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The human Cargo

La nave dolce (The Human Cargo) [Special Screenings] by Daniele Vicari - Italy, Albania, 90'
language: Italian, Albanian - s/t English, Italian
(documentary)

Synopsis

On 8 August 1991 an Albanian ship carrying 20,000 people reaches the port of Bari. The ship is called the Vlora. If you look at it closely it looks like a teeming ant colony, an indistinct mass of bodies hanging on to each other.
Mooring is difficult, someone throws themselves overboard to swim to land, lots of others shout “Italia, Italia” in chorus, making the victory sign with their fingers.
The Vlora is an old and decrepit merchant ship. On 7 August 1991 the ship, returning from Cuba, reached the port of Durrës with 10,000 tonnes of sugar in its hold.
Work on unloading the sugar was underway when an enormous throng of thousands of people suddenly assailed the ship, forcing the captain to head for Italy.
The engine is on the verge of breaking down; there is no food or water. Just sugar. Night falls and the captain narrowly avoids a collision. The next morning, waiting for the Vlora is an incredulous and stunned city and an empty football stadium where, after lengthy disembarking procedures at the port, the Albanians are held before being sent back home. Twenty-one years have passed since that day. Most of the people who boarded that ship were sent back to Albania but the crossings continued and many of them had another go. Today four and a half million foreigners live in Italy.
 

Director’s Statement

In 1991 I was 24. I remember the arrival of the Vlora as a sort of media cataclysm. That disembarkment signalled the start of a socio-cultural revolution that until then had been unimaginable. In this sense La nave dolce is a film that imposed itself on me and forced me to go beyond the three-act narrative scheme, borrowing wider structures from tragedy and classical literature.
Alongside the evocative power of the extraordinary archive images, the direct accounts of those involved tries to restore, in its multiplicity of views, the sense of an event that has affected the personal history of thousands of people and the collective history of our country.

A media cataclysm: The Human Cargo

Produced by Indigo Film and Apulia Film Commission in cooperation with Rai Cinema, The Human Cargo (La nave dolce) is the new documentary by Daniele Vicari after the success of Diaz - Don't Clean Up This Blood and The Past Is a Foreign Land. Premiered Out of Competition at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, the feature won the Francesco Pasinetti Award for Documentary Films. Penned with Benni Atria and Antonella Gaeta, with original music by Theo Teardo, The Human Cargo includes library pictures and interviews by Gherardo Gossi to protagonists and witnesses of the events as dancer Kledi Kadiu, Eva Karafili, Domenico Stea and director Robert Budina. "In 1991 I was 24. I remember the arrival of the Vlora as a sort of media cataclysm. That disembarkment signaled the start of a socio-cultural revolution that until then had been unimaginable," Vicari stated. "In this sense The Human Cargo is a film that imposed itself on me and forced me to go beyond the three-act narrative scheme, borrowing wider structures from tragedy and classical literature. Alongside the evocative power of the extraordinary archive images, the direct accounts of those involved tries to restore, in its multiplicity of views, the sense of an event that has affected the personal history of thousands of people and the collective history of our country."
Alessandro Zoppo


Directed by
Daniele Vicari        
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Benni Atria        
Antonella Gaeta        
Daniele Vicari

Produced by
Daniele Basilio    ....   delegate producer
Ilir Butka    ....   producer
Carlotta Calori    ....   producer
Francesca Cima    ....   producer
Nicola Giuliano    ....   producer
Silvio Maselli    ....   producer
Genc Permeti    ....   delegate producer
Ines Vasiljevic    ....   delegate producer
 
Original Music by
Teho Teardo        
 
Cinematography by
Gherardo Gossi        
 
Film Editing by
Benni Atria
 

HONEYMOONS

HONEYMOONS

Year of production : 2009 Lenght : 95 min. Format : 35 mm Screen ratio : 1:1.85 (flat) Sound format : Dolby digital surround Countries of origin : Serbia, Albania

SYNOPSIS

The story of "HONEYMOONS" is set in contemporary Albania and Serbia.

We follow the fortunes of two young couples who decide to leave their respective home countries in search of a better life in Western Europe.

When the Albanian couple, after all sorts of incidents, arrives in an Italian southern port, their problems start. The same fate awaits the Serbian couple when they by train enter European Union
at the Hungarian border.

Despite the fact that they have nothing to do with the incident that occurred in Kosovo in which two Italian UN soldiers lost their lives, they are arrested at the border and suspected due to unfortunate coincidences. This prevents them, at least temporarily, from fulfilling their dreams, as is often the case with young people in the Balkans who pay for the mistakes of previous generations.

