In the build-up to its 11th edition, PriFest has revealed this year’s jury members. Prishtina International Film Festival will have 8 juries, consisting of 3 members each, which will determine the award-winners in 5 competitive film programs.
As is tradition, PriFest will host remarkable names from international, European and regional cinematography and film industries, who will join members of the Kosovan artistic community, as well as student and media representatives, to evaluate films that will take part in the competitive programs of the festival.
In the main film program, the Honey and Blood Cinema / Balkan competition program, the jury will be comprised of Karin Dix (Germany) director of Shooting Stars project of European Film Promotion; Daniel Mulloy, British film director and winner of four BAFTA Awards; and Eponine Momenceau, photography director (DoP) from France, known for her work in Golden Palm winner “Dheepan”.
The jury of the European competition program this year will be comprised of Claudia Landsberger, highly experienced film producer and long-standing member of the Berlinale competition program selection committee; distinguished Kosovan actor Armond Morina and well-known film producer from Macedonia, Vladimir Anastasov.
One of the key programs of the festival, the middle-length competition program, will be judged by Dutch film producer and media industry executive Raymond van der Kaaij; Kosovan cinephile Kushtrim Krasniqi; and Petar Protic, film curator of International Film Festival “Cinema City” in Novi Sad, Serbia.
The documentary competition program will be evaluated by distinguished film critic from Paris, Barbara Lorey de Lacharriere; renowned actor from Albania, Lulzim Zeqja; and Chris Belloni, documentary filmmaker, producer and director of the International Queer & Migrant Film Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The student competition program jury will consist of Myra Appannah, co-director of London-based playful media company BRiGHTBLACK, VR expert and co-curator of British Council’s Play UK Festivals; Fabio Tucci, Festival Manager of Rome-based Intramovies; and Besmir Bitraku, Tirana-based theatre and film actor.
The media jury which will judge the European Film program is comprised of distinguished journalist, television host, lecturer and social activist, Adriatik Kelmendi; Rabije Kryeziu, actress and culture journalist at public television RTK; and Arber Selmani, award-winning journalist and editor based in Pristina.
The FIPRESCI jury, which five years ago chose PriFest in Kosovo as the festival in which to give its prestigious award for Balkan selection, consists of three very experienced film critics and journalists: Dieter Wieczorek, originally from Germany, based in Paris; Barbara Glebicka Giza, university professor and film critic based in Poland; and Steven Yates, British film critic and journalist based in Berlin.
Finally, the Student Independent Jury - through which PriFest gives an important role to students from Kosovo by enabling them to judge the Middle Length Competition program - consists of acting students Dora Xhemajli and Armend Ballazhi, and sophomore marketing and business administration student Elena Tafa.
PriFest kicks off on July 16, with the films being screened in four different venues: the National Theatre, ABC Cinema, Kino Armata and Open-Air Cinema at Zahir Pajaziti square.
The award ceremony will be held at the National Theatre on the last day of the festival, July 21.
Below you can read the bios of each jury member.
BALKAN FILMS COMPETITION PROGRAM JURY-HONEY AND BLOOD CINEMA
Karin Dix was born in Germany 1962 and studied comparative literature at Saarland University, Germany. She worked as a freelance journalist, first in her home town Saarbrücken and later in Hamburg, where she met Dieter Kosslick. In 1986, she joined his team and organized the first film festival in Hamburg, the Low Budget Film Forum. The festival was dedicated to European films and presented up-and-coming film directors of that period such as Stephen Frears, Derek Jarman and Lars von Trier.
Dix’s professional experience led her to work with film production at the Frankfurter Filmproduktion, and later on with theater production. From 1989 onwards, she worked as a producer for Kampnagel theatre Hamburg, working among others with Jim Whiting and Needcompany. In 1994, she joined Fliegende Bauten, a theatre production company based in Hamburg, where she ran the distribution department. She specialized in Nouveau Cirque productions, successfully promoting and touring with Que-Cir-Que, Victoria Chaplin and the Tiger Lillies. In 1998, in addition to her theatre work, she joined European Film Promotion (EFP) and started to develop EFP’s flagship event, European Shooting Stars. The project is an initiative of the pan-European network organization EFP, which works to promote and provide networking opportunities for promising up-and-coming actors.
