Exile by Kosovo director Visar Morina has won the Heart of Sarajevo for best feature film, the highest prize awarded at the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Exile tells the story of Xhafer, a chemical engineer from Kosovo who goes through an identity crisis as a result of discrimination and harassment at his workplace in Germany.
The film is a co-production of Kosovo, Germany and Belgium, starring Sandra Huller, Michel Matievi, Flonja Kodheli, Getuart Hajrizaj, Astrit Kabashi, Valentina Dubovci, and Ameli Kabashi.
“I am very happy with the award, thank you! I had a very busy year in the making of this film and sometimes I felt more lost than the character of the film, and this award helps me a lot. Thank you to the jury and the festival,” director Visar Morina told the festival, KOHA reported.
In an interview for Cineuropa in February, Morina said he wanted “to show the feeling of being imprisoned in one’s own point of view” in his Exile.
The 26th Sarajevo Film Festival Awards was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is the largest film festival in South Europe and one of the largest in Europe.
President of this year’s festival was French director and writer Michel Hazanavicius, with members Carlo Chatrian, artistic director of the Berlin International Film Festival, Croatian actress Jadranka Đokić, Serbian director Srdan Golubović, and Andrea Stavenhagen, head of industry and training projects of the Morelia Film Festival, Mexico.
Other films from Kosovo participating in the festival were “Andromeda Galaxy”, directed by More Raça, “Zana”, directed by Antoneta Kastrati, and “Vera Andrron Detin” (Vera Dreams of the Sea), directed by Kaltrina Krasniqi.