Albania - A New Wave in Cinema
Press release issued: 12 March 2007
A rare season of screenings which showcases the best of Albanian modern cinema, and offers a chance to meet some of its filmmakers and stars has been organised by members of Bristol's Arts Faculty at Watershed this weekend.
The season is presented in partnership with the University of Bristol’s Arts Faculty and the University’s Alumni Association. It was organized by Dr Derek Duncan of the Department of Italian, Dr Birgit Beumers of the Department of Russian and Arber Kadia, an Albanian postgraduate student in the Department of History of Art.
Dr Duncan said: “This is a rare opportunity to see films from one of Europe's least-visited countries and to meet of one its leading directors, Gjergj Xhuvani. It also reflects the breadth of research interests in Screen Studies in the Arts Faculty at Bristol University.”
Mark Cosgrove, Watershed’s Head of Programme said: “Albanian cinema has been largely under-represented in the West, but over the past five years the stories, directing and cinematography coming out of this country has become stronger and stronger and should be seen by a wider audience. I am delighted that Watershed is presenting this season in partnership with the Albanian Ministry for Tourism Culture and Sport (MTKRS), the University of Bristol’s Arts Faculty and the University of Bristol’s Alumni Association.”
The season includes a focus on director Gjergj Xhuvani, whose feature film Slogans was the first Albanian film to be selected to screen in the Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, and has gone on to win many other festival awards. Slogans is a scathing attack on the ignorant and imbecilic nature of fanatical politics which looks back on the excesses of an outdated Stalinist ideology.
Another film by Gjergj Xhuvani, Dear Enemy will also be screened as part of the season. In 1943, Albania is under German occupation and Harun delicately conducts business with the Nazis whilst hiding an Albanian partisan, a wounded Italian soldier and a Jewish watchmaker in his home, pressing these enemies into close quarters to great comic effect.
The season also includes a screening of Fatmir Koçi's Tirana Year Zero, a brutally honest exposé of the lure of a richer life abroad, which centres on a young odd job man Niku and his girlfriend Klara. The Albania in which they live is desperate, yet despite the ever-present corruption, chaos and violence, Niku can see no reason to leave. Tirana Year Zero was in the official selection at the Venice Film Festival.
There will also be a panel discussion with special guests: director Gjergj Xhuvani, Slogans film star Luiza Xhuvani and Albanian journalist Roland Seijko.
Albanian Film Season: A New Wave in Cinema
Tirana Year Zero (Tirana Viti 0) – Friday 16 March 18.00
Dear Enemy (I dashur armik) – Saturday 17 March 14.00 This screening will be introduced by director Gjergj Xhuvani.
Panel Discussion: A New Wave in Cinema? – Saturday 17 March 16.00 Fee: £3.00 full / £2.00 concessions.
Slogans (Parrullat) – Saturday 17 March 20.30 This screening will be introduced by director Gjergj Xhuvani.