The short movie "I am Burnesha. The Last Sworn Virgins of Albania" by Radiana Bozhikova and camera operator Dobromir Ivanov received the "Best Documentary" award at the international film festival "Art without Borders" in Pristina, Kosovo, on December 3. The Bulgarian journalists personally presented the special festival version of the film in front of a full house and were honored by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Kosovo.
This is the second international award for this movie, as two weeks ago it was named "Best Short Documentary" by the "What if? Women in Film Festival". The film festival, which takes place annually in Zurich, Switzerland, is made for movies made by women for women. Aims to inspire women around the world to be brave, determined and resilient; to stand up for their rights and not be afraid to express themselves.
The special 30-minute festival version of the film "I am Burnesha" has versions in 4 languages - Albanian, Bulgarian, English and German. A 4-member jury, made up of names with global contributions to documentary cinema and television documentaries, chose it among 840 applicants and 32 shortlisted films from around the world. Part of the jury is Emmy-winning director and producer Gayle Kirschenbaum, currently a member of the Producers Guild of America and a juror for the prestigious Emmy Awards and PGS.
In addition to the movies part of the official selection, the Zurich festival also featured 10 exciting panels with talks on various topics related to women's issues and the future. Radiana Bozhikova was a special guest at the session dedicated to gender equality, where she had the opportunity to present the film to the audience.
"The selection was so good that at the end of the first day I asked myself: "How did I get here?" A very stupid question, because already with the next film I remembered that when we make the movie we give voice to someone, to something, and that's very, very, very important. The important is not that you were honored with an award, but that what you had to say was heard and seen by one more person, and one more person, and one more person," shared an excited Radiana Bozhikova after the award.
The documentary "I am Burnesha", which bTV aired as part of the series "bTV Reporters" in April this year, received a special award for television documentary from the Bulgarian festival for cinematography "Golden Eye", as well as the award for clean journalism "Web Report", organized by Dir.bg.
In September, the film was also included in the official selection of the festival of the production studio Pinewood in Great Britain.