ZANA, Kosovo’s Oscar Entry


Zana is Kosovo’s Selection for the Best International Film Award for 2020 Academy Awards written and directed by Antoneta Kastrati.

at Cinema Without Borders and CineEqual we had the opportunity to have a podcast interview with Antoneta Kastrati about making of Zana.

In Zana, an Albanian woman, Lume, lives with her husband, Ilir, and mother-in-law, Remzije, in their small Kosovo village. Haunted by night terrors, childless and unable to get pregnant, Lume is relentlessly pressured by Remzije to fulfill her wifely duties? if Lume cannot produce a child, her mother-in-law threatens, it will be Remzije’s responsibility to bring in a younger and more eager prospective wife for her son to consider.

Bowing under the pressure of being replaced, Lume concedes to abandon modern medicine and seek the help of witch doctors and mystic healers to treat her infertility. Lume’s appointments, first to a local witch doctor and
then to a famed (and costly) televangelist healer, do seem to yield results as Lume finds herself pregnant at last. But while the family celebrates, Lume’s long-suppressed traumas from the war slowly rise to torment her again, convincing Remzije and Ilir that Lume is possessed by evil spirits, and extreme caution must be taken to protect the unborn child.

Antoneta Kastrati
Antoneta Kastrati writer and director of Zana is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker from Kosovo.

After surviving the war in the late 1990s, she began making documentary films of the issues of postwar society with her sister, Sevdije. She has a Masters in Journalism and completed the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. She has since directed a number of award winning documentaries and narrative shorts. Her most recent short She Comes In Spring premiered at Busan Film Festival. Zana is Antoneta’s debut feature film.


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