Special Screening: Shkrepëtima | Petrit Halilaj

DokuFest is thrilled to present a special screening of Petrit Halilaj’s Shkrepëtima, which follows the artistic project with the same name, that sparked a light in Runik one year ago. The film will have its national premiere at Lumbardhi on August 08, followed by a discussion between Petrit Halilaj and the curator Leonardo Bigazzi.

Conceived by Kosovo’s most distinguished artist Petrit Halilaj, Shkrepëtima was named after a monthly multi-ethnic newspaper created and published from teachers, actors, and students of Runik in the late 70s and early 80s.

The project was was performed in front of the ruins of the House of Culture in Runik (Skënderaj), and was a succession of thorough research on the recent history of Runik, taken from social and historical memories, documents, publications, newspaper sources, municipality archives and interviews with the local people who were directly involved in the theatre and the cultural life. It involved professional actors, musicians as well as the local community and his family members on a three-piece-performance. The ruins of the stage were animated from moving sculptures, sounds, lights and an exceptional scenography created by Halilaj from the ruins of the building and inspired by the collective memory of Runik citizens. The night also brought back four fragments from some of the most prominent Albanian plays that were performed in the theater of this building in the 80s.

Shkrepëtima unearthed the past of Runik, revitalized Runik’s House of Culture and uplifted its community and most importantly was a direct incentive for the institutional initiatives of Ministry of Culture that resulted in including the House of Culture on the List of the Cultural Heritage for Temporary Protection.

The performance Shkrepëtima was the first step of a three-part project developed for the Mario Merz Prize that included also two exhibitions at the Zentrum Paul Klee (CH) and at the Fondazione Merz (IT). A catalog with the research and photo documentation of the whole project was published by hopefulmonster.

DonChristian x Perera Elsewhere | DokuNights

On August 08, we are preceding the fantastic DokuTech conference with a party curated by its team, bringing to DokuNights the rising NYC based rapper DonChristian and the experimental electronic musician Perera Elsewhere! 

DONCHRISTIAN JONES is a New York-based, visual artist, rapper, singer/songwriter, and producer. His work spans musical and time-based performance, rap mixtapes, video, and public murals, blending genres of painting and hip hop, referencing classical and contemporary styles. Much of his work today is informed by his time spent painting murals on Rikers Island with youth inmates. Don has shown and performed at The Whitney Museum, MoMA Ps1, Webster Hall, Dancespace, Center for Performance Research, and was an artist-in-residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Captiva, Florida. “Where There’s Smoke”, released on July 2018, is DonChristian’s first studio album.

PERERA ELSEWHERE is a pseudonym of the experimental electronic music producer Sasha Perera. Forged from the depths of London, eventually finding Berlin as her sanctuary, Perera summons lost souls and presage of tomorrow in her craft. Acting on instinct rather than mathematics, incorporating organic elements that complement and co-exist with robotics, carefully reserving space for her haunting yet soothing vocal passes…these are the bricks and mortar of Perera’s waking dreams. From the grit of dark club to the absorption of indigenous sounds & styles along her travels, Perera melds these inspirations into her own semi-acoustic, abstract and pop-tinged bliss.

DokuLab Productions

As we are embarking to celebrate our 18th edition, 18 films from our various educational programs that are embedded within the DokuLab department will be presented for two consecutive days at our landmark riverbed cinema. Tuesday evening of August the 6th will kick-off with six charming short documentaries produced by the 7th generation of high-school students enrolled in DokuFest’s “Future is Here” Schools and Documentaries. These powerful stories fluctuate through wide-ranging issues. From one side we have a bullying victim that breaks the silence and juxtaposes his classmates to other friends he has met in social networks, while the other story brings the story of four women and the burden of being a girl, in families without boys – full of anxiety, prejudice, and courage.

Our DokuLab Production program brings aspiring filmmakers to an enjoyable environment to acquire a conceptual and critical understanding of film while learning theoretical and practical aspects of filmmaking, from established film professionals Blerta Zeqiri, Andrijana Stojković, and Samir Karahoda.
The very same evening we will be presenting films produced through similar educational programs by partner organizations Free Zone from Belgrade and Pravo Ljudski from Sarajevo.

