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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Kosovo / Albania / North Macedonia

Fatos Berisha’s The Flying Circus competing at Tallinn’s Black Nights Film Festival

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- The Kosovar writer-director is set to present his eagerly awaited surreal black comedy, inspired by Monty Python’s legacy, in the Estonian gathering’s Official Selection

Fatos Berisha’s The Flying Circus competing at Tallinn’s Black Nights Film Festival

Widely known as the co-founder of PriFest - Prishtina International Film Festival, Kosovar writer-director Fatos Berisha has an extended career in cinema, television and theatre. His latest film, The Flying Circus [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fatos Berisha
interview: Fatos Berisha
film profile
]
, is set to world-premiere and compete in the Official Selection of the 23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, running 15 November – 1 December in Tallinn.

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Berisha has worked on many projects in the past. His previous work as director includes the TV Film Blood Pressure, 280 episodes for the very popular Kosovar TV series Familja Moderne, along with various short documentaries. In his theatrical career, Berisha, who was recently appointed as Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Kosovo, is one of the co-founders of the theatre company Urban Theatre – Prishtina. He has won several awards through his plays staged in various theatre festivals, and was awarded an award for Best Theatre Production in Kosovo for Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, which he also directed. He has also acted as director of the Kosovo Cinematography Center from 2011-2013, a crucial period for the local industry when the funding amount was increased along with the number of minority international co-productions.

Set on the eve of the Kosovo war, the film centres on Dodona Theatre, the last remaining public institution functioning, as it is closed down by Serbian authorities. And this, just before The Flying Circus, a play inspired by Monty Python’s Flying Circus, was ready to be staged. When the actors, Kushtrim (Armend Smajli), Leka (Tristan Halilaj), Donat (Afrim Muçaj) and Fatmir (Shpëtim Selmani), are invited to a theatre festival in neighbouring Albania to present the play, they decline the offer, as crossing the borders at that time was very dangerous. But when they learn that Michael Palin of Monty Python will also be in Albania at the same time to show his documentaries, their perspective totally changes, and they all agree to embark on a road trip to meet their idol. The most absurd and dangerous events ensue as the group is hell-bent on crossing the Balkans during this most peculiar time in recent history, and their journey soon turns out to be far more adventurous than they expected.

The script was written by Berisha, while the film is shot by Almir Ðikoli and edited by Vladimir Pavlovski. The Flying Circus is being produced by Vjosa Berisha of Pristina-based company B2 Films, in co-production with B2 Agency (Albania), Kristijan Burovski and Tomi Salkovski for Black Cat Production (North Macedonia), Valon Bajgora and Agon Uka of Ikone Studio (Kosovo), and Fatos Berisha. The film has received support from the Kosovo Cinematography Center, the Albanian National Center of Cinematography, and the North Macedonia Film Agency.

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