News 14 Jan 16

Kosovo War Movie Nominated for Oscar

The short film ‘Shok’ (‘Friend’), about how the 1990s war affects the lives of two boys, has made cinematographic history in Kosovo after being nominated for an Oscar.

The poster for the film.

The 21-minute movie, based on a true story from the war, was nominated for the ‘Best Live Action Short Film’ prize at the 88th Academy Awards – the first-ever nomination for a Kosovo-made film, it was announced on Thursday.

Directed by British movie-maker Jamie Donoughue and shot in Mitrovica, the powerful and haunting film looks at the lives of two 12-year-old boys after the war breaks out in 1998.

The conflict fills the boys’ existence with violence and fear, forcing them to make choices that threaten not only their community but their families too.

“This isn’t really a war film. This is a story about friendship and, if anything, about victims of war from all sides,” Donoughue said in a recent interview with the ScreenPicks website.

Arben Zharku, director of Kosovo’s Cinematographic Centre, said the Oscar nomination was a great step forward for the country’s movie industry.

“This is the biggest achievement of Kosovo cinema so far and ‘Shok’ has already opened the doors for Kosovo movies to be present at the greatest movie events,” Zharku said.

The film features a cast of actors from Kosovo, many of whom experienced the war directly, which gave the drama added impact, according to Donoughue.

“I think that was a key part of it, and, more or less, everybody in the cast and crew had been directly affected by the war and had these things happen to them,” he said.

‘Shok’ faces competition for the award from ‘Ave Maria’, ‘Day One’, ‘Everything Will Be Okay’ and ‘Stutterer’.

The awards ceremony will take place on February 28 in Hollywood.

Shok Trailer from Jamie Donoughue on Vimeo.

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