All Roads Lead To Prizren


Somewhere in the heart of the Balkans, there’s a tiny place called Kosovo. It’s a nation of extremes. The most isolated country in Europe, with the continent’s lowest GDP, and a century of bloody history. It also has the youngest population in Europe.

Question: what does a nation do when over 50 % of its population is under 25 and confined to a hermetically closed society? When your equivalent in any given Western European country takes their freedom of movement for granted — a non-issue, a foreign concept. A birthright for the mighty. Whereas, you, a young thriving Kosovar, in the geographical heart but political province of Europe, are surrounded by borders. Borders made of concrete and condescension.

“We are sorry to inform your visa has been rejected.”

“Your visa is only valid for five days.” (linger for a sixth day and you’ll contaminate the place.)

“You’re not worthy of backpacking around Europe like your fellow European friend.”

“You will not pass.”


You turn to yourself and your people. Examine the situation and realize the only way out is through. You confront the status-quo, and then suddenly, a volatile reaction occurs. There’s your answer, and it’s the simplest of affairs. Something has been built in front of you, and you’ve got two choices: stare at it, or demolish it to the ground.

So this year we decided. We are breaking borders. All sorts — mental, sexual, political. Our own borders. Your borders. Everyone’s. We’re tearing them motherfuckers down and you’re invited to join the rampage. Invited to experience the other extremes of Kosovo.

The electrifying atmosphere.

The unapologetic hospitality.

The youth of the nation.


Last February, the prestigious film magazine indieWIRE published an article listing the 7 types of festival you’ll find around the world. There were a few so hard to box into a category that they just had to create a special type. They called it “The Off-the-Beaten Path Festival Where Magic Happens.” Guess who they included.

Six months later, we’re one day away from kicking off the twelfth edition of Dokufest. The flags are up, and so are the posters. Outdoor cinemas: on a riverbed, up in the castle, in a historic house.

An amazing line-up of performers each evening in DokuNights, workshops and masterclasses with top-notch filmmakers, the kind of merchandise that will provoke nostalgia twenty years from now when you wear your Dokufest t-shirt, and last but certainly not least, the films.

A stunning selection of fantastic films from all corners of the globe. Immerse yourself in this year’s programme; there’s something for everyone. From Joshua Oppenheimer’s harrowing documentary The Act of Killing to exploring the eerie depths of the North Atlantic in Leviathan. Watch Sarah Polley as she messes with filmmaking conventions to great result in Stories We Tell, or explore a different kind of isolation to ours: the life of a 16-year old living in the most remote village in the world — in Sarah Gavron’s Village at the End of the World.

This year, we also have a special programme focusing on Nordic films: Focus Nordic. A carefully tailored selection of Nordic documentary and short films to acquaint you with one of the most fascinating regions of the continent.

And if you’re one who enjoys fiction, we’ve got some of that too. 33 films in the international shorts category are guaranteed to leave you talking, laughing, and, for the sensitive ones out there, weeping long after the credits have rolled. Among many other wonderful stories, feel the brotherly bond of two Icelanders in the tender but powerful Cannes import Whale Valley, and turn up for some exquisite animation in Denmark’s Miniyamba. Kosovo’s very own Arta Dobroshi will grace the screen in Daniel Mulloy’s Together, and you’ll most definitely enjoy this year’s Sundance winner, the seven-minute Finnish treatTreffit (The Date), helmed by Jenni Toivoniemi.

“You break mine, I’ll break yours”. This is how we’re rolling this year.

We might not be able to come to you, but you can come to us. There’s no excuse. All roads lead to Prizren.

Welcome to Dokufest 2013.