The former film studio of Albania is now a film school and art-house cinema. Set in a beautiful garden with indoor and outdoor screens it hosts poetry evenings, concerts, performances, film festivals and cult films.
In the long period of dictatorship foreign cinema and television were banned. The Kinostudio served as a tool of state propaganda and indoctrination. With the fall of the regime its films were seen as valueless until the Albanian Cinema Project began to review the 270 films, 700 documentaries and 150 animations. This is a unique resource for historians and cultural theorists – providing a window into a closed state. Finds have included a hidden camera documentary “Motifs From Sunday” 1973, Director: Demetrius Anagnosti. On a winter day in Tirana, the hidden camera silently records: people in the park, an accordion on wires, women on balconies, market shops, a football game, a bakery and a brewery.
Old Cinema, Abandoned Cinema by Ishmael Kadare:
On that bit of screen
We saw a bit of the whole world,
For the first time.
On six square metres
The world had no limits,
The world was splendid
Even though the screen was patched up.
Today, future cinematographers, script writers and editors learn their trade here.
Albanian film-makers of note are: Fatmir Koci (Tirana Year Zero, Nekrologji), (Slogans, Dear Enemy) and Bujar Alimani (Gas, Amnestia).
Of the recent alumni, Silvio Spahiu’s film Magnetwas nominated at the Sehsüchte 2014 Film Festival. After a flood, a family have survive by using a magnet to fish metal out of the river. A film by Adrian Guri gives a wry look at a day of fishing: