The Balkan Film and Food Festival started in 2011 with the idea to gather film makers and artists from Balkan countries to share and exchange their experiences and knowledge. Since 2011, the Festival has been gathering each year, artists, filmmakers and students from all the Balkan region, while presenting 80-100 movies (shorts, student films, documentaries, animations and long features) from all Balkan countries, during one week in the bordering city of Pogradec, situated in the shores of Lake Ohrids, which divides and connects Albania with Macedonia. The films screenings are accompanied with many other cultural events, workshops, competitions. In addition, what makes unique this Film Festival, it’s the exposure of the participant to the diverse culinary that different Balkan countries offer, to celebrate and get to know better the cultural and traditions of the neighbouring countries.
The nature, lake of Ohrid, the city of Pogradec are a wonderful combination for such event. Everything is situated in the center, cinema, restaurants, hotels and other facilities are at a walking distance, so it is impossible to miss anyone or event. All events undergo the curious eyes of the local people who are also part of the screenings and other events. Films, music, local artisans, culinary etc., all coming from Balkan creators, is what evolves in the city of Pogradec during one week. Under such nice atmosphere many artists from different Balkan countries gather together as a sign of tolerance and pacific cohabitation.
Terms of participation
All artists from the Balkans are eligible for participating to the Festival. Feature films, documentary, short and student films are the main material of the Festival. Morning screenings in the cinema mostly present short films, and afternoon screenings are dedicated to documentaries. Evening screenings are dedicated to long features where around eight countries bring their latest film productions. Artists are encouraged to submit film productions that strongly relate and reflect the Balkan nature, language, philosophy, habits and customs, as this is related to the main goal of the festival: Exchanging our culture and knowing better each other is the only way of good neighborhood relations. In addition this Festival creates opportunities for artists and filmmakers from the region to create partnerships and networking for future joint project and artistic productions, to better present the Balkan culture as a whole, with all its diversity and uniqueness.
The applications for movie participations to the Film Festival are submitted through www.filmfreeway.com.
Goals of the festival
The main goal of the festival is foster the exchange and collaboration among artists from the Balkan countries, in order to increase the knowledge, understanding and develop further the multicultural and intra-regional collaboration in the cultural field, as a way to better know and present the Balkan culture and traditions.
The Festival aims to :
Establish and consolidate a Balkan platform of presenting and discussing movie productions in the Region.
Create a credible and official platform of eventual cooperation in the field of film co-production.
Facilitate the discussion of unfinished film projects for further development, as well as for finding ways of financial support through Balkan national cinema centers. (Balkan Story Session)
Train young people from the region on how to use video on better expressing their socio-cultural concerns through participatory videos, under the supervision of professional filmmakers. Produce and present participatory short videos (Mish Mash Program)
Increase the knowledge, improve the understanding and foster the exchange among the artists and youngsters from the region, in other socio-cultural aspects.
Enrich the culture and social life of the local community in Pogradec.
Promote the agro and culture tourism in Pogradec;
Screenings of the films happens indoor in the only Cinema of the city, located in the main square of the city, in front of the Lake Ohrid, and next to the Municipality building.
The screenings of the films are open for everybody and there is no entrance fee.
Additional screenings happens outdoor during the evenings, in several locations : in the Odeon by the lake, in the terrace of the Cinema Building, and in the main square.
Why in Pogradec?
Historically the area around the Lake Ohrid, is well known for its commercial routes among Balkan countries, during centuries since the Ottoman Empire. This lake, dividing and connecting at the same time, two Balkan countries, represents the Festival philosophy, as a symbol of cohabitation, respect, and understanding among the Balkan countries. In addition, the city of Pogradec reflects many Albanian features. It is a town of rich and art-loving traditions, as well as a unique and very diverse culinary location, making it perfect for the aims of the Festival.
The early summer period coincides with the start of the touristic season, which increases the public and citizen participation to film screenings and other cultural events and exchanges. The timing is also very appropriate for outdoor evening screenings as a magic part of the movie life.
The Balkan Film Festival is organized by the non-governmental organization “Art Im-Pulse” and the film production company “Bunker Film”, in close collaboration with the Municipality of Pogradec, and the Albanian Center for Cinematography.
The Jury of the festival is composed of five international professional artists and experts, with a solid expertise and knowledge on film industry and development, as well as with strong relations and interest on Balkan history and culture, coming from countries outside the Balkans.
Being not Balkan by origin, serves to two goals : First it makes the decision making on the winners more objective and unbiased, and second it represents a good opportunity for presenting the Balkan film productions and achievements to well-known international professionals, beyond the region.
The Jury is changing each year.
Sponsorship and promotion opportunities
There are many ways of sponsorship’s promotion during the festival.
- The Festival Info Center provides the ideal setting for the festival’s credentialed guests; filmmakers, industry professionals, and members of the press, to relax and network in a casual and comfortable environment. The festival info center is the ideal platform for sponsors seeking a significant branding opportunity. The festival info center is located next to the main entrance of the cinema “Lasgush Poradeci”
- Sponsorship advertisement is part of the Festival’s digital slide presentation, before each screening. In addition, a screening of one spot of 30 sec is possible, as well as banners and posters inside the screening hall.
- Printed promotional materials: Every supporter of the festival will be also recognized widely in the printed materials of the festival, such as the festival catalog, printed program, and posters.
Every sponsor and supporter of the festival will be shown on the website of the festival in the main or home page with its logo and web link.
- Outdoor promotion: Outside the cinema, in the streets of the city there are also possibilities for promotion.
– Odeon screening place
– Main square
– Main Boulevard
– City lights
- Media promotion: Balkan film festival is widely covered by local media, national and public media, both audiovisual, printed and social media.Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/balkan3f/