In 2005, within the framework of the event, she initiated the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN), which has now grown into an independent association with 84 Casting Directors from 24 different countries. ICDN plays a crucial role within the Actors’ Industry Network, a newly-created platform which enables 10 selected Shooting Stars to forge, broaden and strengthen their industry alliance during the course of Berlinale. Karin Dix has been responsible for structuring and concepting EFP’s European Shooting Stars.
Daniel Mulloy is an artist and filmmaker.
Mulloy makes films that provoke, socially and politically.
Mulloy has received four BAFTA Awards, two of which are British Academy Film Awards. He has been honored with the British Independent Film Award, has been nominated twice for the European Academy Award, and been nominated for the Independent Spirit Award.
Eponine Momenceau - Born in 1985, graduated from Femis School and from Music Conservatory in harp, Eponine patiently draws the outlines of a poetic and contemplative work, fruitfully heading towards a contemporary art that mixes dark rooms and exhibition spaces.
She has also directed the photography of Jacques Audiard’s film, Dheepan, Golden Palm of the 68th edition of Cannes Festival, and in summer 2018 she was honored as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.
Trained in photography direction at Femis School, Eponine Momenceau masters the technical tools patiently building her nascent work. Through the liberating discovery of experimental cinema, she opened up to direction with the confidence that it is possible to make a movie without a scenario and without actors. She manages to model highly plastic scenes from the most ordinary reality with many pictorial and cinematographic references.
Her past movies and the ones in the making, share several common traits, from the visual and sound translation of a drift off the real born from an altered state of consciousness – solitary daydreams among collective life moments – to an almost mystical attention given to body postures and light. Through a regular practice of photography and a more and more sustained attention towards video, her work transforms extracted pieces from the real into a new dimension revealing their beauty and hidden meaning.
Her movies have repeatedly been selected in Festivals. She has gained the Award of the Conseil Général des Hauts-de-Seine during the contemporary art event Salon de Montrouge 57th edition as well as the Best Film Award at Lucca Festival.
Her movies have also been shown in collective exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Milan’s Triennale, Cinémathèque Française, and many others places.
EUROPEAN FILMS COMPETITION PROGRAM JURY
Claudia Landsberger works with her company BaseWorx For Film as a creative producer in script and project development and rough-cut consulting. She is program adviser to various international film festivals. For many years she was a member of the selection committee of the Berlinale Competition Program and the Hamburg Film Fund. She is a member of the European Film Academy. Landsberger was for two decades managing director of EYE
International at the Netherlands Film Institute and co-founder and President of European Film Promotion.
Armond Morina (1973) is an actor, writer and producer born in Gjakova, Kosova.
His professional experience number many plays in different theatres in Kosovo. Some of his great roles are "Macbeth" by W. Sheakspeare 1995, "Heda Gabler" by H. Ibsen 1996 and "Audience" by Vaclav Havel 1997 – as Vanjek all directed by Fatos Berisha; "Waiting for Godot" by S. Beckett 1997 – as Lucky and “King Lear”, directed by Fadil Hysaj (The play has been awarded the Special Jury Prize in Mess Sarajevo – International Theatre Festival 1998) "Katër Epoletat" directed by Orhan Kerkezi, “Play it again Sam”, “One fly over coocoo’s nest” and “Sextet” directed by Ilir Bokshi; “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” directed by David Gothard. He also performed in refugee camps in Macedonia during Kosovo war, alongside with world renowned actress Vanessa Redgrave as a guest of Dodona Theatre in Exile.
