UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE,
YOUTH AND SPORTS OF ALBANIA


Tirana International Film Festival

From 1 to 7 December 2003
The first International Festival in Albania for short film,
fiction, documentaries, animation and experimental
.................................

organized by:


         ***    Welcome to Tirana Short Film Festival     ***     From 1 to 7 December 2003    ***    The first International Festival in Albania for short film, fiction, documentaries, animation and experimental    ***  

home  news  the festival  programme  history  submit   sponsors   partners   staff   contact



THE WINNERS 2003

PHOTO

JURY

AWARDS

WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT TIFF

THE NEWSPAPER OF TIFF

Selected shorts for
the competition 2003



*** 82 FILMS selected  & DIRECTORS, FROM 30 COUNTRIES *** Tirana International Film Festival from 1 to 7 December 2003 is the first International Festival in Albania for short film, fiction, documentaries,animation and experimental ***  82 FILMS & DIRECTORS, FROM 30 COUNTRIES ***

What they said about TIFF

First Tirana International Film Festival
(1-7 December 2003) 

Ron Holloway, GEP/Interfilm, 18 January 2004

“Welcome to the Tirana Short Film Festival” runs a patch on the festival’s website, and click - you’re in the domain of one of the most sophisticated festival launches on the net today, one that easily puts other festival websites to shame. Organized by filmmakers Agron Domi and Ilir Butka under the auspices of the Albanian Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, in conjunction with the Foundation of Art Media Albania (FAMA), the First Tirana International Film Festival (TIFF), scheduled 1-7 December 2003, is officially known as “The First International Festival in Albania for Short Fiction, Documentary, Animation, and Experimental Films.” A month before the festival even opened, TIFF served notice that 82 short films had been selected from 30 countries, that cash awards would be given in seven categories, and that a five-member international jury headed by Ireland’s Mick Hannigan (director of the Cork Film Festival) would pick the winners. Furthermore, to show just how serious the staff was, the website offered photos of the screening halls, the flagship Tirana International Hotel, and the full list of participating entries by country, director, and year of production.

 Publishing a list of entries in advance can be dangerous, given the plethora of film festivals towards the end of the season. But not a hitch in the schedule occurred. If the print of a film didn’t arrive in time, hitech Betacam video projection in the state-of-the-art Cinema Millennium 2 venue assured satisfactory viewing for jury and public. Further, a daily journal offered interviews with directors and guests. And a two-hour late-night TV talk show covered all the highlights of the day. On more than one occasion, codirectors Agron Domi and Ilir Butka repeated to press and visitors the festival’s mission to become a key player on the short film festival circuit. “The Tirana Film Festival aims to be an annual international event, where the best achievements in the short film gender can be mirrored, whether fiction or animation or documentary.” To underscore this pledge, the staff erected an oversized director’s chair before the entrance of Cinema Millennium 2 - upon which posed a laughing baby doll!

 Four years ago, Tirana didn’t even have a cinema to program films. Then investors arrived on the scene, and the government made film, television, and the media one of its priorities. After all, in the heyday of Albanian socialism, as many as ten feature films were produced annually in the Tirana Film Studios. Whether these days will ever return in questionable, but no matter - the city is a playground for private cable channels and a thriving video piracy market. In fact, until the government recently passed a restrictive media law, DVDs from around the world were broadcast on the wildcat channels. Presently, some Albanian film students journey to nearby Pristina in Kosovo to study cinema, the fruits of which could be seen among the half-dozen Albanian entries contenting for prizes at TIFF 2003. And not enough can be said about impact two Albanian feature film directors have made on the international scene: Fatmir Koci (
Tirana Year Zero, 2001) and Gjergj Xhuvani (Slogans, 2001). Currently, Fatmir Koci is developing an international coproduction project: the story of Wilhelm of Wied, a German prince who briefly ruled Albania in 1913 after the expulsion of the Turks and on the eve of the First World War.

