Culture Supplement

"Ocarina" for identity and migration in Italy as well

Descriptive Text

Dealing with contemporary social issues is one of the main criteria for becoming part of the "Bergamo Film Meeting" Film Festival. This well-known event in Italy is the next destination for the film "Ocarina" directed by Alban Zogjani, dealing with topics such as belonging, migration and moral decision-making. "The narrative of this film, which describes the story of a couple from Kosovo who face serious challenges, has the potential to bring an important contribution to the festival itself. Through their confession, 'Okarina' can highlight important social and human issues", said the director Zogjani

The two protagonists in the movie "Ocarina" are a middle-aged couple. They are faced with a decision that defines their fate, and for the viewer, a fable that raises questions about identity and the vicissitudes of migration. They left Kosovo to join their two daughters in the United Kingdom, in an attempt to lead a more dignified life, unlike the one in Kosovo. The turning point is a letter they accept, which would write their fate. Their plans for a future in a better country and close to their daughters would be destroyed, when they are informed by the Immigration Office that the renewal of their residence permit is refused. The disappointment of a failed plan challenges them by questioning their moral values ​​which leads to unforeseen consequences for the whole family.

After the world premiere last November at the International Film Festival in Goa, India, "Ocarina" with a script by Albana Muja and directed by Alban Zogjani, will light up the screens in Italy. The 92-minute film competes in the 42nd edition of the "Bergamo Film Meeting", held from March 9 to 17.

Such a topic, which indirectly deals with some significant elements of Kosovar society at the same time, according to the director of the film, has the potential to internationalize topics that arise from special contexts.

"The narrative of this film, which describes the story of a couple from Kosovo who face serious challenges, has the potential to bring an important contribution to the festival itself. Through their confession, 'Okarina' can highlight important social and human issues", said the director, Zogjani.

At the "Bergamo Film Meeting" together with seven international films, "Okarina" competes for the "Bergamo Film Award" in the "Exhibition Competition" category. It is a category dedicated to young filmmakers which emphasizes the originality in the narrative and the stylistic approach contained in the film. From the seven competing films, three of them will be evaluated by the public as the best, while the jury consisting of Michelangelo Frammartino (director), Vaida Kazlauskaitė (coordinator of the European Film Forum Scanorama – Vilnius) and Paola Raiman (film critic) , will choose the winner who will be supported and with a monetary reward as support for productions that give space to independent cinematography. The public will have the opportunity to see the film "Ocarina" on March 11 and 12 as part of the festival program in the northeastern city of Italy.

Regarding the importance of participating in this festival, the director has expressed that he considers it a good opportunity to make the film popular. The team is ambitious and hopeful about the film and how it will be handled there.

"For me, it is very important that this film is part of this festival, as 'Bergamo Film Meeting' is an important platform to promote quality cinematography and to explore new international creativity", said Zogjani, adding that he expects "Ocarina" to become a point of discussion and to attract the attention of the public and juries with the subject it deals with and the performance of the actors.

Jehon Gorani and Shengyl Ismajli are the two actors who play the main roles, while Kastriot Shehi, Flaka Latifi, Rina Krasniqi and Arta Selimi are also part of the cast.

The film is characterized by the minimal framing of audio elements, as an attempt to calmly preserve the transmission of ambient sounds. The portrayal of the world of Shaqa (Jehon Gorani) and Selvia (Shengyl Ismajlit) in the film is realized through relying on their personal perspectives, as an attempt by the director to present the issues treated in the film in an intimate and raw manner, through directorial techniques. .

"This situation that we deal with in the film is a universal problem of migration where people face different problems such as dilemmas, desires, separation. In such situations, on the move, care is lost and family status is jeopardized, when the hierarchy created over the years is rejected by the change in lifestyle. When common goals begin to go separate ways," said the director.

"Bergamo Film Meeting" is one of the most important events in the Italian festival calendar. For 42 years in a row, thousands of enthusiasts of original cinema gather together, while in this edition for nine days, premieres of about 160 feature films, documentaries and short films are shown.

Born in Pristina, Alban Zogjani is the founder of the graphic services company ASHA and studied graphic design and film direction at the University of Pristina. His first short film is "Dear Nita" from 2015, which was awarded at the Barcelona FIF. As a producer, he continued his cinematic journey with the film "EHO" by Dren Zherka, which won the "Silver Zenith" award in the debutante category at the "Montreal World Film Festival". "The Last Battle", "Three", "Beyond Our Mountains", "Silent", are the other four short films in which Zogjani has contributed as a producer.

At the world premiere in India, "Okarina" represented Albania, while the next destination will be "The Golden Linden" in Bulgaria.