Very happy to announce that my award-winning short documentary film Angels with Shoes has been named an official selection of the 4th edition of the FERFILM International Film Festival in Kosovo. The festival will run from September 2-6 and my film will screen in the 9:00pm block of documentary films on Sunday, September 4th.
FERFILM was established in 2013 and formed by a group of artists from Ferizaj, a city and municipality in southern Kosovo, and beyond. The initiative was to promote universal cultures and values of the world through film as well as creating awareness for tourism in Ferizaj and exposing the cultural diversity of Kosovo.
Kosovo, who’s name is derived from a Serbian place-name meaning “field of blackbirds”, declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. Long-term ethnic tensions between Kosovo’s Albanian and Serb populations left the province ethnically divided, culminating in the Kosovo War of 1998–99. The war ended with a military intervention of NATO, which forced the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to withdraw its troops from Kosovo.
On February 17, 2008, Kosovo’s Parliament declared independence and has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 109 UN member states and Taiwan (Republic of China). Serbia, however, refuses to recognize Kosovo as a state, although it has accepted the legitimacy of Kosovo institutions.
Kosovo has come a long way since those tumultuous times. The New York Times included Kosovo on its list of 41 Places to go in 2011 and travel to Kosovo (which is considered safe) has been on the rise ever since. It’s a shame I won’t be able to make the trip to Ferizaj to be a part of the screening as it looks like a beautiful country to visit.
‘Angels with Shoes’ tells the story of a living kidney donation between two cousins from Puerto Rico, Yaredly and Kiara (the donor). The transplant operation took place in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and leads up to the the celebration of the one-year anniversary of the transplant. The film has won the “Best International Short” and “Audience Choice” awards at the Rincón International Film Festival and “Best Documentary” award at Film Miami Fest. The film has also screened at film festivals in Mexico, Spain and India. I couldn’t be happier that my short film about life, love and living donation will continue to reach new international audiences.