Filmmakers in Kosovo are helping to inspire and empower people, and that’s why Switzerland is supporting them.
Independent filmmaker Ilir Hasanaj is the son of a political activist who fled from Kosovo to Switzerland. Ilir grew up in Winterthur, attended film school in Zurich, then went back to Kosovo to make a movie. He decided to stay because he felt he could really make a difference there. He's now in charge of screenings at an independent cinema in Pristina. He is part of a wave of new filmmakers in Kosovo who are addressing social and environmental issues. The annual Dokufest in Prizren in the southwest also provides a platform for young engaged filmmakers. Dokufest received €30,000 (CHF32,000) from Switzerland in 2019. In the same year, Switzerland doubled its funding (to €25,000/CHF26,000) for the Anibar International Animation Festival in the northern city of Peja. A Swiss government spokesman said the festival, geared towards young filmmakers, had transformed animation into an important medium in Kosovo.