Kosovo & The Netherlands
Edon Rizvanolli is an actor and filmmaker from Kosovo who flees his home country when war breaks out. He first settles in Austria and starts his acting career in 1992, in Salzburg. Four years later he moves to New York and is admitted at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute where he studies acting. Upon his return to Vienna in 1998, he directs his first short film and writes two screenplays, which get financing from the Austrian Film Commission. Concurrently he is employed as a theatre actor and a radio program maker/presenter for the Austrian Broadcast Corporation.
In 1999 Edon returns to Kosovo and works as a director, writer and editor on various projects ranging from music videos to documentaries and feature films. Since 2007 he lives in Amsterdam and works as an actor and director. UNWANTED, which he writes and directs in 2017, is his feature debut and has its world premiere in Karlovy Vary, is Kosovo’s 2018 Oscar nominee and travels to numerous festivals worldwide, winning several prizes. He is currently in the preproduction phase for his second feature film. Edon is a member of the European Film Academy.
Bekim, a soft-spoken and introverted middle-aged man from Albania, lives with his wife Karin and their son Noar in a small coastal town in Holland. In his youth, Bekim dreamt of becoming a rockstar but ended up maintaining wind turbines instead. And now, after thirty years of marriage with Karin, he has one last day to spend with her. She is terminally ill and will get euthanised. He tries to comfort his son and help Karin as well.
He carries her frail body around the house and puts on her makeup. And while he is busy with that, she dictates to him a list of things he needs to do once she is dead. In the weeks following her death, Bekim continues with his life while feeling sad, empty and adrift, but then realises that the life he has lived wasn’t his but hers. This shocking realisation is followed by a sensation of long-forgotten freedom. Bekim visits family and friends in Albania and rediscovers scattered bits of his old self. Then he’s back in Holland to find and redefine himself.