Looking for Venera
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    Looking for Venera

    Në kërkim të Venerës

    Directed by

    Kosovo, Macedonia

    2021

    111 min

    • Albanian

    Drama

    Calm, taciturn teenager Venera lives in a small village in Kosovo. At home, three generations are constantly under one another’s feet in their cramped house, so she has hardly any privacy. Outside too, on the streets and in the café, it’s not much better: the village is small and there’s always a brother, nephew or neighbour keeping a beady eye on her. A girl is expected above all else to protect her good reputation – and that of her family. All of which makes it difficult for Venera to go her own way. Her spirits are lifted when she makes friends with rebellious Dorina, who already has a boyfriend. The two girls go out having fun together, as far as Venera’s father allows. One thing they know for sure: they don’t want to end up like their mothers. “I’ve never even seen my parents kiss”, Venera says. In her sensitive, subtle feature debut, Norika Sefa portrays with a great eye for detail how a modern girl grows up in traditional, strictly hierarchical surroundings. But how can Venera make her own choices if there isn’t really much to choose from? The distinctive soundtrack and delicate, observational camerawork add a documentary feel to this intimate coming-of-age story. While Venera’s hunger for freedom only grows, she sees Dorina give in to the demands of her family. Now, she must choose for herself.

    Awards

    • Special award for Promoting Gender Equality - Sarajevo FF
    • Tiger Competition Special Jury Award - IFF Rotterdam

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    Kosovare Krasniqi
    Erjona Kakeli
    Rozafa Celaj
    Basri Lushtaku
    Screenplay
    Norika Sefa
    Cinematography
    Luis Armando Arteaga
    Editing
    Stefan Stabenow
    Norika Sefa
    Music
    Risto Alchinov
    Sales
    FILM REPUBLIC
    Production
    CIRCLE PRODUCTION

    Press

    Sefa has developed her characters as vivid and fully fledged, with a very convincing arc.

    Cineuropa

    A striking achievement especially in terms of visuals, atmosphere and performances, this quiet gem will appeal to festivals and channels seeking to showcase emerging talent.

    Screen Daily

    Norika Sefa

    Norika Sefa

    Kosovo

    I like to capture something happening in the set which cannot be communicated. It’s a kind of storytelling that doesn’t assume that you are watching the scenes thinking about what is going to happen, but rather what is happening.

    Norika Sefa is a Kosovo born filmmaker. She graduated from FAMU in Prague. Her films are fragmentary, oneiric pieces in the way they distill atmosphere rather than stick to a conventional narrative and very heterogeneous in style, merging fiction and documentary. She has made shorts including CHEERS (2015), FLUTTER (2016), and KISS ME, NOW (2020), along with  DESDE ARRIBA (2020), a hybrid documentary made under the guidance of Werner Herzog in the Peruvian jungle. LOOKING FOR VENERA (2021) is her first feature film and premiered at IFF Rotterdam, winning a special jury award in the Tiger competition. Norika is currently developing her next feature film set in Kosovo.

    Selected Filmography