 As everywhere else in the major cities of Southeastern Europe, Tirana is internet friendly and computer connected. Computerized subtitles in Albanian were beamed onto the screen, although English is the lingua franca for all practical purposes. Out of pure audience delight, the TIFF voted a special award to a Dutch director: the Jos Stelling
Triptych. The short features - The Waiting Room (1996), The Gas Station (1999), and The Gallery (2003) - belong to the collection of 30 Erotic Tales produced by Berlin-based Regina Ziegler.

...

Albania: Tirana Film Festival

Il logo del Tirana Film Festival  (clicca per visualizzare l'immagine nel formato reale)Il primo di questo tipo in Albania. “Per vivacizzare la scena culturale di un Paese che pur nelle ristrettezze economiche è riuscito in questi anni a proporre alcuni successi internazionali”, dichiarano gli organizzatori.

(26/11/2003) Si inaugurerà l’1 dicembre il primo festival del cortometraggio a Tirana. Promosso dal Ministero della cultura e dal Comune della capitale albanese includerà quattro categorie: fiction, documentario, cartone animato e sperimentale. Gli organizzatori hanno annunciato che saranno 83 i lavori proiettati, provenienti da trenta diversi Paesi del mondo.

La selezione dei cortometraggi è stata fatta da un gruppo di registi sia albanesi che stranieri. Sono loro ad aver scelto questi 83 corti, dopo averne visionato circa 345. Nella giuria che assegnerà invece i premi tra gli altri Gjergj Xhuvani, autore del film proiettato anche in alcune sale italiane titolato “Slogans”, il regista irlandese Mick Hannigan, direttore del film festival “Cork”, e dal francese Luc Barnier. Andrea Rocco, Film Comission Genova.

Secondo quanto affermato dagli organizzatori è la prima volta che in Albania si intraprende in campo cinematografico un’iniziativa di tale livello internazionale. Certo in un momento del tutto particolare nel quale l’arte e la cultura albanese si stanno profondamente trasformando. In campo cinematografico negli ultimi anni sono nate molte case cinematografiche che lavorano in stretta collaborazione con il Centro della cinematografia albanese. Quest’ultimo è l’unica istituzione statale che in questi anni ha sostenuto la realizzazione di alcuni film anche se non ha mai smesso di dare segni di difficoltà: molti i progetti cinematografici che vengono avviati nel Paese e scarsi i fondi a disposizione.

Secondo il giornale “Balkan” la mancanza di una strategia nazionale a favore di arte e cultura ha portato la cinematografia albanese in una situazione difficile. Prima dei sconvolgenti anni novanta il cinema albanese produceva annualmente una quindicina di lungometraggi, venti documentari, e più di una decina di cartoni animati. Ora la produzione è cambiata ed il Centro cinematografico si limita a finanziare solo gli autori conosciuti, che danno ‘adeguate garanzie artistiche’, mentre vengono lasciati fuori i giovani artisti. Questi ultimi sono allora costretti a trovare spazi e collaborazioni all’estero.

In una conferenza stampa d’introduzione del festival gli organizzatori hanno affermato che ciò che li ha spinti a promuovere un’iniziativa di questo tipo era la volontà di rilanciare e ravvivare la scena culturale di Tirana e di far conoscere anche all’estero la tradizione cinematografica albanese e balcanica. Perché cortometraggi? Perché hanno un carattere estremamente dinamico ed innovativo.

Nonostante le continue ristrettezze economiche negli ultimi anni l’Albania ha conosciuto vari successi a livello internazionale. Tra questi il film “Slogans”, del regista Gjergj Xhuvani, “Lettere al vento” di Edmond Budina, “Il giardino dell’Eden” documentario di Eno Milkani, “Tirana, anno zero”, documentario di Fatmir Koçi.

Artan Puto © Osservatorio sui Balcani

...

