Haggis to be Honored with the Festival’s Golden Goddess Award
Paul Haggis, winner of two Oscars™, many BAFTA and Emmy awards, a director, screenwriter and producer with a career spanning 42 years in the film industry, will visit Kosovo as an honorary guest of the ninth edition of PriFest - Prishtina International Film Festival. At the festival, Haggis will be honored with the Golden Goddess Award for his achievements and contribution to world cinema.
While in Kosovo, Haggis will participate in a full schedule of activities that will not only enrich the festival but enable him to become familiar with the film industry of the country and the region first hand. In addition to receiving the Golden Goddess award, he will take part in a master class for members of the film industry and the public, and a human rights panel. A special film program, “Tribute to Paul Haggis”, which will allow the Kosovar public to see Haggis’ most successful films as a director and screenwriter, has also been scheduled.
“PriFest is thrilled that Paul Haggis can participate in this year’s edition,” said Vjosa Berisha, Director of PriFest. “Because of Paul’s background as both a preeminent filmmaker and founder of his organization, Artists for Peace and Justice, he is a natural fit for our festival.”
Haggis is unique for the successes he has achieved throughout the 42 years that he has been active in the film industry, producing more than 30 films, television series, and shows, many award-winning. He is also the first screenwriter in the world to be awarded consecutive Oscars™ (2005/2006).
He is best known for his 2004 film ‘Crash’ for which he won two Oscars™ in two categories - Best Motion Picture and Best Writing, Original Screenplay. The film also won an Oscar™ for Best Achievement in Film Editing. For the realization of this film, Haggis worked with renowned actors Terrence Howard, Sandra Bullock, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Michael Peña. He achieved further success with ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ a film which Haggis wrote and produced. The film won four Oscars™.
The 9th edition of PriFest will be held throughout Prishtina in July 13-20. The main festival area will be at the National Theatre, in addition to many other venues, including open air locations. Throughout the next few days, PriFest will announce its program, international juries, guests, and many more novelties that will make Prishtina the focal point of the film industry.
Paul Haggis is the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to- back: "Million Dollar Baby"(2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, and "Crash" (2005) which he himself directed. For "Crash" Haggis won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The film also received an additional four nominations including one for Haggi's direction. "Crash" reaped numerous awards during its year of release from
associations such as the IFP Spirit Awards, the Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA. In 2006, Haggis' screenplays included the duo Clint Eastwood productions "Flags of our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima" the latter earning him his third screenplay Oscar nomination. He also helped pen "Casino Royale" which garnered considerable acclaim for reinvigorating the James Bond spy franchise.
In 2007, Haggis wrote, directed, and produced "In the Valley of Elah" The film starred Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon, and earned Jones a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance.
In 2010, his film “The Next Three Days” was released, starring Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Banks.
And in 2013 he wrote and directed the romantic, personal drama “Third Person,” which starred Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, and Kim Basinger. Most recently, Haggis directed all six episodes of the HBO mini-series “Show Me A Hero,” starring Oscar Isaac, Catherine Keener, Winona Ryder, James Belushi, and Alfred Molina. Currently, Haggis is co-directing a feature length documentary on the AIDS crises in San Francisco, called “Ward 5B.” Equally committed to his private and social concerns, Haggis is the founder of Artists for Peace and Justice. Under this umbrella, many of his friends in the film business have come forward to build schools and a rehabilitation clinic serving the children of the slums of Haiti (www.APJNow.org).
He resides in New York.
PriFest is the biggest and most important film industry event in Kosovo. It emerged as a need to bring back and build the cinema culture which was lost during many years of repression and war. PriFest is an opportunity to young filmmakers from Kosovo, who because of the visa regime have big limitation to travel freely in Europe and elsewhere, to meet filmmakers and experts from the region and Europe that visit the festival and increase their chances to network and coproduce their films. PriFest film program offer the audience every year newest films from Europe, Balkan and the world, with addition special programs that promote human rights, tolerance and acceptance for marginalized groups of society. It is the only festival in the Balkan that has a special program of films with the LGBT theme which is done in partnership with Outfest in Los Angeles. Besides films, the festival has a very good regional development platform that offers training, lectures, inspirational masterclasses from distinguished guests and other opportunities for filmmakers from Kosovo and the neighboring countries to benefit from. It is a great networking event for filmmakers from Kosovo, the region and Europe. To date PriFest was visited by Ms. Vanessa Redgrave (British Actress) who is also the President of our Honorary Board, Stephen Frears (British Director), Joshua Marston (American Director), Franco Nero (Italian Actor), Eva Orner (Australian producer), Gideon Burkhard (German actor), Samuel Maoz (Izraeli director), Danis Tanovic (Bosnian director), Velibor Topic (Bosnian actor), Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnian director), Mirjana Karanovic (Serbian actress) and other important guests. We like to think that PriFest is a true cultural diplomacy tool for a new country like Kosovo to present itself to the world in the best possible light.
The slogan of the festival is Friendship. Forever.