Some of his work in films and television include "Kukumi”, TV Sitcom "Familja Moderne" "Gjakova 726" short movie (Producer, co-writer and actor) “Lena & Me” directed by Blerta Basholli, (Producer, co-writer and actor), leading role at “The war is over” feature film directed by Mitko Panov, “The shoemaker” directed by Artan Korenica, (Producer and actor) “Once upon a time in Kosovo” directed by Eki Rramani, “Shok” directed by Jamie Donoughue, (nominated for Best Short for Oscars 2017), “Ne te tre” directed by Blerta Basholli, “Bini” directed by Erblin Nushi, “The witness” directed by Mitko Panov and “The Flying Circus” directed by Fatos Berisha.
Armond Morina worked in Academy of Arts in Prishtina for 10 years in acting class of famous Kosovan actor and professor Faruk Begolli, as his assistant.
Vladimir Anastasov, graduated in Film, Theatre and TV Production from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje, Macedonia. He started his career as a freelance producer of several feature films, shorts and documentaries.
In December 2002 he established Sektor Film. Since then has produced many award winning films, presented at many International Film Festivals, among them: VIA CARPATIA, DIRECTIONS (70th Cannes Film Festival, Official Selection “Un Certain Regard”), JUDGMENT, INFERNO, PARADE, AS IF I AM NOT THERE, UPSIDE DOWN, THE BORDER POST, LIKE A BAD DREAM.
Also, Sektor Film is well established and well known as a leading regional TV series production company, which has successfully co-produced 6 TV series with over 100 episodes, in cooperation with Turkish and Russian companies, all produced locally in Macedonia. The latest TV Series project is Macedonian production titled THE RED POET.
MIDDLE LENGTH COMPETITION PROGRAM JURY
Raymond van der Kaaij is an experienced media industry executive with over ten years of experience in development, financing, production and distribution and general management. He is the founder of Revolver Amsterdam; an award winning production company focused on feature films, documentaries, mixed media and branded content. Raymond particularly focuses on developing creative and daring projects, creating bridges between art and commerce en creating an international, diverse
and successful slate of projects.
As a producer and co-producer, Raymond has worked on award winning feature films and documentaries that where shown on festivals worldwide. Recent titles include I DREAM IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE by Ernesto Contreras (Audience Award in Sundance 2017), DON'T SWALLOW MY HEART, ALLIGATOR GIRL! by Felipe Bragaca (Sundance 2017, Berlinale 2017), LOVE & FRIENDSHIP by Whit Stillman starring Kate Beckingsale and Cloe Sevigny (Sundance 2016), BODKIN RAS (IFFR 2016, SXSW 2016, Fipresci Award 2016) by Kaweh Modiri, SUPERNOVA by Tamar van den Dop (Berlinale 2014, Chicago IFF, Grand Prix Xining International Filmfestival, Royal Bengal Tiger Award, Kolkata IFF), THEY HAVE ESCAPED by Jukka-Pekka Valkeapaa (Worldpremiere TIFF 2014, Venice Days 2014), DRIFT by Benny Vandendriessche (Busan 2013), CLUB ZEUS by David Verbeek (Montreal World Film Festival, IFF Chicago, International Filmfestival Rotterdam), 22MAY by Koen Mortier (IFF Toronto, IFF Rotterdam , IFF Istanbul), ‘CRIPS, STRAPPED’N’STRONG by Joost van der Valk (IFF Locarno).
Next to film and documentaries, Raymond has been involved as executive or creative producer in numerous commercials, branded video campaigns and transmedia projects. Recently, he produced a 360 Virtual Reality film for charity Terre des Hommes which was selected for Cannes Film Festival ‘NEXT’ program in 2016. Raymond is a member of of EAVE, the European Network for Producers, and alumnus of Inside Pictures. Raymond has served as a jury member at several film festivals and has regularly gives lectures and workshops on creative producing, online storytelling and new ways of financing and distribution of content.
Kushtrim Krasniqi is a movie lover. All movies, like classical, modern, western, from Hollywood to Japan, Russia, Iran, Turkey, European, festival projects as well as Independent cinema; from Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, to Kubrick, Lynch or Tarkovsky, from Psychological drama to Wu Xia in China, or Japanese Anime projects to Pixar animation on the west.
