^ "Awards 2009". Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  13. ^ a b Hasimja, Milot (2010-09-22). "A week with "PriFilmFest"". Kosovo 20 What & Where. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  14. ^ a b c "3rd Edition of PriFilmFest closing night: All the Golden Goddess winners". Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  15. ^ "Final Agenda of the PRIFILMFORUM, 2nd EDITION OF THE PriFilmFORUM (25/26 SEPTEMBER 2011)". Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  16. ^ "Jury & Awards. PriFest. 24 September". Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  17. ^ "Three Awards for Three Worlds at Fourth Edition of PriFest". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 

External links[edit]