Three Awards at Three Festivals for AGA'S HOUSE

Great News from the east and from the west! AGA’S HOUSE by Lendita Zeqiraj has been awarded with SPECIAL JURY AWARD at Kolkata International film festival in India, SPECIAL MENTION at ZINEBI Bilbao International Film Festival in Spain and CINEDAYS Festival of European Film in Skopje, North Macedonia.

AGA'S HOUSE triumphs at Film Festival Cottbus

AGA’S HOUSE by Lendita Zeqiraj won OUTSTANDING ACTRESS AWARD for its female ensamble at Film Festival Cottbus in Germany. Director Lendita Zeqiraj received award in the name of her cast, Rozafa Celaj, Adriana Matoshi, Shengyl Ismaili, Melihate Qena and Molike Maxhuni.

“AGA’S HOUSE” Variety – Film Review by Jessica Kiang

A punchy, uncompromising drama, set in a remote refuge for women, tells a story of those traditionally underrepresented in Kosovan society.

From the beginning, there’s something disconcerting about the exuberance of Lendita Zeqiraj’s feature debut “Aga’s House.” We’re immediately plunked down into the middle of a circle of women sitting on a remote Kosovan hillside in the sunshine exchanging salty anecdotes while preparing food. They laugh, bicker and throw cruel little jabs at one another, referring to age, attractiveness, sexual experience or lack thereof. But the bawdiness and hilarity feels volatile and precarious, as though it could end at any moment, as though these women, in their exile from society, are living as loudly and brashly as they can to drown out the ticking of the unexploded mine of the past over which they dance. For a film with so much laughter, “Aga’s House” is an intensely uneasy experience.

Four of the women have been living in this so-called “refuge house” for some time: the pretty, flirtatious, unserious Emira (Rozafa Çelaj); her best friend and sparring partner Luma (Adriana Matoshi); Kumrija (Shengyl Ismaili) the careworn mother of 9-year-old boy Aga (Arti Lokaj); and Gjyla (Meliahte Qena) a widow in her 70s who was forced from her family home after her son was killed in the Kosovan war, leaving her with no male relative. To this number is added a fifth, Zdenka (Rebekah Qena), a middle-aged Croatian woman whose arrival is viewed with suspicion by the rest of the gang.

Full Article: @Variety.com

“AGA’S HOUSE” Film Review by Maja Bogojevic on Camera Lucida

It is this Chantal Akerman-esque film directed by a highly talented female author Lendita Zeqiraj that the former Yugoslav region has long been waiting for. Beautifully filmed, thanks to masterful photography of Sofian El Fani, prevailingly with close-ups, which convey not only the author’s empathy with all her characters, but encourage the viewer also to be in the minds of women and sympathise with them, even when nothing ‘much’ is happening, especially in some of the most memorable scenes of one of the most visually stunning films of the recent Balkan cinema. These extreme close-ups contribute to feeling as close as possible both to the group of women and to the boy, but also underline the existence of three sub-films within a film: The first ‘film’ is about a boy, the second ‘film’ is the women’s different individual stories and the third ‘film’ is a film of close ups, leading the viewers to feel as close as possible to these women before they hear their harrowingly painful stories at the end.

Full Article: @CameraLucida.net

Aga’s house [2019]: ‘KVIFF’ review – The origins of trauma and sin – by: Arman Fatic

Director Zeqiraj, has shown in her previous short films, (that have traveled to more than 300 international festivals),  that her stories focus on wartime, youth and the people living on margins of society. In that sense, “Aga’s House” looks like a culmination of hard work in her fifteen-year-long career.  The film tells stories of women and boy living far away from the world. From the first moment, it is obvious that something is not right, but it’s actually really hard to pinpoint what that certain something is. Relations of women are blurred out, they don’t really resemble one another, with their attitudes and age they also don’t really look they could be in any kind of blood relation.

South-Slavic cinephiles might be able to draw a few parallels with “Snow”, Cannes Critics Week awarded film by Bosnian director Aida Begić and  Golden Berlin Bear awarded film “Esma’s Secret” by Jasmila Žbanić. It’s not far away from the truth, as the faiths and history in a region is similar, so are the films in a certain sense. But what director Zeqiraj brings on a table is a bit more deliberate and deeper story than we had a chance to see so far in a region.

Full Article: @ArmanFatic.com

FEDEORA SPECIAL MENTION AWARD for AGA'S HOUSE at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

AGA’S HOUSE by Lendita Zeqiraj has been awarded with FEDEORA SPECIAL MENTION AWARD by Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Jury mebers: Maja Bogojević (Montenegro), Pavlina Jeleva (Bulgaria), Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi (Italy).

FEDEORA is the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean; founded in May 2010 in Cannes. It is constituted of individual professional film critics from European and Mediterranean countries. The seat of FEDEORA is in London, UK. The aims of FEDEORA are: forming juries and presenting awards at relevant international festivals, publishing film reviews, essays, festival reports and other articles in the FEDEORA online film magazine, organizing conferences and many others.

AGA’S HOUSE an opening film of 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

AGA’S HOUSE by Lendita Zeqiraj has been selected to have its World Premiere and to be an opening film of 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the Czech Republic and the most prestigious such festival in Central and Eastern Europe. It is one of the oldest A-list film festivals, a category it shares with the festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, San Sebastian, Moscow, Montreal, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Among filmmakers, buyers, distributors, sales agents, and journalists, KVIFF is considered the most important event in all of Central and Eastern Europe.

Every year, the festival presents some 200 films from around the world, and regularly hosts famous and important filmmakers. This year’s edition will be held from 28th June to 6th July 2019.