Culture

Samir Karahoda on the way to the Airport in the portrait film of the country

Descriptive Text

Director Samir Karahoda - known for the films "Në mes" and "Pa Vend", which brought Kosovo's name to the most prestigious world festivals - had left with his son for the Airport, to collect a gift. Many topics would be opened along the way. This is where the idea for his next film would be born. And only a director of his caliber knows how to do this. Filming has already ended and the film is above all a portrait of current Kosovo. “The number one reason I started making films is to address the injustices that are done to us in this society, as I think we are not aware of them. Through this film, several topics will be teased out, which will encourage people to think more", revealed Karahoda.

When the successes of Kosovo's films are mentioned in the world festivals, the name of Samir Karahoda is inevitable. Recently, he has remained somewhat silent, unlike two years ago, when his name was mentioned almost every day because the films with his seal had not stopped.

But the director has not been on vacation. It was on the set. As his latest project began to take shape, he agreed to speak. And it comes after the documentary "Në mes", with which for the first time he put the name of Kosovo in the official competition of "Berlinales", one of the most prominent festivals of Category A, where it premiered in February 2019 . With the second film project, "Pa vend" made history as the first local production to compete for the "Golden Palm" at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021, where it had its world premiere. It became the first film from Kosovo that the Cannes Film Festival nominated for the European Film Academy Award. It was the first film from Kosovo nominated for the best European film. It was also in the running for the American Academy Awards. It didn't stop even in 2022, when it won the jury prize in the short film category at the Sundance Film Festival. The rest is history. Success stories. Now, he is busy working on the third film.

Unlike his two films so far that navigate between the documentary and artistic genre, the next film comes as fiction, but prompted by a real event, of which the author himself was a part.

“This story is based on an ordinary day when my son and I were on our way to the Airport to pick up a gift sent to my son by his godfather. During this 15-20-minute journey, we understand what is happening in Kosovo, the challenges of our society. One of the other topics is the topic of migration when we start with understanding the desire of small children who want to leave Kosovo since his close friends and his football coach have already migrated. Despite the fact that the father insists that the birthplace has no other place", revealed Karahoda, invited to the show "Through the film" of Kohavision, which is broadcast today (Saturday) from 16:30 p.m. He also wrote the script for this project.

The film, which is already in the post-production stage, for the director will be brought to life as a portrait of current Kosovo. Characterized by minimal frames, this short film will take place in a car. The debate between a father and his young son will be the center of the narrative. On the way from Pristina to the "Adem Jashari" international airport, through the discussion of the duo, the problems of Kosovo in 2024 will be reflected, which undoubtedly coincide with global problems, beyond the local context. The frames that will move focusing mainly on what happens inside the car and the perspective from the outside will also enrich three stops during the journey, which according to the director will serve the message of the film.

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Miron Karahoda, the son of director Samir Karahoda, on the set

“The number one reason I started making films is to address the injustices that are done to us in this society, as I think we are not aware of them. Through this film, some topics will be teased out that will encourage people to think more", said Karahoda, emphasizing that, according to him, every director should have strong reasons for making a film, awareness of the impact that should be have that movie.

The challenges for the film – which was originally intended to be titled My Godfather Sent Me an Iphone, but was later changed to reveal – were not few.

Director Karahoda is not very satisfied with the institutional support for this project. "The support from the Cinematographic Center of Kosovo has been depressing, but thanks to the great heart of the team, we have achieved a good work," he said.

In addition to the lack of support, there were also technical challenges for the film.

"For me, this was probably the most difficult film to make, despite the fact that it may seem easy at first glance. I wrote the script for this film for a foggy weather, but unfortunately the fog did not come even after a year of waiting. Then we decided it was cloudy for a while, but that didn't happen either. The change of weather in the film is unforgivable, maintaining continuity in the sky views is the main challenge, but I believe that we will manage to balance it", said Karahoda.

The main roles in this film will be that of the father, who will be played by the actor Ylber Ballata, and of the son, Miron Karahoda, who is the director's son. Part of the list of actors will be Kumrije Hoxha and Anton Ndrecaj. The director has entrusted the sound design of the film to Memli Kelmendi, while the producer is Eroll Bilibani. Enis Saraçi, a close collaborator of Karahoda, one of the names associated with the most successful films of Kosovo in the last decade, is working on the editing of the film.

The film with the working title "My godfather sent me an Iphone", built on an essential conversation between father and son, emerges as a metaphor for an exploration of family relationships in the face of social, political and economic changes in a country.

Competing at prestigious festivals, such as at the "Berlinale" in Cannes, the nomination for the European "Oscar", the triumph at "Sundance" are a worthy basis for the director Karahoda, with his new film the aim is those same festivals. But the team of this cinematographic project is still considering the possibilities of a premiere in Kosovo, in addition to their work on finalizing the film.