The next day is reserved for our aspiring filmmakers who attended an extensive yearlong filmmaking camp. Two of our young students who attended the early editions of Future is Here training program are now returning with their powerful films. The one that unpacks the memories from a war diary while the other examines the integrity of society in the lyrics of the songs. The complex program was initiated at the last edition of DokuFest and was guided throughout the year by renowned filmmakers Blerta Zeqiri and Karen Winther.

Seven films in total from Film and Factual Media will be presented on Wednesday, August 7 at 20:00 at the riverbed cinema. The charm of the evening will be enriched with the first screening of the collaborative films from our Regional Creative Documentary Film Lab Active.
Conceived as an informal and experiential educational program, the regional Creative Documentary Film Lab ACTive gathered film-makers and creative young people with an interest to explore documentary film. The program provided young filmmakers from the Balkans with the practical resources, technical, creative and strategic skills, and networking opportunities, necessary to enter cinema professionally. Two weeks of an extensive educational program in Skopje and Ulqin were coordinated by Pravo Ljudski from Sarajevo and DokuFest.

“We never doubted in the potential of the youth.” says the head of DokuLab Eroll Bilibani is also working on strengthening of the educational program and traveling cinema, and conclude “the truth is, we are exceptionally proud of these achievements of the young talent that occurred in between two editions of the festival and are looking forward to celebrating the success with our staggering audiences & partners.”

LABORATORY OF VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY: Borders: memories, practices, ideals

In partnership and organized by the Department of Ethnology in the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Art Studies in Albania, DokuFest is glad to be hosting again the Laboratory of Visual Anthropology workshop.

Borders: memories, practices, ideals

Anthropologists have long dealt with the issue of borders as a means to probably overcome them. In very broad terms, borders as physical and mental territories, represent dynamics of division, distinction, prohibition, encounters, and exchanges. Borderlands provide for the researcher a clear example of an area with a specific social, economic, judicial, and political status embedding the very essence of what borders are as historical products of modern states’ power relations.

The borders built by modern states have significantly shaped people’s life. Instead of bridges, the contemporary world is arising fences, walls, and borders. We are witnessing how the principle of security is eroding a number of freedoms through restrictions of citizen’s rights and the enforcement of border controls for “outsiders”. A culture of fear and generalized uncertainty has been imprinted in today’s societies by a post-truth paradigm that is gaining terrain in the contemporary global and national political discourses. The ideal of a borderless world, which shaped the hopes of many after the fall of communism, seems to be nowadays a utopic vision.

The fourth edition of the Laboratory of Visual Anthropology explores how borders affect people’s lives. Four teams of students have visually documented a number of narratives on how borderland communities experience the political border between Albania and Kosovo. These visual encounters will provide the base for discussions on memory, perceptions, practices, and ideals of people towards the boundaries on freedoms that have been historically erected and continue to be sustained by modern states.

Time: 09:30 – 13:00

Dates: 08/09/10 August

Location: Kino Club

Language: English/Albanian


Legowelt x Privacy | DokuNights

The house music icon Legowelt will perform for the first time at DokuNights followed by Berlin’s uncompromising producer, Privacy, on Friday, August 9th.

Danny Wolfers aka LEGOWELT is truly one of a kind. A producer and performer who spans many different scenes with ease and always in his own unique style a world away from the usual hype or trends of any given day…

His vast musical output spans many different worlds – some real, some imagined – and does so in a unique and captivating fashion that keeps listeners enthralled. Since first emerging in the early nineties as a key part of the Dutch West Coast scene and Bunker family, he has become a core member of that crew who takes inspiration from Detroit and Chicago pioneers but also fantasy films and sci-fi culture and is nowadays a modern-day techno pin-up in his own rite.

What’s more, rarely does a year go by when he doesn’t release an essential album. Most frequently producing as Legowelt, his unique style comes to form an unfaltering devotion to hardware, be it old, new or totally knackered. Quite simply the guy is an artist and musical force that cannot be stopped.

PRIVACY by name, privacy by nature: this artist has no need to reveal anything about themselves because their music is more than enough to keep your mind and feet occupied. It’s electro but with subtle differences in the way the corrugated drums make you jack, the way the metallic hits ring in your ears and the way the synths burrow deep into your psyche.

