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Young generation have difficulties finding their place in society creating this vacuum of free expression and desire for bringing changes. Artistic approach to social problems can help them face it by giving freedom and faith.

C oncept & Origin. Balkan’s Gate is a dynamic and independent platform for creating audio-visual products as well as training young journalists in visual storytelling. At the heart of this project is the desire for change, to contribute to building a free and democratic society. Cinema in all its forms of expression is worthy and inspiring in creating a bridge of cooperation between young people and democracy. Freedom of expression, as a process of liberating oneself and overcoming barriers, enables young people, who are the driving force of a country, to better and more deeply understand the nature of the system in which they live. The need to launch such a project came as a result of a political vacuum in creating the necessary, motivating and motivating public strategies in the field of art which affected our lives. Most young people, after graduating in the relevant fields, can not find their place in society and proper employment. This forces them to take other directions in life, completely different from those for which they are talented, thus creating a chaos as well as a constant fear in expressing themselves by being socially distanced and silent. Breaking these balances, fears for the future leave indelible scars on young people by not allowing democracy to develop. In the rudeness of this personal fear for the future this project started.

P roject description. Balkan’s Gate will bring together young students and professionals in the field of cinematography and media from Albania as well as from different European countries. These young people will be selected through an open call for applications where concept ideas will be required (treatment, the script for the film production sector, addressing a problem for the visual laboratory sector) as well as their CV. During this 10-day residence, the young people of the cinema will develop their screenplays in cooperation with each other and will shoot, edit and display the realized products. These collaborative practices are already known around the world and help develop and raise young people’s awareness of the power they carry, beyond any border, political or ideological constraints. Placing them on timeframes (10 days) will also enable the promotion of their creativity in working conditions.

In collaboration with the US Embassy, ​​the Visual Story Telling Lab workshop will be held for the third year in a row with US director Nathaniel Hansen. 10 journalism students will attend this workshop having the opportunity to be trained on how they can use the image as best they can to express their concern. They will observe and be encouraged to present the most acute problem through an artistic and dignified approach that has been lacking on our screen for many decades. Reflection on social issues and the road to integration will be the focus of these products that will be realized within 10 days of Balkan’s Gate.


This cultural and emancipatory project, with a special focus on the power of young people to address problems of democracy in the social perspective aims to:

  • Raise young people’s awareness of the power they carry in a democratic society by giving them the opportunity to express themselves through art as the most worthy form of approaching problems peacefully.
  • To create a new spirit of cooperation between the youth of the capital and the suburban cities by not leaving democratic and social development only an attribute of the youth of the capital.
  • To create a spirit of cooperation with our peers in European countries. We are citizens of the world and as such we must see that we often share the same problems with them even though we consider them much more emancipated. In such cooperation will make possible the exchange of different experiences and cultures in problem solving. The story has been painful for the youth of European countries as well, but they have gained the strength to succeed.
  • To discover new talents who will become aware of the power of expression of their art leaving behind uncertainties.
  • To educate, encourage and inspire the younger generation in the spirit of group collaboration. A single individual may not be able to make major changes in society, but some individuals in collaboration can bring down and create better systems for society. Cooperation is the key to the success of a democracy.
  • Address the problems that concern us through cinema which goes much faster to the public.
  • To create an artistic arena in cities away from the capital, enlivening the artistic life of these cities. Albania is not only Tirana.
  • Create a new form of access to media through art documentaries. In this way we will understand that the media is really the fourth power which must serve the truth and only the truth.

Ch allange. This year Balkan’s Gate will take place in the city of Fier. As the whole artistic and cultural life of the country, as well as the media attention, is mostly concentrated in the capital, Balkan’s Gate has already established its physiognomy as a project of cities traveling every year to a different city. We believe that artistic and cultural activities should not be concentrated only in the capital as an attribute of its own, as other cities in Albania have a lot to identify and many talents to donate to the country. By empowering young people outside the capital and by giving them confidence, we will one day be able to achieve the dream of democracy. Power and attention must be equal to create a healthy society. However, the development of such a project in suburban cities, precisely because of this uneven development, carries with it many challenges that need to be overcome. At the beginning of everything, the mentality must be overcome. How can we expect to survive a healthy democratic society when we have not yet managed to empower personal decision-making, seeing young people as descendants of a central spirit and especially women as the property of the patriarch?

Why this year in Fier? Fier is a city left in oblivion for many social and political reasons even though Fier is a big city. Always be treated as a city of passage, has made the city “stay” a lot and leave a lot. Fier has served as an important center of small towns around itself and as a dream for the villages around it. One of the reasons why Fier looks like a city left in time is precisely this movement causing those who sought development to leave for the capital and those who were still a little behind, to come to this city. Fier is not an isolated city and for this reason, offers several variants of life or even mentality which often collide causing many problems. Precisely because of these moves and the fact that Fier is still a big city, we decided to develop Balkan’s Gate in this city this year. Fier still has many young people, potentials, and talents that need to be developed to give a spirit to the democracy we aim for. These young people, stuck between this chaos and the internal patriarchal system that still holds them under their control, find it difficult to move forward and make decisions.

