Prishtina International Film Festival (PriFest) is a feature film festival set in the newest country in the Balkans, Kosovo, namely at its capital Pristina. It was founded in 2008, and this year it holds its 9th edition. Prishtina International Film Festival is the most important film event that is held in Kosovo. Vanessa Redgrave is one of the festival’s dearest friends. She supported the first edition by attending and leading the opening ceremony. She is the president of the Honorary Board of the Festival and supports the festival by promoting it in various international circles.
The festival consists of four competition programs: the European film competition program, the Balkan film competition program (also known as Honey and Blood Cinema), the Middle-length competition program (comprised of 25-60 min length films) and as of this year, the Documentary film program will also be competitive. The latter promotes documentaries from around the world that revolve around subjects related to human rights and the environment. All of the above-mentioned programs are open to the whole world.
PriFest also has non-competitive programs, like the Focus program, which promotes cinematography of a specific country or director, and the Let It Be program, which is a result of cooperation with Outfest LA, an LGBT film festival. This program aims to raise awareness and promote tolerance towards the LGBT community in Kosovo by offering more knowledge, information and understanding through cinema and feature films. The festival is honored to have the programmers of Outfest LA as curators of this program. Last but not least is the The Specials program, which promotes winners of prestigious festivals like Cannes FF, Berlinale, Toronto, Venice or Oscar winners, giving the Kosovar audience the opportunity to see art house films from around the world
Prishtina International Film Festival also pays great attention to the film industry. One of its most important events is the PriFORUM Regional Coproduction Events series. PriFORUM is the festival's regional film industry development platform that consist of a number of film industry events that bring together filmmakers from the Balkans and Europe at the heart of Kosovo. PriFORUM partners with many organsations and networks from the region and Europe. They attend PriFORUM and present their work or offer expertise sessions for festival guests and filmmakers. A series of workshops, master classes and lectures are held for students, audience and young filmmakers.
PriFest also hosts the Best Pitch Competition, an important event that is held within PriFORUM. In it, film projects from the region that are in the development or financing phase get a series of trainings and development sessions - namely pitching, script development, audience development, Financing Strategy advice - then compete before the International Jury with the aim to win the Best Pitch - Vanessa Redgrave Award for Prishtina International Film Festival. This year Best Pitch will offer more awards, thanks to great collaborations with partner festivals and companies.
Some of the partner networks and organizations that offer their expertise to our festival for various development training and other collaboration activities are EAVE, Torino Film Lab, Script Circle Berlin, etc.
The last edition of Prishtina International Film Festival initiated a new rendezvous event for regional and local talents to meet with International Salespeople and Distributors. Prishtina Rendezvous is an event dedicated to distribution and sales, and this year will be the second time that Prishtina will be the meeting point for talents from the region and some of the most important sales and distribution companies in the worldwide and European film industry.
Many young and enthusiastic producers, distributors, directors, actors and other filmmakers from the region and Europe attend the festival. A series of carefully curated music events and parties with local and international artists are also organized for the guests. The festival’s relatively smaller size provides a great forum for meeting people and expanding network within a more intimate setting that harbors a very friendly atmosphere.
We prioritize our afterparties program with only the very best selection of local and international electronic music artists, as well as alternative rock music bands. You will find yourself enjoying the evenings in good company, at trendy and affordable clubs and bars. If you’re feeling rather adventurous, on mornings you can join excursions organized by the festival around Kosovo to experience the country’s beautiful landscape and nature, visit cultural heritage monuments and taste delicious traditional dishes.
In 2015, Prishtina International Film Festival suffered an interruption in the form of drastic funding cuts by the newly appointed Minister of Culture. This forced the Prishtina International Film Festival management to make the decision to rebel and protest by taking the festival in exile in Tirana, Albania, and holding a special edition there, without a budget. The echo of this action spread widely and gained the festival great support from the regional, European and worldwide film industries.
Prishtina International Film Festival came back home last year with a very strong edition, expanding in many aspects. This year we certainly do not plan to do less, therefore we need your support to show the importance of this event for the development of the film industry and for supporting young talents in a small country like Kosovo
We hope you join us in April 2017!
Oscar and Golden Globe winner