Always uncompromising and authentic, Privacy’s music reveals more with each listen. It works on the dance floor but packs in such detail that closer listening also rewards your attention. It’s the same in the DJ booth when eclectic sets twist and turn through music with meaning and purpose. We might not know much about Privacy, then, but we know that they never fail to entertain in subtly different and enjoyably deceiving ways. And really, what else matters?

FACT OR FAKE: Truth on Film

Fact or Fake: Truth On Film is a program curated around the notion of TRUTH, the central theme of this year’s edition of the festival, bringing 11 films that explore the notion of TRUTH both literally and cinematically.

In there you’ll find films that shed light to truths (sometimes also lies), such as to the rise of right-wing populism in Hungary, war on drugs in Philippines, mysteries around the death of UN secretary-general, fabricated trial in Stalin’s USSR or mass murder of Jews in Odessa in 1941 by Romanian army. Also stories from Myanmar’s difficult transition path into democracy or globe-trotting search for what democracy is actually! Stories of a whistleblower fighting the system or small collective of citizen journalists uncovering MH17 disaster and poisoning of a Russian spy in the UK. And that famous story about art forgery told by one of the greatest masters of cinema.


DokuKids 2019

We have curated a special program for our DokuKids, featuring films, animation workshops, games and lots of fun for our special ones!

Dates: 3- 9 August, 10-11:30 am
Venue: Kino Lumbardhi
Age: 6-15

We will screen 50 animated films for our beloved ones for seven days in a row, from  03 to 09 August. We have curated a unique film program for our little ones, full of joyful characters and incredibly cheery and funny moments. The program is free of charge for all children from 6 to 15 years old and starts each morning from 10:30-11:00, at Kino Lumbardhi.

Dates: 3- 09 August, 12-14 hrs
Venue: Loyola School
Age: 7-15

An introduction to the world of dance, incorporating imagination and fun with the foundations of dance technique. Participants will also gain a musical appreciation, through a variety of songs and wordplays. They will gain a greater understanding of rhythm, movement quality, space, body awareness, and shape. The last dance performance will be held at ‘Shadërvan’ on August 10, from 18 pm.

Dates: 5- 7 August,
Venue: Loyola School
Age: 9-14

The multi-day animated film course gives the children and young people a first feeling for the medium of frame-by-frame. Through small practical exercises (animated cartoons and cutouts) they should playfully get to know rhythm and movement. In the very first beginning, the children will be introduced with exemplary movies, so they are inspired by the different methods to tell a story. We will analyze different techniques and work with them. So we will use classical cartoons and cut-outs and other haptic materials, like objects and so on. The goal will be to create a little movie from 1- (maybe) 3 minutes with sound.

Dates: 5-8 August, 12:14 hrs
Venue: Loyola School
Age: 7- 15

Incorporating elements of gymnastics floor work with dance. A powerful genre that develops flexibility, strength and control combined with musicality. Improve confidence, flexibility, and fitness in this class fusing dance and gymnastics moves, taught by a professional dancer. Learn some acrobatic tricks and moves to put into a group performance at the end of the session.

Dates: 8 – 9 August
Venue: Loyola School
Age: 09-14

It is very important to know the difference between truths and lies. But, sometimes it’s not so easy… Imagine that Truth and Lie are animated characters. How do they look like? Are they humans, or some strange creatures, shapes or letters?  How do they move and react to each other?

Let’s make a very short animated film about Truth and Lie (and please help Truth to win).

In the workshop we learn the basics of stop motion animation techniques, we draw, animate and discuss. Animation is fun, but also very useful in helping to tell some really important stories!

Registration for all workshops at DokuShop starting from August 1st.


Byetone | DokuFest

We are thrilled to present to you one of the leading figures of the experimental electronic music scene, the veteran German producer and co-founder of Raster-Noton,  Byetone, who will be performing an audio visual show at Lumbardhi on August 9th.

Byetone, real name Olaf Bender, began his creative work with the casual finding of 16mm film equipment during school time. From that moment on, he started experimenting with the medium “film” as well as the raw material “film”.

Technical limitations forced special methods: he scratched directly on the footage to create geometrical figures; the results were archaic motion patterns. as a consequence of his experiments, he came into contact with the east german underground band AG Geige of which he became a permanent member in 1988. by working with this group, he also got into musical aspects. the home computer made it possible for autodidacts like him to work multimedially without musical training.

