Since 2015, Albania has become an active new partner for international co-productions. Focusing initially on the regional Balkan market, but by no means limited to it, the Albanian Film Center & Media Desk (ANCC) offers its support to productions seeking an Albanian minority co-producer. By way of example, some of the international films that the ANCC has financed in the recent past are: "The Marriage" by Blerta Zeqiri (Kosovo), "The Vanished" by Arben Thachi (Macedonia) and "Money Game" by Antonio Morabito (Italy).
For its 2017 selection of minority co-productions, the ANCC decided to conduct a pitching session during the first edition of the Balkan Film Market, where the ten shortlisted projects, which had already secured 80% of their budget and were still looking for the remaining 20%, were presented both to the Selection Committee, chaired by the ANCC’s chairman, Ilir Butka, and to an audience of international and local film professionals. This session offered further exposure to all of the projects – even those that were not actually selected to be financed by the ANCC – as they were able to attract individual producers interested in them.
The three selected projects supported by the ANCC for minority co-production with Albania are:
"The Happiness Effect" by Borjan Zafirovski (Macedonia): 21-year-old Leon is diagnosed with a terminal illness and decides to dedicate what little time he has left to initiating a campaign revolving around a viral video that aims to bring happiness to the world. This will be the positive legacy that he leaves for everyone – and, more importantly, for his brother Igor. It is being produced by Albanian company Lissus Media.
"Holy Boom" by Maria Lafi (Greece): three different characters living in a central neighbourhood of Athens will see their lives interconnect through a random series of events that coincide with the holy week during Orthodox Easter. It is being staged by Albanian outfit ’90Production.
"Zana" by Antoneta Kastrati (Kosovo/USA): a rather dark psychological drama that focuses on the modern-day battle between black magic and the trauma of the 1999 Kosovo War victims. It is being produced by Albanian firm On Film Production.
The rest of the film projects that were seeking the ANCC’s support and which were presented at the BFM pitching session were:
"The Angel’s Breath" – Jani Bojadzi (Macedonia)
Production company: Papadhimitri Film Production
"Hive" – Blerta Basholli (Kosovo)
Production company: Bunker Film+
"Lena and Vladimir" – Igor Aleksov (Macedonia)
Production company: Albasky Film
"May Be… (aka Perhaps…)" – Kastriot Abdyli (Macedonia)
Production company: EJF Production
"SKYPE" – Isa Qosja (Kosovo)
Production company: Kube Studio
"Three Territories of Summer" – Masa Neskovic (Serbia)
Production company: Foto Kozmos
"Vera Dreams of the Sea" – Kaltrina Krasniqi (Kosovo)
Production company: Era Film