Dear organizers,

Thank you so much again for this wonderful festival. I have just written to the Director of the Luxembourg Film Fund to tell him about your great programming, the organization and the hospitality ! This 1-st International Film Festival of Tirana will forever stay in my memory and I hope to come back for the next edition! I really appreciated the conversations I had with each one of you, you were all so open minded, bright, and full of positive energy! Thank you for your interest for my home made Chicken and a big hug to you, Ilir, Artes, Agron, Eni, Mandy, Ilir again, Gani (sorry for the spelling: if I miswrite your names, I won't forget your smiles, for sure !) and all the staff from the festival ! I wish you all the best and a very very long life to your Festival and Albanian Film Making!

LOVE FROM LUXEMBOURG!
Beryl Koltz
Filmmaker
LUXEMBOURG

 ...

Dear friends,
 
It was very nice to meet you and all the people in Tirana, I must say that your festival can be small, but very interesting and could have the special place on the festival map of Europe……
I want to thank you ones more for the wonderful time I have in Tirana and I hope I will be able to come back. I wish you a lot of success in what you are doing (and it works - slowly, but works, I have this experience after three years).

All the best
 
Andrea Prenghyová
Documentary Film Institute
Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC

 ...

Dear Agron, Ilir and to all the staff of T.I.F.F,
 
I am writing to you will much pleasure for thanking you for the hospitality and the respect that you showed to me. It was a pleasure as well to participate in this festival and at the same time an honor.  
In Kosovo the TIFF is welcomed with joy and at KOSOVAFILM they made me a solemn reception for my award as the best film of TIFF. This was the biggest award that Kosova wins in 20 years after the movie Proka.

Thank you for all and hope to work together in a near future.
 
My best regards Buqja 
Burbuqe Berisha
The winner of the best film of TIFF for 2003
Filmmaker, KOSOVA
 

...

Hello…

 I’m back in Florence after a long trip of 14 hours….tired and confused of this unforgettable experience…. The festival…..the festival was far above of my expectations: the quality of the short movies very high, the attention of the media was incredible, the participation of the public, considering the fact that this was just the first edition of the Festival can be considered a good one and the organization just perfect. I hope that you are happy with this first edition, or not????  
But I know that you and Agron are perfectionists and I am sure that you will get obsessed to improve this event that after some years will be taken as an example from the other European countries….
One of these days I will write to the director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Tirana just to express all my happiness of being a guest of the Festival and I will remark (with modesty) that I did not have the chance to meet him…..

Thank you, thank you, thank you …..

Giovanni Truppa
Filmmaker
ITALY

 ...

This message from France is just to say again how proud and happy I am for this time spent in Tirana as a jury member of TIFF. What you have done with your staff is a great work. I did not have doubts, but the result was higher than what I dreamt about. All the echoes that I received were very warm and really flattering on your regard. This festival is the real point of departure for a big collective adventure...  

Luc Barnier
Chief – editor
Jury Member of TIFF
FRANCE
 

 ...

Thank you for the brilliant festival.

Blanka Elekes Szentagotai
“Screen International” magazine
Journalist
HUNGARY

Blanka Elekes Szentagotai in Bucharest         10 December 2003 04:05

The first edition of the Tirana International Film Festival ended with the best short film prize being awarded ex aequo to Italian director Alessandro Dominici’s The Last Gunman and Kosovan filmmaker Burbuqe Berisha’s Kosovo 9/11.

The festival, which ran from Dec 1 to Dec 7 featured 82 short films from 30 countries. The five-member jury made up by Cork Film Festival director Mick Hannigan, Genova Film Commission founder Andrea Rocco, Czech filmmaker Andrea Prenghyová, French editor Luc Barnier and local film director Gjergj Xhuvani, awarded the best fiction prize to the Swiss film The Stairs by Frederic Mermoud, while in the documentary category another Italian filmmaker, Simone Salvemini took home the award for his story of Albanian emigrants in the Italian town Brindisi, The Traffic-Lights Brothers.

