Best Short Film Award Interview: Alma Zekollari


Alma Zekollari, the director of See you in the morning, altcineAction! 2015-16 Best Short Film Award, talks to us about the award and its significance as it’s derived exclusively from the audience, the online festival which provides chances to new filmmakers and the 5C Project, which can transform voters to active spectators. She also talks about her new projects, including another documentary film, and her future wish to keep on making movies!


Alma Zekollari

Alma Zekollari, director of See you in the morning

How do you feel about winning this award?

Great. I believe that every filmmaker feels the same way when sharing his/her art with the audience. Even more, when the audience has the chance to evaluate the filmmaker’s work.


Tell us what you plan to do with this award?

For my next project of course. This award is a great push for me. A push to keep going and make my next film.


Do you already have a new project in mind? Are you ready to seize this opportunity in order to create something more professional and/or international?

Yes, I have two projects in mind. The first one is a documentary I would really like to shoot in my town, Pogradec. In its lake lives a very special fish, which I often feel that drives the whole town life. The second one concerns a short film script that is finished already. Of course I will use the award for whichever project develops faster.


How helpful is an Online Festival for the Balkan filmmakers?

We all know that the realization of a film is a very difficult film, especially for young filmmakers. Awards by themselves make you think about your next project.


What is your opinion regarding the Best Critic Awards and its prize “The 5C Project”?

It is a great incentive for the lovers of the seventh art to be not just passive consumers but also active spectators with a critical thinking. It also gives the opportunity for young talented people to exchange points of view during “The 5C Project” tour.


Do you think that “The 5C Project” initiative can be useful to you and your projects?

I strongly believe that it will.


Besides your short, were there any other films in the competition that you particularly enjoyed and why?

Of course there were other films I really enjoyed, some of them even more than mine. In general I watched a lot of nice movies and very beautiful and progressive ideas. There were many films I enjoyed, but I have to chose “Pledge” by Christos Gotsis for its great directing approach and its amazing photography. The protagonist’s loneliness, portrayed through literal and metaphorical silence, speaks only in front of god, meaning it speaks only to him, deep in his soul where his voice is listened. I also really liked, for the way it speaks about the eternal pain of loss, the film “Kopanje” (Diving-In) by Simon Intihar. The editing of the film makes you think of a different flow of the story than the one you discover later as a spectator.


How did you learn about altcineAction! Online Balkan Short Film Festival?

I always wanted to watch short films, especially when I started my film studies in 2011, a year that coincides with the beginning of the web platform altcine, which later on launched the festival altcineAction!


What were your expectations and why have you sent your film to us?

When I submitted my film to the competition, my initial goal was to show my short to as many people as possible. A web platform such as altcine gives that opportunity.


Do you have any recommendations regarding the next editions of the festival?

I am not very good at this. But this year I really liked the screening of selected films in theatre.


What are your plans and expectations for the future?

First of all I want to be able to complete the two projects I mentioned above.

In the future?…

In the future I would like to have the chance to work in cinema. To make movies.