Culture Supplement

"Escort" with the weight of the moment that transforms life

The co-production between Croatia, North Macedonia and Kosovo has come with a thriller narrative at the 15th edition of the international film festival, "PriFest". Friday night, at "Kino Armate", the film directed by Lukas Nola introduced the audience to the dark world of the underground, as a warning of the consequences of diving into it.

It is a dynamic thriller, with many events, but at its core it gives weight to the moment or an action that has the power to give life a powerful turn. In the case of "Escort", the life span is changed for the worse. The main character's life is alienated and turns into a constant effort to get him back on track.

The co-production between the three Balkan states - Croatia, North Macedonia and Kosovo - has come with a story like this in Pristina, at the 15th edition of the international film festival, "PriFest". On Friday night, at "Kino Armatë", the public was introduced to the dark world of the underground, as a warning of the consequences of diving into it. The show was preceded by a warning from the co-producer of the actor from Kosovo, Fatmir Spahiu, that the film is for audiences +18. The Kosovar premiere follows that of July of this year at the Film Festival in Pula, Croatia, which this year marked the 70th edition.

"Escort" directed by Lukas Nola, a prominent name in Croatian cinematography and not only, apart from Spahi, the cast includes actors Fiona Gllavica, Ilir Prapashtica and Dukagjin Podrimaj from Kosovo and Bashkim Alajn from Montenegro.

The whole event takes place after a party, which takes a completely different direction, a party between three friends, which turns into a tragedy. Miro, a 40-year-old businessman, enters the clutches of the underworld when he spends the night with a prostitute, who is later found dead in the hotel room where he was staying. Trying not to destroy his happy life and also his business, with the help of the hotel staff he manages to hide the death of the prostitute, but it all turns into a horror. Until then, the happy family man is blackmailed and endangers the happy life he had before the terrible night. Director Lukas Nola died in October of last year shortly after the completion of the film, but he has left an extraordinary work as a legacy of his entire body of work.

Actor and producer Fatmir Spahiu said that the director was the reason that pushed him to be a co-producer in this production.

he is definitely an extraordinary name in Croatian cinematography, it is unfortunate that the director is not alive and shortly after the completion of the film he passed away, but he left an extraordinary film behind", said Spahiu.

The Kosovo team of the film "Escort" at the 15th edition of "PriFest"

Among other things, he explained the film and the great desire of the director that the actors from Kosovo be a part of it.

"His approach, the idea of ​​turning a semi-ordinary festive night of the three friends into an almost great tragedy, really a great tragedy, is one of the reasons, of course the director's desire to have as many parts as possible of Kosovar staff. We have seen a lot of Kosovar actors appearing in different roles and I think that if we have to export something artistically, it should be the bodies of the actors, because I am not an actor myself, but I think that they leave an extraordinary impact, sell the talent of of this country, which is very important for Kosovar cinematography", he said.

He said that the premiere in Kosovo gives a different feeling. He came to "PriFest" as a co-producer with two films.

"Extraordinary emotions. I was lucky enough to be a co-producer with two films this year for the first time, namely with 'Siri', which was presented on the second day of the festival, and tonight with 'Escort'. "PriFesti" is an event that brings us all together, we meet with some people who during the year may not cooperate or exchange any specific ideas about Kosovar artistic developments, and it is definitely a multiple pleasure", said Spahiu.

Actor Dukagjin Podrimaj plays the role of a Croatian director who lives in England. He said that the first comments after the film are never real, nor are his personal impressions.

"The first comments you get after the movie are never real, but your impressions aren't real either, because when I read the script and when I saw the movie now it's completely different. That when you read it, you create one thing in your head, then you see that it is something else entirely, but I also need to digest the whole project, because I am not very clear what to say", said Podrimaj.

He has shown that his work in Zagreb, Croatia was very good and working with director Nola made him be himself even during his role in "Escort".

"The hospitality was super good, the treatment was super good and I felt very comfortable and very myself to work with a director like Lukas, and one of the things was that this role, the one that is small, was also in English , also in Croatian, because he told me: 'Speak as you wish'. Then I realized that the idea was of a director who comes from abroad, either an Englishman who comes to work there or a Croatian who went to the diaspora and came back and now has forgotten the Croatian language. So for me it was not a very complicated role, but as a project I liked it a lot both in the script and in the realization", said Podrimaj.

"Escort" is a film full of adrenaline, the scenes are contrasts of worlds, exactly how life can be transformed in a single night.