This is how my road to the "cinematic education" was built, earning myself a degree as a "Movie Maniac". From Kyoto to the Thirty Mile Zone, from the Arctics down to Capetown, if it's a movie I will watch it.
I'm a person whose passion is about Movies and Technology, especially if those two are combined. As a result of this we have the Facebook group called Movie Maniacs (Maniakë t'Filmit) which is active since 2012, and I'm the part of management since the beginning and continue to do so.
Petar Protić (born 1967) is a Teacher of Literature (MA) by educational vocation, Senior Librarian by professional issues, and in a free fall of life - a lover of the film and great connoisseur of film history. He is a lecturer at the Faculty of Digital Production at EDUCONS University in Sremska Kamenica. From 2008 to 2017 was a film curator to the International Film Festival "Cinema City" in Novi Sad and editor of the cataloges. Also writes short film reviews, distant from clichés and cafeteria agreements. In order to unleash love for film and art in general to young people - he held numerous lectures and edited film programs in the museums and galleries of Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, Belgrade, etc.
PRIDOCS - DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION PROGRAM JURY
Barbara Lorey De Lacharriere is an independent journalist and film critic based in Paris. She is also a curator and advisor for a wide range of international film festivals and arthouse cinemas and currently the artistic director of the East&West Intl Film Festival in Orenburg/Russia .
A member of FIPRESCI, she is in charge of the FIPRESCI Award Programs. She has been a juror at a great number of major International Film festivals all over Europe such as Cannes and Venice, Middle East, USA Australia, India, and Africa . BLdL is a member of the European Film Academy. Born in former East-Germany, BLdL studied in Munich, Hamburg and Paris, and holds master degrees in psychology and sociology.
Lulzim Zeqja was born in Tirana on 1978. During 1992/97 he followed economic high school, tourism department. In 2001 he was gratuated at Academy of Fine Arts, as Lizandro at “ A Midsummer Night's Dream ” directed by Altin Basha. He is currently part of the actor’s company of the National Theater of Albania. During his artistic career, Zeqja participated in project such as “Vita brevis”, “Love in Van”, “The sacrifice”, “Palace of dreams”, “Fool Lir”, “Bestemmiando preghiere” , “ Hotel Ballkan” , “City wedding ”, “Sexual perversion to Chicago”, “The white raven”, “To Zvornik I left my heart”, “Cormorant”, “The Playboy of our land”, “More true than the truth”, “Romeo and Giuliet”,“The small hut”, “Forget love”, “Long journey towards nights”, “Marat Sad “, “The truffle”, “Three sisters”, “The taming of the shrew”, “The threepenny opera”, “Equus”, “Lucrezia Borgia”, “The Tajmahal guards”, “Frankenstein, “The terror”,“Father Sergius” “Norm and Ahmed”.
Zeqja played in many films such as “Night without moon”, “Letters to wind” “Eduard”, “Horizont of the events”. “East West East”, “The Team”, “The Amnesty”, “Start of the day”, “The Internationals”, “The Delegation”, “The Van”.
He participated with films at Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and 2019.
Chris Belloni (1980) is a documentary filmmaker, producer and director of the International Queer & Migrant Film Festival Amsterdam, which he initiated in 2015. His debut film I am gay and Muslim screened at film festivals worldwide. In 2018 he initiated LGBTQ & arts related projects in Azerbaijan and on the Balkans. Chris Belloni curated queer film programs at several international film festivals. In 2018 he was juror at Festival Internacional de Cine sobre Diversidad Sexual y de Género del Uruguay and Oslo Fusion Film Festival.
STUDENT FILMS COMPETITION PROGRAM JURY
Myra Appannah is co-director of London-based playful media company BRiGHTBLACK, creating story-led experiences for transmedia, video game and immersive technologies. She was Writer and Creative Lead of ‘SOMNAI’, one of the largest ever immersive tech experiences described by The Guardian as “the trippy VR experience that takes you to dreamland’. She has created immersive experiences for some of the world’s biggest brands, her latest, a 48-hour experience set against the red rocks of Arizona. Myra works across media; her first film, ‘Garfield’ was selected for Sundance and BAFTA 2018.