"HONEYMOONS" is the first film co-produced by Albania and Serbia.

CAST

Nebojsa MILOVANOVIC (Marko) Jelena TRKULJA (Vera) Jozef SHIROKA (Nik) Mirela NASKA (Maylinda) Bujar LAKO (Rok) Yllka MUJO (Vevo) Lazar RISTOVSKI (Vera’s uncle) Petar BOZOVIC (Vera’s father) Danica RISTOVSKI (Vera’s mother) Fabrizio BUOMPASTORE (Italian policeman) Domenico MONGELI (Italian inspector) Aron BALAZS (Hungarian inspector)

CREW

Directed by: Goran Paskaljevic. Written by: Goran Paskaljevic and Genc Permeti. Produced by: Goran Paskaljevic, Ilir Butka, Nikola Djivanovic Director of Photography: Milan Spasic Production Design: Zeljko Antovic, Durim Neziri Costume Designer: Lana Pavlovic, Durim Neziri Make up Supervisor: Martina Subic Dodocic Chief Editor: Petar Putnikovic Editor: Kristina Pozenel Sound Designer:Velibor Hajdukovic Production Sound Mixer re-Recording Mixer: Branko Neskov C.A.S Sound Editor: Nebojsa Zoric SteadyCam operator: Zoran Culic 1St Assistant Director: Zoran Andric
Director's Notes

During Enver Hodxa's cruel, forty-year dictatorship, no one from Serbia was allowed to visit neighboring Albania, over whose soil were scattered several hundred thousand defense bunkers. Today, after the conflicts in Kosovo, there is still only a very small number of Serbs who decide to visit Albania. Prejudice and bad politics have contributed to a latent intolerance between the two nations.

Three years ago, Genc Permeti, a young painter and writer, and his colleague Ilir Butka, also a writer and film producer, unexpectedly invited me to show three of my films in Tirana. Those were The Powder Keg (Cabaret Balkan), Midwinter Night's Dream, and The Optimists, my so-called « Serbian trilogy ». I must confess that I hesitated, but they were so insistent that I finally gave in and went to Tirana. During the entire time my films were shown, Tirana's only movie theater was filled to capacity; people were even standing in the aisles off to the side. Even today, I recall with much emotion the exceptionally long applause at the end of each showing and the audience's questions, which were not even for one moment malicious, but utterly open, intelligent, and fair. What most surprised me then was the fact that the Albanian audience was familiar with the majority of my early films through pirated copies, which was practically the only way to become acquainted with Serbian films.

During my first stay in Albania in December of 2006, I met many intellectuals who thought like I did, who were beyond any kind of fiery nationalism. I discovered that Albanians and Serbs, although they speak two completely different languages, have much in common, notedly the deep desire to become an integral part of Europe. During long conversations over a glass of raki (Brandy), the idea was born that we try, through our combined efforts, to make a movie, which I would direct with a mixed crew. One week after my return from Albania, I wrote the first synopsis.

I imagined the film as a triptych. The Albanian story, with the cooperation of Genc Permeti, is about a young couple who wishes to leave Albania because circumstances don't allow them to fulfill their relationship. Next, the Serbian story is about a young couple who also want to go to western Europe in the hope that they will have more chances there than in Serbia. Finally, the third part intertwines the destinies of these two couples. Their stories unwind parallelly and they never meet, as would usually be the case in standard films. However, I am convinced that at the end of the film viewers will have the impression that these young people, are in the same imaginary space, while they wait on the threshold of Europe; the Albanians in a port in southern Italy, and the Serbs on the Hungarian border in the backroom of a small railway station. Nevertheless, after the first bitter disappointment on the border of that so green "better" world, dawns a new morning for both.

The creation of this joint production film, the first Albanian-Serbian coproduction, which we immediately entitled "Honeymoons," became possible one year later when we received financial support from the Serbian Ministry of Culture and the Albanian National Film Center, as well as the Apugilla Film Commission. The filming flowed without any major difficulties, even though we communicated with each other in a mixture of English, French, Italian.... After two months spent together, farewells between the Serbian and Albanian crew was touching, almost melodramatic; everyone had tears in their eyes. We all wanted to shoot together just one more film...and one more.... It is of note that the Serbian and the Albanian actors have never met, even though they have acted in the same movie. Their first meeting will be at the film festival in Venice.

Goran Paskaljevic

BIOGRAPHY

Goran Paskaljevic was born in Belgrade on 22 April 1947.

Between 1967 and 1971, he studied at the well-known Prague school of cinema (FAMU).

