The 21st edition of DokuFest will be held in just a few days in its emblematic city. This Prizren event brings together filmmakers, film lovers, and artists from all over the world; and for 9 days offers the public a multitude of documentaries and short films as well as discussions, music, and other surprises.
New this year are two cinemas added to the locations where the films will be shown, expanding the physical perimeter of the festival from previous years. Musical events will naturally be a novelty of this addition.
Two music groups and dozens of artists will fill the city's spaces with lively sounds. Other than that, everything else will be the same, maintaining the philosophy that DokuFest has created over the years.
"The question of what will be the innovation has already been asked for 20 years in a row. The whole edition is new - because it differs from previous editions. The stories are different, the films are different, practically we are dealing with innovation, of course", says the artistic director, Veton Nurkollari.
After two difficult years the festival returns to its original form. The pandemic changed the dynamics of life for us all, and likewise DokuFest was forced to adapt as well to this new way of living.
"I think we were lucky that we had the opportunity to hold the festival online, but it was not the same feeling, of course. The main part of festivals is the people and without the people there is no festival", says the executive director of DokuFest, Linda Llulla.
Now participants have the opportunity to be together again: to experience together, to share their impressions and their emotions, to hug each other and congratulate one another on their successes and more.
Unfortunately the pandemic was just one challenge the magnitude of an event such as DokuFest has had to overcome. Small challenges - the truest ones - happen every day.
"There is always challenges, but the main one which has been haunting us for 20 years now is the insufficient institutional support. DokuFest no longer needs to prove itself - it has proven itself, and this is already known", expresses Llulla, who shares the same concern with Nurkollar.
"Logistics is a challenge in itself; big musical groups come with big demands which need to be met - sometimes by going beyond the limits, sometimes by improvising", adds Nurkollari.
Regardless of all the difficulties, this festival is a motivation for the staff who are behind the DokuFest projections for 365 days a year. DokuFest is an inspiration to wake up and start the day from scratch, it is a party-like event...
"DokuFest is like a wedding held once a year and only once a year we have the opportunity to invite people to this wedding", says Nurkollari smiling.
Therefore we invite you to this unique, 21st edition of DokuFest. Come for the films, but promising that you will stay and come back for the people, the atmosphere, the cultural capital of Kosovo, Prizren…
By Ana Haxhimali
Photo Credits: Gerd Waliszewski