As BRiGHTBLACK, Myra co-curates the British Council’s PlayUK Festivals of post-escapist gaming / playful media and video game art across Europe and created the Immersive StoryLab, a professional development course and community dedicated to researching the future of story design for immersive technology-based culture.
BRiGHTBLACK’s most recent work, ‘A Unique and Spectacular Moment’, is an experience that begins in virtual space as a video game and ends as a powerful real-world interaction between two strangers. The show premieres in Brisbane August 2019, kicking off a world tour.
Fabio Tucci, was graduated in Cinema at Alma Mater Studiorum in Bologna.
He worked over 8 years as General Manager in Multiplex Cinema for the main movie theater chains in Italy. He attended “Distribution, Sales and Marketing” Class in 2011 scheduled by ANICA (National Association of Film and Audiovisual Industry).
Fabio started out his own distribution company, based in Rome, in 2014, focused on first features.
He has been working as Festival Manager since 2017 at Intramovies a totally independent Sales company, established over forty years ago by Paola Corvino as the helping arm for creative producers and new directors. Intramovies also boasts a catalogue of over five hundred titles of international renown, with classics by directors such as Fellini, Visconti, Antonioni, Pasolini, De Sica, Bertolucci, Comencini, Rosi, Argento and others.
Besmir Bitraku (1987) is an Albanian theatre and film actor. He began his career with a comic sitcom Radio - Radio to continue further with film career, where by now he has playe in five artistic movies. Along with the participation in movies, he is very well known, for his frequent engagement as a leading actor in theatre, in more than 30 theatre plays which include some of the best titles of the world such as Romeo and Juliette, A midsummer night's dream, The importance of being Earnest, Alerquine, The servant of two masters , The caucasian Chalk Circle, Electra, Frankenstein, etc.
He has collaborated with different theatres in Albania such as Theatre Andon Zako Cajupi , National Theatre and Alexander Moisi Theatre.
Adriatik Kelmendi is a journalist, television host, university lecturer and social activist based in Prishtina, Kosovo. With the Koha Group he held the position of the Editor in Chief in KTV television, managing editor and journalist in Koha Ditore newspaper.
He is the author and host of the prestigious primetime three times a week TV Show called Rubikon and a weekly columnist with Koha Ditore.
Kelmendi has reported and conducted interviews systematically with international and local political leaders throughout the process of defining the status of Kosovo, from his studio in KTV, but also from places such as New York, Washington, Paris, Vienna, Brussels, Strasburg, Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana etc.
His opinions and arguments are widely published, quoted or otherwise referred to by the regional and international media. Kelmendi is also a lecturer with AAB University in Prishtina and Kosovo’s public advocator for regional’s dealing with the past initiative REKOM.
He is a laureate of a number of national and international awards in journalism, including the Best Journalist of the Year from the Professional Association of Journalists in Kosovo and the Gold Baton Award from DuPont Columbia in the United States.
He holds a Masters Degree in Media and Communication from Goldsmith – University of London in the United Kingdom.
Kelmendi is the author of two books: “Crossing the Rubicon Towards Independence” and “Stories of Hard Efforts”.
Rabije Kryeziu born on 26 May , 1987 in Prizren, Kosovo. Primary and secondary school completed in Suharekë. She has finished her studies at the University of Prishtina at the Faculty of Arts. She has also MA on Acting/ performance.
Her professional experience in film started with the movie "Hekurishtja" by Burim Haliti. She was also part of the films like
Burbuqe Berisha's "Elevator", "Give me your hand " by Ismet Sijarina, "Tank in my yard" by Mentor Spahiu, "Sleep and love "by Arsim Haliti, etc.