Also, gender marginalization: Women rights are still an acute problem in our society, especially in suburban cities like Fieri, cities that have lost their former splendor. And before we seek to enter Europe, we must try hard to solve these social problems which hinder development and emancipation and consequently sound democracy. This is the challenge we face every day and what this project seeks to address.

“The project is supported as every year by the US Embassy and the OSCE Presence in Albania.
The project is organized in collaboration with the association ART PLUS, ASSOCIATION OF HERITAGE AND EDUCATION, AND THE NEW GENERATION. “






On October 10, in the square near the Gallery in Fier, were shown 5 short feature films and a documentary made by the students of Visual Storytelling Lab. We thank all our partners and supporters who made possible the realization of this edition. WE STAND FOR DREAMERS… SEE YOU NEXT YEAR…

John With 5 Acts On

Directed by: Connor Greig (Canada). A man on the last straw of his production company in the small city of Fier, attempts to attract all of his ex-girlfriends to do a contested reality TV show- but he never told any of them that they'll see the other 4 waiting for them the first day! A funny sitcom comedy Proof of Concept displaying all exotic characters and the beauty of the country Albania.


Directed by: Kim Hyejin (Republic of Korea). Elira lives with her father and grandmother In a small village close to the Patos-Marinza, oil field in Albania. Since her mother passed away, she has experienced various physical symptoms including a chronic headache.

The young man who was also fire.

Directed by : Martin Heinze (Germany) . With the death of his father, 17-year-old Meriton is faced with the question of whether to stay with his widowed mother or follow his studies and move out of the city. Faced with the indifference of his older brothers, Meriton must take the most complicated step, to make a decision he doesn't want to make.

To leave

Directed by: Nils Bouvyer. The will to exile in another country for young people in Albania seems to have been very strong and be still something actual. How it would be the last day of a teenager who wants to migrate to another country?


Directed by: Thea Marti (Italy). A dark-skinned boy, ignored by peers, feels frustrated and lonely. Only the wisdom of the balloon seller will help the child to overcome his fears.

Movie Directors

Balkan's Gate 2020
Connor Greig


Martin Heinze


Thea Marti


Hyejin Kim





Stone (00:12:59)

The documentary highlights the history of the stone in the ``stone city`` and the connection of its inhabitants with memory. Some of them have associated their whole lives with stone processing and live next to it, making the stone in Gjirokastra symbolically sometimes seem vital.

LIFE (00:05:59)

The experimental film is about a woman's reflection and relationship with herself, her desires and the inability to realize them in a patriarchal society that constantly judges. How far her reality is from what she wanted for herself is reflected in a special stylistic reflection.

Looking for childhood (00:08:19)

The film is about the social problems that result from economic impossibility, the deep poverty of this country that forces children to lose their childhood. And yet the character manages to surpass his ego.

Trip (00:11:03)

A girl on the eve of her marriage travels from Turkey to Gjirokastra to find the roots of her family. On this journey, she will find herself.


Is abortion right? Is it free for a woman to choose and how does this affect her life? A fictitious view on the life of a teenager, on the violence of society and the dilemmas of a woman in an experimental style.

BUMS (00:06:52)

The comedy ``Bums`` targets a traveler in search of himself in the city of Shkodra. His temptations to find a hypnotist who thinks he will make him brave will put him in front of ridiculous situations.


The concept of virginity, although it already seems like an old tradition, still continues to weigh on our society. In the style of a black comedy, this film brings us back to this phenomenon.


``Water`` is a metaphorical view of life in the drought of people living in Pustec near Lake Prespa.

IDENTITY (00:11:37)

This short documentary highlights the identity crises of a small community on the border with Macedonia, Pustec. Their need to change their identity depending on the political and financial situation indicates the situation in this country.

OVER THERE (00:13:37)

Human communication sometimes transcends linguistic communication, based on the essence of humanity, love.

THE ISLAND (00:10:43)

Human crises have different faces. In this life, everyone finds his own way to get away from reality, someone isolating himself and someone else placing himself at the center of society.

EVERY INSTANT (00:10:08)

Atnan, a middle-aged, Albanian family man with anger problems has an argument with his wife and leaves his home. An unexpected encounter will make Atnan realize what the most valuable aspects of life really are.

BICYCLE (00:07:40)

A poor child, out of a desire to do the same with other children, will break down barriers by finding solutions that may seem ridiculous to others.

Movie Directors

Balkan's Gate
Antoine Neudin


Daniele Lince


Elena Beatrice


Nasrin Golreyhan