July 31 – August 5, 2016
The Balkan Film Food Festival is not a festival only about Food and Culinary. The Balkan Film Food Festival is about Balkan Film Production. The Festival intent is to create a climate of understanding of friendship and collaborations among Balkan countries. All guests sit on a common table and taste our common Balkan culinary drink the same wine.
This Balkan Festival is a good chance to get acquainted with the best cinema achievements of recent times.
We are 60 million Balkan people and still we don’t know one another well enough.
An exchange of experiences could be part of meetings and debate among filmmakers during the festival days.
Cuisine is part of this event and it aims at having better friendly contacts among the participants.
This festival could also be a start for possible co-productions between Albania and other Balkan countries, as it recently was between Greece and Turkey (A touch of spice, dir. Tassos Boulmetis , Greek-Turkish co-production.)
Why in Pogradec?
Historically that area it is known for its commercial routes among Balkan countries in the centuries as Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Albania since the Ottoman Empire.
Water border frontiers which somehow are meaningless among Albania Greece and Macedonia is the clue to organize such Festival in Pogradec as a sign of Cohabitation Respect and Understanding among the Balkan Countries.
Also the city of Pogradec is the setting for a good number of Albanian features.
It is also a town of rich art loving traditions and can meet the requirements and infrastructure for such festival.
Late August to early September period coincides with the end of the touring season, so the presence of the tourists will increase the attention of public. This is a suitable time for outdoor evening screenings as a magic part of the movie life.
The festival is the biggest cultural event of the city!
How to come to Pogradec.
Albania is located in the west Balkans. It is bordered on the north by Montenegro, Kosovo and in East by Macedonia, Greece to the south and west by the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. Has an area of 28.748 square kilometers, as well as Belgium. Its population is officially 3 million 182 thousand inhabitants, three times less than Belgium.
Albania has a Mediterranean climate in most of its surface, with mild winters and humid hot and dry summer. Just inside the country, on the eastern side, strongly is felt influences of continental climate.
Albania has these main rivers sorted by the North-South direction.
Drin( length 285 km ), Mat ( 115 ), Ishmi ( 74 ), Erzeni ( 109 ), Shkumbin ( 181 ), Seman ( 281 ), Vjosa ( 272 ).
Albania’s main lakes, sorted by the North-South direction are : Shkodra (368 square km, maximum depth 40 meters, Ohrid (363.28), Prespa(285.54), Butrint( 16.21 ).
Albania is a parliamentary democracy. In the June 2013 elections were won by a coalition of left Socialist Party led by Edi Rama. Democratic Party is the largest opposition party.
The only international airport is the “Mother Teresa“ near Tirana. The rail system is idle. Much long-distance transport is covered by minibuses and buses. The land entering points are also from Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro. Largest ports are Durres and Vlore on the Adriatic Sea, from where twice daily are departing passenger and cargo ferries to Italy.
The most appropriate time to visit the Albania: the period from May to September.
Pogradec, municipal center today, was once a fishing village pleasurable experience. Situated on the edge of Lake Ohrid (Lyhnidit ancient) is surrounded by scenic mountains. It is one of the most frequented tourist spots of all Albania.
In ancient times this territory by Polybius was populated by Illyrian tribe of Enkels. Somewhere in these parts must have existed Enkelana city.
On the hill above the town is the ruins of a fortification discovered that departed from the fifth century BC and abandoned by the beginning of the Byzantine period. In these parts has passed one of the most important issues branches of the Via Egnatia, the famous ancient road that connected Rome with Constantinople. In the nineteenth century, during thethe Ottoman Empire Starova was the administrative center today Buçimas commune center. Pogradec developed more in the early twentieth century as trade and craft center. It is the birthplace of two of the most famous Albanian writers, Lasgush Poradeci and Mitrush Kuteli, bronze monuments whose are side by side in the center of town.
Cinema located in the center of the city and it’s very close to Abu Bekir Esidikut Mosque built in the last few decades by an Islamic foundation headquartered in Birmingham. Some streets up North is a small Orthodox church also recently built.
The oldest neighborhood of the city is located in the southeast. Here are still standing old houses built since the beginning of the twentieth century, and the building of the former first Albanian school in this province, as well as the church of St. Mary.
Getting in Pogradec?
With buses and minivans from Tirana. So far minivans departure is at Elbasan Street near the “Filologjiku School” as there is not yet a stable bus station.
From Greece. You need to make Greece Kastoria – Kapshtice route – Korca – Pogradec.
If you travel from Macedonia – Struga – Ohrid – Pogradec Qafasan , or in the other direction St. Naum Ohrid – Pogradec – Tushemisht . The trip on both sides lasts more or less alike.
Pogradec – Korca.
Korca is the largest city in the southeastern part of Albania. It is half hour drive. The district has a great cathedral, the picturesque boulevard theater and numerous bars, etc. medieval art museum etc.
Pogradec – Lin
Lin is a fishing village located near 22 miles south of Pogradec.
On the rock that rises above the village are the ruins of a basilica with interesting mosaics of an old fort. The village itself is very picturesque. On the north side of the village is a rocky beach with very clean waters and nice hotel.
Ohrid – Pogradec
Ohrid is Macedonia’s historic heartland. For too long this city was of Bulgarian rule with very rich with in cultural monuments, architecture and numerous churchs.
Pogradec – Tushemisht – St Naum
To go to Saint Naum take the road that connects the east with Tushmeshit Pogradec. This is a very picturesque village with villagers and fishermen’s houses that are located on some channels with running water. Before you enter the village you can visit the forest and the wetlands of Volorek. Here is the holiday villa of Enver Hoxha , who ruled Albania in the period 1944-1985, which is now turned into a hotel. Beyond Tushmeshit a border crossing point will switch to Macedonia. The first place that you will come out ahead is a monastery located within a forest full of water and with a deep green. This is Saint Naum. Much revered saint among Orthodox Slavs as a man who gave education in Cyrillic script, like his predecessor Cyril, Methodius and St. Clement. Inside the church is the tomb of the saint himself the tenth century
A ferry line Pogradec Ohrid and St. Naum is expected to start work soon.
What to wear?
Pogradec stands for cool summer. During the day wearing t-shirt may is normal, but at night it is always advisable to wear an easy jacket. A wind that blows across the lake, from the north to lower the temperature, can happen in summer time.
One of these winds is called “Krivec”
What to eat?
Pogradec most famous fish is the Ohrid trout, a kind of endemic trout that grows only here. It’s cooked in many traditional ways.
There is also other delicious grilled products, like kërnacka and many home made sausage types .
Lakrori is a two foil pie that is filled with tomatoes, onions, cheese, or vegetables. It is baked under a very old traditional way that is called SAC.
Most popular drink province is rakija and wine that are produced by the Pogradec people. These drinks are easily found on every bar and restaurant in the city.
In Albania the official money is LEK. In any city you can find exchange offices that provide this service. In some restaurants and other services you can pay easily in Euro and US dollars.
The rate is approx 1 Euro = 138 Lek