Since the evening of August 7, the 19th edition of DokuFest kicked off. It is going to be indeed an unusual edition due to the worldwide situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like many other things, DokuFest too has transitioned into the virtual world, providing the public with a complete program of an untouched cinematic experience.

Of course, this edition is not going to be like the previous ones, and this was felt especially during the opening ceremony, where the participation was extremely limited, and where the usual liveliness was lacking, as it is felt in the empty streets of Prizren, which used to be full of people during this time of the year, coming from all over the region and beyond, to attend DokuFest and this year we will not be able to feel the electrifying atmosphere of DokuNights, where people enjoyed the music until the early hours of the morning.

Still this year’s program remains as diverse and inclusive, just like every year, as the work for the organization of DokuFest starts as soon as the edition of that year wraps up, and in the same way it had started for the event of this year as well. In a very short time, only a few months, it was necessary to reorganize and restructure the entire edition, trying very hard not to differ from the original spirit of DokuFest.

The result is a transformation of the festival, where we already have set up a multifunctional online platform, which makes it possible to be a part of the experience of the festival regardless of borders. While we will certainly not be able to enjoy the festive and lively atmosphere that was created in the city during the festival week, now everyone is able to attend any festival activity, regardless of where it is located geographically. Although this year it will not be possible to create the usual unforgettable memories by the river of Prizren, we will have a whole ocean of virtual opportunities to share and experience together. This unusual organization will enable us to be even closer with each other, preserving the spirit of this festival, and focusing on what gives it its spirit, the people themselves.

This edition will remain in everyone’s memory, for a long time; it will remain in the memory of the staff due to the unexpected challenges related to the organization, in the memory of the participants due to a completely new nature of the functioning of the festival and in the memory of audience, as an edition that changes not only in its duration and organization. But we wish it will remain in the memory as an oasis where in this time of anxiety and uncertainty from the worldwide situation, we make you feel everything as it was before, as in the lively previous editions. This is the feeling we hope to convey this year through your screen; to feel together regardless being physically apart.

By Anisa Gjini