PA VEND

Kosovo

Synopsis

In post-war Kosovo, driven by the ambition of keeping their beloved sport alive, two local players wander from one obscure location to another carrying with them the only possession of the club: their tables.

Director's Statement

DISPLACED tells the story of a post-war Kosovo ping pong club, the 'Lidhja e Prizrenit' (League of Prizren) and its journey to present day, through the lives of its two main protagonists and the coach of the club. The film takes the form of docu-fiction, for which we recreated actual events with real characters, combining real footage from the present. The 'Ping Pong Federation' was the first Kosovo sports federation to be internationally recognized after the end of the Kosovo War in the late 1990s. In the
years since, other sporting federations were accepted, concluding with a national football team which was admitted to FIFA in 2016. I should also mention that the Football Federation was forced to play its matches in neighboring Albania due to the lack of a stadium with international standards.

Every day, new talents in Kosovo emerge. Kosovo has Olympic champions, World and European champions. But instead of investing in the development of sports infrastructure and the future of our youth, the government only brags about the international successes of Kosovo's athletes. No competing sport in our country meets minimum conditions or infrastructural standards to hold international matches. In this respect, Kosovo has been left unprepared.

Our approach to this story gives us room to express concerns in our society such as migration, alienation and a general sense of hopelessness that pervades our lives and which we fight as much as we can. The story begins sometime in 2003. Then as now, these youngsters and their coaches practice in difficult conditions even though some of them represent Kosovo in international competitions and have won medals in various European championships.

DISPLACED is a tribute to all the athletes who, with enthusiasm and a quiet perseverance, manage to overcome the problem of lack of space, and represent their country by contributing more to the state than the state contributes to them.

Despite their success, the 'Ping Pong Federation' is still ignored by the local and central authorities, a condition that shows no sign of changing anytime soon.

I hope and believe that this film will help us draw attention to the dreams of these young people and embolden the state to lend them a hand.

Director's Biography

Samir Karahoda began working as a photographer in 1992. In 2003 he completed his photography studies at the Academy of Fine Arts at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. In addition to his work as a photographer, he is also a cinematographer, tutor and curator of the short film program at the DokuFest, Documentary and Short Film Festival in Prizren. His documentary short film IN BETWEEN was his directorial debut, which in 2019 had its world premiere at the Berlinale as the first Kosovar film to compete at this festival. IN BETWEEN was also a candidate for the European Film Awards.

DISPLACED is his second short film which had its premiere at the Official Competition at Cannes Film Festival.

FILMOGRAPHY:
2021 - DISPLACED
2019 - IN BETWEEN
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Samir Karahoda

Written by: Samir Karahoda

Produced by: Eroll Bilibani

Cinematography: Samir Karahoda

Editing: Enis Saraçi

Production Design: Vigan Bytyqi

Original Score: Memli Kelmendi

Sound: Memli Kelmendi, Gezim Rama

Main Cast: Ermegan Kazazi, Rifat Rifati, Jeton Mazreku

Nominations and Awards

  • Short Film Candidates 2021