Five short documentary films produced by students through a component of a project “Schools and Documentaries” that has been financially supported by National Endowment for Democracy has marked a success beyond our expectations.
After successful premiere at the 15th edition of DokuFest, films undertook a regional journey to film festivals “Pravo Ljudski” in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and “Free Zone” in Belgrade (Serbia).
Following these screenings individual films from the program marked their international debuts. “Grab my Hand” a joint project of Elhame Kastrati, Fatlinda Daku and Andi Bilibani was selected in the competition program of International Student Film Festival “NEW WAVE” in Sofia (Bulgaria), whereas Albrim Isufi’s project “Kosovatrans” travelled to Equality International Film Festival in Kiev (Ukraine).
Subsequently, a number of student film festivals in Europe screened the entire program of “Future is Here” as a model of program that fosters creative documentary filmmaking through practical exercises in storytelling, while familiarizing high school students with the concept of active citizenship, human rights and democratic values.
Fourth generation students after the premiere at DokuFest
Most recently the films from the program were presented at reputable Youth Film Festival “Schweizer Jugendfilmtage – Festival Ciné Jeunesse” in Zurich (Switzerland). A director of the film addressing the problem of sexual harassment “I am not just a…” Sonja Azizaj attended the festival and presented the program to Swiss audiences. Most recently the film about sacrifices of young people to pursue their dreams, skillfully captured by Ilirjana Memaj in her film “The Cost of Applause” received a special jury mention in students film festival “Zoom 11” in Lubljana (Slovenia).
European successes of the films were noticed across the Atlantic. In April “Future is Here” will be presented to young audiences of “American Documentary Film Festival” in Palm Springs, California. “Kosovatrans” will be part of the program Feminist Border Arts Film Festival 2017 of New Mexico State University.
Later in June “Grab my Hand” and “The Cost of Applause” will be part of the program of the “Scout Film Festival” in Stove, Vermont, whereas “Kosovatrans” will compete for the main award of the festival.
These films are also included in the Film Guides to be used at the DokuFest Film Clubs.