After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, Bender worked in music distribution. The experiences he gained there led him to the idea of publishing his own music by himself. Together with Frank Bretschneider, he founded the record label Rastermusic in 1996 which later merged with Carsten Nicolai’s Noton label to form Raster-Noton.

Since the label’s founding, Bender has produced music solo under the pseudonym Byetone, but it was not until 2008 that he released his first full-length record on Raster-Noton. The lead single “Plastic Star” also defined his signature sound, presenting a minimalist rhythm-based music piece with a rock attitude that can do without too much processing and decoration; archaic, rebellious music full of energy. The year 2008 also saw the release of his first full-length record, the highly acclaimed “Death of a Typographer”, whose follow-up “Symeta,” released in 2011, even entered several “record of the year” lists. He now runs Raster Media artistic platform, based in Chemnitz.


Special Screening: Forgiving the Blood

A seminal BBC documentary `Forgiving the Blood’ will have its special screening at the eighteenth edition of DokuFest. Directed by Melissa Llewelyn Davis and with Lala Meredith-Vula as the main researcher, it follows the mass movement for the forgiveness of blood feud launched among the Albanian population in the 90s.

The movement started with a group of radical students who had recruited the Professor of Folklore at Pristina University, Anton Çetta, to guide them through the intricacies of clan feuds. The film takes as a case-study one of the last families who were, in 1991, refusing to ‘gift the blood’ of their murdered son to his killer’s family. ‘Forgiving the Blood’ is a fine example of the visual ethnographic use of a single case to unpick a far broader and deeper political story. Inter alia it explores the ways a marginal farming family manages to resist great pressure to speak and act as members of a national citizenry.

DokuFest is proud to host the first public screening of the film in Kosovo, at Lumbardhi on the 7th of August, at 20.00. Melissa Llewelyn Davis, Lala Meredith Vula and Neriman Kamberi will be present and will take part in the post-screening discussion.


Angry Youth x DokuFest 2019

For the sixth installment of the series, Angry Youth x DokuNights 2019 sees an excursion into the fringe outskirts of hardcore club music with Abyss X, Moesha 13 and Goro.

Abyss X became a virtuosa in experimental cross-genre composition by crafting a unique melange of her homeland’s remarkable hymns and sultry folk club pandemonium. Emerging from an uncanny yet extraordinary sound palette, her music also carries inspiration from world music, pop, jazz, techno, noise, and trip-hop. Affiliated with various forward-thinking labels, Abyss X launched her own imprint SHXME in 2017; a not-for-profit initiative aiming to support campaigns with a focus on social change. She is also the founder of her newly conceived festival “Nature Loves Courage” taking place in her motherland, Crete, during the summer.

Moesha 13 who is already an underground icon sings, performs, DJs and produces a unique blend of french rap, hardcore, and an unmistakable sunny southern French touch. Most of her productions draw from reggaeton or dancehall underneath light-filled French vocals drenched in autotune. Moesha 13 has undeniably strong ties to hybrid club culture surfing between gadjicore, Atlanta hip hop, gabber, and even some trash metal when DJ-ing. She also fux with football jerseys, flashy Yamahas, and post-internet aesthetics. She sets a decolonial and feminist stage for a soundscape filled with hybrid individuals who choose where they belong during a performance or a night.

Goro’s unconventional output is the result of his studies of Indian classical music and the relationship between sound and meditation, paired with channeling his own musical background of Bulgaria and exploring its connection to Oriental music. All of this is of course presented within the context of contemporary club music. After releasing his debut EP “Remember Who You Are” in 2017, the Berlin-based producer has been quite active, following up with a series of singles and compilation appearances for various underground labels, which evolved at the beginning of 2018 into self-releasing tracks on a monthly basis, that received even greater recognition than the ones released with labels. This led Goro to playing numerous gigs, from regular sets in Berlin (including clubs like Berghain and Ohm) to touring worldwide. While remaining independent, his music has also gained the support of some longer-established names including WEDIDIT Collective, Scratcha DVA, Ikonika, NAAFI, Kastle, Air Max ‘97, and more.

They’ll be performing on August 4th, at our Andrra Stage!