CINEUROPA – Albania sends Chromium to the Oscar

Albania sends Chromium to the Oscars

Bujar Alimani’s feature-length drama has been submitted by Albania to represent the country in the Best Foreign-language Film category

Chromium, directed by Albanian filmmaker Bujar Alimani, will compete for the Best Foreign-language Film Award at the upcoming 89th edition of the Academy Awards. Alimani is also known for Ygraerio (2006) and his debut feature, Amnesty [+], which earned him the Cineuropa Award at the Lecce Film Festival in 2011. A far cry from the tender love story portrayed in Amnesty, he now brings us a sensitive story of a 15-year-old boy’s search for independence in a dysfunctional family.

In Chromium, Fredjon Ruci plays Adi, a quiet, rebellious boy living with his younger brother and deaf-mute mother. His desire to find some independence and money lands him a job working illegally in a chromium mine. That decision will have profound consequences for his entire family, and he will only find identification and trust in a young female teacher, Mirela Naska.

The feature is a co-production between Albania, Kosovo, Germany and Greece, and its producers are 90 Production, Gegnia Film, Tefta Bejko, Valon Jakupaj, Anita Elsani, Thanos Anastopoulos and Stella Theodorakis. It had its world premiere in 2015 at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where it played in the East of West sidebar, and later screened at the Hamburg International Film Festival. It was released after this in Albania.

In 2011, Alimani’s Amnesty was submitted in the Best Foreign-language Film category but failed to make the final shortlist. This will be his second attempt and the tenth by Albania, as the country has submitted films in this category nine times since 1996. However, the nation has never been nominated in the January shortlist, so perhaps now could be the time for Albania and for Chromium.