Astrit Kabashi, actor of successful Kosovar films

Astrit Kabashi stands out as one of the best Kosovar actors, who has behind him a rich portfolio of theatrical, television and film projects.

Some of the most successful films of the actor are: "Father", "Field of Mulberry", "Zana", "Exile", "Albanian Virgin" and others. The last feature film in which Kabashi has acted is, "Vera andrron detin", a project that was highly awarded and well received by the public.

"I accepted this role with great pleasure after I received the script from the director, Kaltrina Krasniqi, and read it. I was very impressed by the character that the director offered me. I say again that I am very happy to have been a part of that cast and film, which finally won several awards and participated in one of the biggest and oldest festivals in the world, which is that of Venice. I have worked with Kaltrina before, at that time she was still a student so we already know each other, that's why I didn't hesitate at all to be part of that project", declares Kabashi during the interview for the festive edition of the show "Through Film" in Kohavision.

"Vera dreams of the sea" focuses on a sign language interpreter, Vera, who is forced to fight against the patriarchy to win the inheritance of her husband, Fatmir. After he kills himself, Vera may lose the house she wants to leave to her daughter. Kabashi portrays the role of Ahmet, the man who claims that Fatmiri bequeathed the house to him.

"Summer dreams of the sea" has consistently received positive reviews in each of its appearances. However, the journey to Venice was not very easy for the film team, which, despite the obstacles that came with the coronavirus pandemic, also faced the main problem for Kosovar artists, which is obtaining visas.

"We almost missed going to Venice because of the visas. This work of visas has already become unfashionable. We have nothing more to say about it. But, as luck would have it, we got the visas, albeit only for 5 days. Therefore, we managed to enjoy Venice only for 3 days. I'll say it again, it's every actor's dream to participate in these big festivals like Cannes, Venice, Berlin, let's not talk about events like the 'Oscars'. So, attending the Venice Film Festival was an incredible feeling, but when it came to worrying about whether we would get the visas or not, for a moment it seemed like everything was going to fall apart. However, the important thing is that the film was well received there and had enough audience even with high security measures due to the pandemic. The stages have been packed with people. The reception has been extraordinary. We also met with the chairman of the festival, we conducted various interviews, numerous photo sessions and others. I'm saying it again, it's every actor's dream to experience such an event, so I'm glad we had that luck."

When it comes to Kosovo's cinematographic productions, the actor believes that the film has best represented our country and culture.

"So far, the film has best presented Kosovo in the international arena. I believe he will continue to present it as it is best. I hope that our institutions, especially the Ministry of Culture, will stand behind these projects and I hope that all this work will not stop but will continue to make good films, as they have been done so far. I think that the best production of Kosovo so far is precisely the film", says the actor.

Astrit Kabashi, among other things, shows that in order to reach the acting profession, you need to have dedication and love for work, to choose projects and roles wisely, but you also need a little good luck.

"Perhaps I was also a bit lucky because in this profession you have to be lucky, but it's not that I didn't work. Everything started well for me with the film 'Babai' directed by Visar Morina. I also worked with him in the short film 'Der Schubling', which participated in many international festivals where it was awarded. As he always mentioned that in the theater it all started with the play 'Teaching' directed by Bekim Lumi, in the cinematography everything started with the film 'Babai' where I had the main role. Often the actor must know how to choose which projects to be involved in or which characters to play. It's not always up to us, it's often in the hands of the directors what roles they offer us, but I was lucky enough to be offered very good scripts that have had international success. After the film 'Babai', I was offered the opportunity to play in the films 'Shok', 'Zana', 'Zgjoi', 'Exile', 'Albanian Virgin' and others".

Kabashi's last collaboration with the director, Visar Morina, was in the film "Exile", which was also Kosovo's proposal for the "Oscar" ceremony in 2021. However, this duo is expected to get together very soon, for a new project cinematic.

"This project was very special because my daughter Ameli also played with me. She was very excited about it. I always feel lucky and happy when I work with Visar Morina. I think he is one of our best directors and we should be happy to have him. I had the chance to make three films with him. 'Exile' was a completely German film, even though the main character was an Albanian who was born and raised there. I am also sharing with you an information that I have not made public before, I expect that in 2023 he will portray the main role in Visar's next film. I am looking forward to this project. I cannot reveal more details, but it is already public that it has won funding from the Cinematographic Center of Kosovo".

With more than two decades of career, Kabashi says that he still remembers his first film role with great nostalgia.

"I always remember my first role. It was the main role in the film "The Last Beginning" directed by Mensur Safqiu. It was a special emotion for me because in that film I acted with my late professor, Faruk Begolli. At that time it was fun to play in a project together with your beloved professor. Therefore, yes, I remember that role very well".

In recent years, the new generations of our actors have been highly appreciated in each appearance on the international stage, where they have also grabbed important cinematographic awards. As an acting professor at the University of Pristina, Kabashi says that Kosovo has very talented young actors.

"We are not the only ones who say this, but they also mention it abroad, especially in big festivals where we have been presented. What was always mentioned first was how many good actors Kosovo has. I'm sorry to say so because I was usually part of those projects, but not only I was mentioned but also all the other actors. That's why I think we have a very good acting school that produces extremely talented actors".

Successes in the film world have not been lacking for women directors either, who have produced some of the most awarded films at category A festivals. Astrit Kabashi has also played in most of these projects. But how does he evaluate the cooperation with these directors?

"It's very good and easy to work with female directors, maybe even easier than working with directors. I am glad that we have so many female directors and I am very happy that they have been given the opportunity to work and prove themselves in Kosovo. I hope we will continue to give you priority, because they have proven themselves with the wonderful work they have done".

Another passion of actor Kabashi is literature. Whenever he has the opportunity, he writes scripts and he does this with great desire and dedication.

"I had a passion for writing scripts before entering the world of acting. For the first time, he is making it public that before the acting school, I was enrolled in the Faculty of Literature. I finished one year there and then I transferred to the Faculty of Arts. Therefore, I have left the habit of writing. Then, this also arose as a necessity, especially after the war because not many film or television projects were being realized, and so I was forced to write scripts. I performed various comedies, then for 13 years I wrote the script for the series 'Our Cafe' and now I have started writing more for myself".

In the end, Kabashi promises that he will be quite engaged during the year 2023, with local and international projects, which he will reveal to the general public at the right time.