From 1971 to the present, he has made 30 shorts/documentaries and 15 feature films, many of which have been shown and acclaimed at the most prestigious international film festivals.

The rise of nationalism in Yugoslavia forced him to leave his country in 1992.

In 1998 he went back to make The Powder Keg (Cabaret Balkan) but his constant criticism of Milosevic’s regime met with violent, menacing attacks in the official press. Therefore, he decided once more to leave his native land in search of a country where he could make his film, How Harry Became a Tree. He found Ireland.

He returned to Belgrade upon the collapse of the Milosevic regime. There he shot is two films: Midwinter Night’s Dream and The Optimists.

In 2001, the International Film Guide (Variety) marks him as one of the top five directors of the year (together with Lasse Hallström, Neil Jordan, Steven Soderbergh and Edward Yang).

In January 2008, the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) presented a full retrospective of his work.

His new film Honeymoons has been completed in June this year.

FILMOGRAPHY-FEATURES

2009 Honeymoons Venice Days – world premiere Toronto -Masters

2006 The Optimists (Optimisti) Toronto – Masters – World Premiere Valladolid Film Festival (Spain) – Best Film (Golden Spike)

Best actor winner Lazar Ristovski Audience Award for the best film Geneva Film Festival -Best Director (Golden Reflect) -FIPRESCI Award for the best film

2004 Midwinter Night’s Dream (San Zimske Noci) San Sebastian Film Festival – Grand Prize of the Jury Toronto Film Festival – Masters Prenominated for the European Academy Awards, in all categories Best Serbian film of the year Nashville (USA) -Dreammaker Award for the best feature film Montpellier (France) – Golden Antigone for the Best Film Tromsø (Norway) International Film Festival 2005 – International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI)

2001 How Harry Became a Tree (in English) Venice Film Festival – in competition Toronto Film Festival – Masters – Gala premiere Newport Beach Film Festival -Best film in all categories

-Best foreign film -Best actor winner Colm Meaney

1998 The Powder Keg ( aka Cabaret Balkan in USA) (Bure baruta) In the USA – (released through PARAMOUNT Classics)

Venice Film Festival: International Critics Prize -Best film in all categories

EUROPEAN CRITICS AWARD for the best European film 1998

American National Film Board of Review Awards -Voted one of the top five best foreign language films 1999 in the USA

Toronto Film Festival: Masters

Santa Barbara (USA) Film Festival – Grand Prize

Haïfa (Israel) Film Festival – Grand Prize

Antalya (Turkey) Film Festival – Grand Prize

1995 Someone Else's America (Tudja America) – (in English) Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight) – Audience Award Valladolid Film Festival -Grand Prize (Golden Spike)

1992 Tango Argentino (Tango Argentino) Venice Film Festival – Audience Award San Francisco Film Festival – Audience Award

1990 Time of Miracles (Vreme cuda) Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight) San Sebastian Film Festival -International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI)

1987 Guardian Angel (Andjeo cuvar) Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight)
1984 The Elusive Summer of '68 (Varljivo leto ‘68)

1982 Twilight Time (Suton) (in English) (Produced for MGM/UA, starring Karl Malden) Chicago Film Festival – Grand Prize UNICEF Grand Prize

1980 Special Treatment (Poseban Tretman) Cannes Film Festival (competition) -Best supporting actress (Milena Dravic) Golden Globe Hollywood -Nomination for Best Foreign Film

1979 ...And the Days are Passing (Zemaljski dani teku) Venice Film Festival (competition)

1978 The Dog who Loved Trains (Pas koji je voleo vozove) Berlin Film Festival (competition)

1976 Beach Guard in Winter (Cuvar plaze u zimskom periodu) Berlin Film Festival (competition), International Critics Prize
Productions companies :

NOVA FILM Kneginje Ljubice 6 11000 Belgrade (Serbia) Tel : +381 11 328 49 11 Mobile : +381 63 303 306 Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

BEOGRAD FILM Cincar Jankova 3 11000 Belgrade (Serbia) Tel : +381 11 321 79 00 Fax : +381 11 321 79 02 Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

World Sales :

NOVA FILM International Goran Paskaljevic 94 avenue Emile Zola 75015 Paris (France) Mobile : +33 68 88 96 183 Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SKA-NDAL Boulevardi Zhan Dark Pall. i ri Tirana (Albania) Tel: +35542256588 Fax : +35542234980 Mobile : +355686028900 Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website : www.ska-ndal.com

With the support of : The Serbian Ministry of Culture, The Albanian National Film Center The Apulia Film Commission (Italy) 
 

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