ATA News

Tirana, regional capital of cinema, opportunity for young filmmakers, direct impact on tourism development

Tirana is set to become the regional capital of cinema as it will host the Balkan Film Market, an event that will bring together audio-visual professionals from Balkan countries and across Europe from December 13th to 17th, 2023, facilitating the exchange of stories, fostering pivotal relationships, and encouraging new collaborations.

The ultimate goal of BFM is to elevate overall regional cooperation with Europe to a whole new level by providing an optimal platform not only for local productions to connect and seek support but also for European producers looking for emerging local talent and innovative film projects that enriched our cultures.

Jonid Jorgji, the head of the Creative Industries Agency in the Municipality of Tirana, told Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) on Sunday that creative industry and the cinematography have a direct impact on tourism.

“This major film festival event will bring together hundreds of representatives of film industry and leading television channels from Europe and the Balkan countries. These representatives will come together in Tirana for four or five days to engage in panels of discussions, workshops and competitions about the unique “Pitching” idea for upcoming joint co-productions from Albania, Balkan countries and across Europe,” Jorgji told ATA.

The Director of the Creative Industries highlighted several examples showing how film industry has directly influenced tourism development.

“The film industry and the entire audiovisual industry provide an important feedback to tourism. It is a good ambassador for future tourists who would visit our country. Croatia is a concrete example that thanks to Game of Throne movie became one of the most important tourist destinations in the region and Europe. We are pursuing same strategy here in Tirana by establishing this film office, bringing as many film productions as possible,” he said.

“Thanks to the incentives, many film productions have come. In the meantime, work is underway on the audiovisual sector bill designed to attract local and international film studios and companies to shoot their films or audiovisual products in the country. Last episode of a Dutch Reality Show was shot in our country last year and Tirana saw a tourist boom from the Netherlands after that episode was broadcasted,” Jorgji noted.

“Balkan Film Market” will take place in the now transformed iconic Pyramid building in Tirana with the aspirant directors working on their first movies, pre-selected based on the applications submitted in the last two months, expected to work individually with foreign mentors on writing the script with which they will be represented. In the meantime, filmmakers from the region will present their projects to producers and distributors invited to BFM, having the opportunity to secure the support they need in the pre- or post-production phase.

Balkan Film Market event will take place in collaboration with Tirana Municipality, French Embassy, Austrian Embassy, Italian Culture Institute, Filmmakers Europe, Arts Centre “AGIMI”, hosted by the Creative Industries Agency.