Sales agency The Playmaker Munich has signed a deal with Elsani & Neary Media to handle the international sales for “The Albanian Virgin.” The film had its world premiere in the competition section of the Warsaw Intl. Film Festival on Friday, and The Playmaker Munich will present it to buyers at MIA Market in Rome, with a physical screening taking place on Thursday.
The film, which was written by Katja Kittendorf and directed by Bujar Alimani, is set in 1958 in Albania. An arranged marriage forces Luana to deny her love for Agim. To meet her father’s expectations, she almost sacrifices her love, but she soon realizes that the Kanun – the set of traditional laws governing Albanian society – only benefits men. So, she decides she has to become one of them: A man.
“ ‘The Albanian Virgin’ does not judge or raise a moral finger, but presents the events in real terms as they could have happened exactly then in Albania, or even today?,” Anita Elsani, the film’s producer and CEO of Elsani & Neary Media, said.
“The film shows possibilities for a new era without promising a universal solution and without telling the audience what’s right and what’s wrong. This film wants to inspire [the audience] to talk and to empathize. It touches and moves, shakes and shocks and is equally a plea for reconciliation, love.”
Alimani made his feature debut in 2011 with “Amnesty,” the first Albanian film ever to be funded by Eurimages. It played at the Berlin Film Festival, winning the CICAE Prize, as well as jury prizes at Lecce and Lisbon film festivals. The film was Albania’s candidate for the Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2012.
“Chromium,” Alimani’s second feature film, played at film festivals in Hamburg, Montpellier, Brussels, Segovia and Munich, and was also the Albanian candidate for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards in 2017.
“The Delegation,“ his third feature, also received Eurimages funding. It won best feature at the Trieste Film Festival in 2019 and the Grand Prix at Warsaw Film Festival.
“The Albanian Virgin” is produced by Elsani & Neary Media, in co-production with Potemkino Port, 90 Production, Circle Production and ZDF/ARTE. The production was supported and funded by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Eurimages, Filmförderungsanstalt FFA, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Kosovo Cinematography Center, Albanian National Center of Cinematography, the Belgian Tax Shelter, the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, and RTSH.
The Playmaker Munich will launch several new films as market premieres at MIA Market, including “Monte Verita” by Stefan Jäger, which premiered in Piazza Grande at Locarno Film Festival this year, Zurich Film Festival’s opening film “And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead” by Michael Steiner, and “A Pure Place” by Nikias Chryssos, which won the best director award at the Munich Film Festival’s German Cinema New Talent Awards in July.