Ukrainian filmmaker Stepan Koval’s multi-award winning The Tram No9 Goes was named best animation, while another Italian production, Andrea Adriatico’s Fists And A Sky Is Closing Over Me was given the best experimental film prize. Director Bujar Alimani’s The Kennel was named best Albanian film with a special mention going to Eno Milkani’s Abandoned Eden.

The festival’s media prize was also awarded to Burbuqe Berisha’s Kosovo 9/11, while the public’s choice was a Belgian production, Michel Vereecken’s You Should Make Movies.

...

My best compliments for organizing a wonderful film festival. I must say, you did a great job, guys! After an excellent time I had in Tirana I will always wish to come back.
All  the best wishes!
Live long TIFF!

Burim Myftiu
Organizer of DOKUFEST
Prizeren, KOSOVA

...

Firstly, many thanks for a wonderful experience in Tirana. It was very special to be present at the birth of the festival and also to see what a great country Albania is, and what wonderful people are there.

Mick Hannigan (Director of Cork Film Festival, member of TIFF jury) and Una Feely
IRELAND

...

Thank you so much for a most enjoyable time at the 1st Tirana film festival.
Everyone I meet is delighted to hear what a great festival Tirana is..

Ron Holloway
Producer
USA / GERMANY

...

Thank you for all, I felt very well and not only for my victory!!

Alessandro Domenici
Filmmaker
Winner of the Best Film of TIFF
ITALY

...

After a 50-year isolation, the country shows the rare phenomenon of a centralized management of cinematography by the state, made with entirely propagandistic goals. The film production during this period reached levels, which can be considered as record with regard to the number of population in Albania. 15 fullk features, 20 documentaries, 16 animations per year, all made in one of the biggest institutions of the country with participation of the best representatives of the Albanian cinema. With the new political developments and the change of system after the `90s, the Albanian cinematography finds itself in the free trade's crossroad. Albania is starting to live up to its (lost) potential, with the 2003 Tirana Film Festival as the current highlight.

WATCHMOVIES
THE NETHERLAND

...

Dear TIFF,
Dear Agron & Ilir,...Once again, thank you very much for your hospitality and long life to the TIFF !
...Once again, I wanted to thank you very very much for this wonderful event that you have create in Albania. When I knew I was going to be once more in Tirana after my first trip 10 years ago, I knew that I would see a new country and that many things should have change... and, as you know, the “choc” was impressive !
I’m sure that you have create with the TIFF a very important event for the development of the cinema in Albania and a new way to promote the country, his charm, specificities and interest to the foreign countries....
...I think it could be helpful if I could show to those people an extract of the TV talk show and award evening of the festival. It is so rare that a festival can count on the public
Television to promote a film festival like that.
Thanks again and all the best to all of you.

Jean-Philippe Laroche
Producer
BELGIUM
 

...

There are no doubts that I consider it a great achievement holding an international film festival in Albania, especially one of short films, such as animation films and fictions. On the other hand, this is a very difficult job, as here in Albania films of this kind are only a few. I would consider this festival as original in its kind. When learning of the project from one of the organizers, Ilir Butka, I felt happy for the interest dedicated to the cinematographic art. I believe it will be a great success, as Agron Domi as well is a brilliant organizer. Even though I have not yet watched the films presented in the event, I can say that this festival is an initiative to be highly appreciated and at the same time supported with all the financial means available by the state institutions.

Fatmir Koçi
Director
ALBANIA

 ...

In my opinion, this international film festival is a confrontation of great values for the Albanian cinematography. Efforts made by Albanian filmmakers or film studios will have now a more well-defined vision. Only a confrontation of this kind can result in better ideas for a new production, because, as I have learned, these films will be screened also for the public. This is a very important element, as first, the Albanian public will be introduced to the developments of the world cinematography, and at the same time a different view will be presented on the participating films such as fiction, documentaries and animation.