Rabije Kryeziu was part of many theatre plays: "Animal Farm" by Ilir Bokshi, "For Hilary’s Tea" with Burbuqe Berisha, "Beselam. why sacrifice?" directed by Fatos Berisha, "Basement" by Fadil Hysaj, "How to Kill the President" directed by Marigona Bekteshi, "Happy Marriage’s" by Zana Duraku "The cat on the hot quill" directed by Florent Mehmeti and many other shows.
Rabije Kryeziu works at the Public Radio and Television of Kosovo, as a news reporter for culture. She also hosts the culture theme show in RTK 3.
For Rabije, it's a pleasure to work as part of a team, as the key element of her profession is communication. She has good skills in learning things very quickly, has analytical mind, and she’s remarkable in terms of negotiation.
Arbër Selmani is an award-winning journalist and editor from Pristina. In 2013 his piece on LGBT community in Kosovo was awarded by the UNDP and UNWomen in Kosovo. In 2018 he was one of the Sakharov Fellowship recipients by the European Union. He writes poetry and short stories as well. Currently he works for KultPlus - an online culture magazine and Europe House in Kosovo. He also freelances for several medias inside and outside of Kosovo
FIPRESCI WINNERS PROGRAM JURY
Dieter Weiczorek After studying philosophy, literature, sociology, political science, history and art theory, Dieter Wieczorek worked as a free contemporary art and culture critic and later as film critic. He has published in European journals and newspapers. His festival reviews and film
critics has been published in in independent German film critic journal like "Filmmagazin Schnitt" and "Artechock". In 2012 he founded “Interference - International independent Journal of Film and Festival Reviews ", where he is still chief Editor. Recently he
published in the documentary critic journal “Modern Times Review”. He is member of the FIRESCI.
Simultaneously he has collaborated with different international art projects and also organized conferences about possibilities and limits of contemporary art practices. In the 90ies he realized installation works and performances and founded the "Commission of Situation Creation", an international network for creation of strange situations in public spaces. In 2003 he founded the festival of audio-visual and cinematographic creation "Festival international Signes de Nuit" in Paris, which today realize competition programs for short, experimental (“Cinema-in-Transgression) and documentary filmscoming
from around the world, beside focus programs and retrospectives.
Since 2003 the “Festival international Signes de Nuit” (Signs of the Night) has presented some thousand films from around 75 countries in its editions and on the same time in around 140 selected programs in collaboration with cultural institutions and festivals in up to now 34 countries. In 2014 the festival became binational and has been also realized in Berlin and Saarbrücken, Germany. In 2015 the festival has been transformed in a multinational one with further screening places in Lisbon, Bangkok, Tucuman (Argentina) and Urbino (Italy).
Between 2012 and 2014 he was programming a weekly broadcast on French local TV which was consisting of documentary, short and experimental films.
2018 he founded the Balkan country focused “International Festival Bosnia-Herzegovina Looks Around” in Germany.
He actually lives as a nomadic philosopher and night owl in Paris.
Barbara Glebicka Giza, Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, Head of Institute of Journalism and Social Communication. Research and Development Specialist at National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute in Warsaw. Author of books and articles on film script as a text, and about connections between film and literature and their historical, social and anthropological context (especially about Tadeusz Konwicki and Jerzy Stefan Stawiński, Polish writers as a filmmakers and film critics) also author of the book series about Polish film journalists.
Steven Yates is a British Film Critic and Journalist who has been based in Berlin since 2008 during which time he has attended the Berlinale annually.
He has been a member of Fipresci since 2001 and has represented festival juries with them since 2002, covering Europe, the CIS region and South Asia, as well as helping with the English language text supervision on the Fipresci website. He regularly writes for the hard copy film periodicals Celluloid (Bangladesh), Afterimage (USA) and Film International (UK-US) as well as numerous online publications including El Hype (Spain), Camera Lucida (Monemegro) and Kamera (UK).
STUDENTS’ INDEPENDENT JURY
Dora Xhemajli studies acting in the Faculty of Art in Prishtina, Kosovo.
Armend Ballazhi studies acting in the Faculty of Art in Prishtina, Kosovo.
Elena Tafa is a sophomore student in the University AAB. She studies Marketing and Business Administration.