CINEUROPA – Elvis Walks Home wraps shooting in Albania

The UK-Albanian co-production is directed by Fatmir Koci from a screenplay by Jonathan Preece

Elvis Walks Home, the new film by Albania’s Fatmir Koci, finished principal photography in Tirana on 26 September, UK production company Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) announced in a press release. 
The film is based on an original screenplay by Welsh writer Jonathan Preece and tells the story of Mickey, an illegal Albanian who used to live in London and is a part-time Elvis Presley impersonator. He gets a job entertaining British peacekeeping troops during the 1999 Balkan wars. When backstage problems ensue, Mickey (dressed as Elvis Presley) flees – straight into the war zone. He meets and is captured by a group of child refugees caught up in the merciless war.
UK-based actor Dritan Kastrati, who plays the role of Mickey, starred in Koci’s previous films Pit Stop Mafia and Amsterdam Express, and the two worked on the latter with Preece and F&ME producer Mike Downey. Koci’s outfit Kkoci Productions is producing on the Albanian side.
The movie is financed through the Arts Council of Wales and Creative Europe’s MEDIA programme, and has secured funding from the Albanian Film Centre. It will also benefit from the tax credit as well as key private equity funding from the UK and Albania. Saer Medical, of Tirana, joined the production as a 10% minor co-producer. The international sales for the title are open.
In other news from F&ME, the prolific company is completing post-production on Georgian director Mariam Khatchvani‘s debut feature, DeDe. Also in post-production are the biopic Tom of Finland by Dome Karukoski, which will be handled internationally by Protagonist Pictures, and Volker Schlöndorff’s Return to Montauk (which it is working on together with Germany’s Ziegler Film, France’s Pyramide Productions and Gaumont, and Ireland’s Savage Productions).
F&ME is currently looking to complete financing on How To Sell a War by Rudolph Herzog, and titles in the late stages of financing include The Disciple, written by Ida [+] scriptwriter Rebecca Lenckiewicz and directed by Ivan Ostrochovsky (Koza [+]), and My Eyes Are Yours (working title) by Konstantin Bojanov (Ave [+]). 
by Vladan Petkovic

Hollywoodreporter / ‘Chromium’ (‘Krom’): Film Review

Albania’s submission for the foreign-language film Oscar charts a rural teenager’s rite of passage.

At the core of Chromium is rock — from the metallic ore with which its young protagonist hopes to find his worth to the banging music that opens the country boy’s eyes about the world outside his rural hometown. The film itself is as compact and solid as a rock, too. Four years after making his debut with the remarkable Amnesty — a relationship drama about the bond between two long-suffering spouses of jailed convicts — Albanian director Bujar Alimani follows up with a work of lustrous imagery and magnetic performances that could have been merely a simple, well-trodden rite-of-passage narrative.
Revolving around a teenager’s growing pains — from observing his single mother’s blooming relationship with another man to his own uncertain feelings toward his rebellious teacher — Chromium offers universal drama seasoned with subtle local characteristics. To his credit, Alimani doesn’t simply parade the easy cultural clichés of, say, rifle-wielding, blood-feuding clansmen or worn icons of Albania’s communist legacy. Just like in Amnesty, Chromium charts a young generation’s struggle to grow up in a country on the cusp of social change.
At the center of Amnesty is a young mother trying to raise her two children on her own while her husband is away. Here, Chromium‘s single-parent family scenario unfolds from the point of view of the children. Adi (Fredjon Kuci) lives with his mother (Klodjana Keco) and his young brother (Denis Shira) in a village a long way away from the town where his school is. He doesn’t have a cellphone or a computer, and is frequently bullied for not having a father around. His frustration builds as he witnesses his mother — a mute herbalist who earns a meager living with her homemade foodstuff — becoming intimate with a man (Kasem Hoxha) who regularly comes over to help repair the home.
As most onscreen fatherless boys do, Adi rejects the man as an usurper, however well-meaning and kind he appears to be. In a juvenile act of one-upmanship, Adi takes up work at a local chromite mine with the hope of staking his claim as the breadwinner in the house. Adi learns how to react positively to his new reality through his interactions with his leather-wearing, rock-loving math teacher (Mirela Naska), a maternal mentor who shows him how to strike a balance between youthful resistance and reconciliation through the way she battles her own problems.
Shot on widescreen by Greek cinematographer Ilias Adamis (who also worked on Amnesty), the film benefits from a screenplay that’s delicate and restrained in its exposition of the personalities and relationships onscreen; in place of confessional conversations or verbose rows, Alimani has his characters vent their guilt, desire and pent-up fury through a frown, a silent glance or — in one of the film’s most dynamic scenes — a cathartic chopping of wood.
The cast rises to the occasion, with Kuci delivering a revelatory turn. With its slow-burning drama and sturdy performances, Chromium offers a remarkable snapshot of how small-town teenage angst manifests itself in the provincial fringes of Albania.
Cast: Fredjon Kuci, Klodjana Keco, Mirela Naska, Kasem Hoxha, Denis Shira
Director-screenwriter: Bujar Alimani
Producers: Tefta Bejko, Anita Elsani, Valon Jaupaj, Thanos Anastopoulos, Stella Theodorakis
Director of photography: Ilias Adamis
Art director: Emir Turkeshi-Gramo
Costume designer: Stela Laknori
Editor: Bonita Papastathi
Music: Pjeter Gaci
International sales: 90 Production
In Albanian
Not rated, 75 minutes



Concluded Monday September 26 the 32 edition of the Alexandria Film Festival which is headed by critic Amir Abaza in a grand ceremony held at the Library of Alexandria which were prizes to the winning films where he won in the feature films competition long Mediterranean countries ..jaizh best film and obtained by the Spanish “food and shelter”. Award Special jury won by Albanian “Chrome”