Besnik Bisha
Director
ALBANIA

 ...

I believe that every initiative addressing the creation of a festival makes an opportunity to attract the public. In this respect, every activity of the kind should be welcomed. The festival in question is interesting indeed considering its organization, as it has found itself in the short film, a cinematographic genre that has not yet made its own position in Albania.
Further on, I think it is positive the fact that this is an international festival, which implies an attraction of productions by other countries and this is very useful. Fourth, the festival includes in its program the experimental film at a time when in national activities it has not been introduced as a practice. In this way, I believe that the festival attracts the public also with new experimental forms, bringing people closer to a new type of production. Fifth, the films participating in the festival have been realized not only in celluloid but also in the electronic way. Differently from other international festivals of other genres organized in Albania, this festival offers for the first time a material prize along with the moral one, and, of course, this initiative by the organizers makes the event more interesting.

Vladimir Prifti
Director
ALBANIA

 ...
 

It was the best chance during all these years to participate in such a unique event as the Short Film Festival in Tirana. The first International Film Festival marks a success not only for the organizers, but for all the Albanian filmmakers as well. I just wish all the best to this initiative hoping that TIFF will be one of the best known film festivals for short movies.  
Every time a festival is held, it offers, besides its values, also stimulating emotions for the creative work of every filmmaker. I think it is a very positive sign that, even though Albanian filmmakers have participated in other international festivals in the world, it is the first time that such an event is initiated in Albania. It is a great thing that different cultures, different productions are screened and involved in a competition here. I will call the festival a success in the road of Albanian cinematography, being it an alternative for more important developments in this field. As a matter of fact, by having already participated in international festivals, Albania is certainly competitive in this arts field, considering at the same time the fact that it is a relatively new cinematography as compared to other European countries. In this viewpoint it has awakened interest and has shown that there are efforts to work with all means in achieving high levels.

Mevlan Shanaj
Director
ALBANIA

 ...

It is an important and happy event. I am well aware of what it means to organize a festival of this kind in Albania. Selecting films from all over the world and ranking in this variety of values the Albanian ones is to me a great cultural event. It does not matter whether you win a prize in the festival, as I believe the most important thing is that we will experience a celebration of the film.

Saimir Kumbaro
Director
ALBANIA


 ...
 

It took me some time to get over the great experience I had with you in Tirana.
A BIG thank you to everybody involved, the organisation was absolutely amazing when one knows it was a first!
Long live TIFF, I'm sure it's only the beginning of an already very successful festival. I miss you guys a lot too, it was really really strange for me when I
got back to Paris. It took me some time to find the taste to do anything. When I got back, people were asking after your country, people are curious because nobody knows anything about it yet.

Vincent Hazard
Filmmaker
FRANCE
 

 ... 

 

I am not stop thinking about your wonderful festival, beautiful city, and amazing country.
I have no words to describe the amazing and unforgettable week I had in Tirana, in your festival. I am really appreciated your warm welcoming and hospitality. I meet unique people, colorful and beautiful places and saw very interesting films. I think you are doing very influential thing and having a main part  in a very important cultural revolution of your country.
I hope I will see you again in Tirana or Israel.
I am sending you a sign for luck and blessing (called “Hamsa”). It written in Hebrew and it’s a little pray for luck, success, happiness and greeting. 

Ido Haar
Filmmaker
ISRAEL

 

 

GREETING FROM THE
MINISTER OF CULTURE


GREETING FROM THE
MINISTER OF CULTURE


GREETING FROM THE
 MAYOR OF TIRANA


GREETING FROM
THE ORGANIZERS

Hotel Tirana International

MILLENIUM  2
Movie Theater


FREE INTERNET ACCESS

TIRANA CITY



 

home  news  the festival  programme  history  submit   sponsors   partners   staff   contact

 

Copyright © 2003 FOUNDATION ART MEDIA ALBANIA