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Film and Food Festival Pogradec 


The Balkan Film Food Festival is not a festival only about Food and Culinary. The Balkan Film Food Festival is about Balkan Film Production. The Festival intent is to create a climate of understanding of friendship and collaborations among Balkan countries. All guests sit on a common table and taste our common Balkan culinary drink the same wine.

This Balkan Festival is a good chance to get acquainted with the best cinema achievements of recent times.
We are 60 million Balkan people and still we don’t know one another well enough.
An exchange of experiences could be part of meetings and debate among filmmakers during the festival days.
Cuisine is part of this event and it aims at having better friendly contacts among the participants.
This festival could also be a start for possible co-productions between Albania and other Balkan countries, as it recently was between Greece and Turkey (A touch of spice, dir. Tassos Boulmetis , Greek-Turkish co-production.)

Why in Pogradec?

Historically that area it is known for its commercial routes among Balkan countries in the centuries as Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Albania since the Ottoman Empire.
Water border frontiers which somehow are meaningless among Albania Greece and Macedonia is the clue to organize such Festival in Pogradec as a sign of Cohabitation Respect and Understanding among the Balkan Countries.
Also the city of Pogradec is the setting for a good number of Albanian features.
It is also a town of rich art loving traditions and can meet the requirements and infrastructure for such festival.
Late August to early September period coincides with the end of the touring season, so the presence of the tourists will increase the attention of public. This is a suitable time for outdoor evening screenings as a magic part of the movie life.
The festival is the biggest cultural event of the city! 

How to come to Pogradec.

Practical information

Albania is located in the west Balkans. It is bordered on the north by Montenegro, Kosovo and in East by Macedonia, Greece to the south and west by the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. Has an area of 28.748 square kilometers, as well as Belgium. Its population is officially 3 million 182 thousand inhabitants, three times less than Belgium.

Albania has a Mediterranean climate in most of its surface, with mild winters and humid hot and dry summer. Just inside the country, on the eastern side, strongly is felt influences of continental climate.

Albania has these main rivers sorted by the North-South direction. 
Drin( length 285 km ), Mat ( 115 ), Ishmi ( 74 ), Erzeni ( 109 ), Shkumbin ( 181 ), Seman ( 281 ), Vjosa ( 272 ).

Albania’s main lakes, sorted by the North-South direction are : Shkodra (368 square km, maximum depth 40 meters, Ohrid (363.28), Prespa(285.54), Butrint( 16.21 ).

Political System: 

Albania is a parliamentary democracy. In the June 2013 elections were won by a coalition of left Socialist Party led by Edi Rama. Democratic Party is the largest opposition party.


The only international airport is the “Mother Teresa“ near Tirana. The rail system is idle. Much long-distance transport is covered by minibuses and buses. The land entering points are also from Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro. Largest ports are Durres and Vlore on the Adriatic Sea, from where twice daily are departing passenger and cargo ferries to Italy.

The most appropriate time to visit the Albania: the period from May to September.


Pogradec, municipal center today, was once a fishing village pleasurable experience. Situated on the edge of Lake Ohrid (Lyhnidit ancient) is surrounded by scenic mountains. It is one of the most frequented tourist spots of all Albania.
In ancient times this territory by Polybius was populated by Illyrian tribe of Enkels. Somewhere in these parts must have existed Enkelana city.
On the hill above the town is the ruins of a fortification discovered that departed from the fifth century BC and abandoned by the beginning of the Byzantine period. In these parts has passed one of the most important issues branches of the Via Egnatia, the famous ancient road that connected Rome with Constantinople. In the nineteenth century, during thethe Ottoman Empire Starova was the administrative center today Buçimas commune center. Pogradec developed more in the early twentieth century as trade and craft center. It is the birthplace of two of the most famous Albanian writers, Lasgush Poradeci and Mitrush Kuteli, bronze monuments whose are side by side in the center of town.
Cinema located in the center of the city and it’s very close to Abu Bekir Esidikut Mosque built in the last few decades by an Islamic foundation headquartered in Birmingham. Some streets up North is a small Orthodox church also recently built.
The oldest neighborhood of the city is located in the southeast. Here are still standing old houses built since the beginning of the twentieth century, and the building of the former first Albanian school in this province, as well as the church of St. Mary.

Getting in Pogradec?

With buses and minivans from Tirana.  So far minivans departure is at Elbasan Street near the “Filologjiku School” as there is not yet a stable bus station.

From Greece. You need to make Greece Kastoria – Kapshtice route – Korca – Pogradec.

If you travel from Macedonia – Struga – Ohrid – Pogradec Qafasan , or in the other direction St. Naum Ohrid – Pogradec – Tushemisht . The trip on both sides lasts more or less alike.

Recommended itinerary:

Pogradec – Korca.

Korca is the largest city in the southeastern part of Albania. It is half hour drive. The district has a great cathedral, the picturesque boulevard theater and numerous bars, etc. medieval art museum etc.

Pogradec – Lin

Lin is a fishing village located near 22 miles south of Pogradec. 
On the rock that rises above the village are the ruins of a basilica with interesting mosaics of an old fort. The village itself is very picturesque. On the north side of the village is a rocky beach with very clean waters and nice hotel.

Ohrid – Pogradec

Ohrid is Macedonia’s historic heartland. For too long this city was of Bulgarian rule with very rich with in cultural monuments, architecture and numerous churchs.

Pogradec – Tushemisht – St Naum

To go to Saint Naum take the road that connects the east with Tushmeshit Pogradec. This is a very picturesque village with villagers and fishermen’s houses that are located on some channels with running water. Before you enter the village you can visit the forest and the wetlands of Volorek. Here is the holiday villa of Enver Hoxha , who ruled Albania in the period 1944-1985, which is now turned into a hotel. Beyond Tushmeshit a border crossing point will switch to Macedonia. The first place that you will come out ahead is a monastery located within a forest full of water and with a deep green. This is Saint Naum. Much revered saint among Orthodox Slavs as a man who gave education in Cyrillic script, like his predecessor Cyril, Methodius and St. Clement. Inside the church is the tomb of the saint himself the tenth century

A ferry line Pogradec Ohrid and St. Naum is expected to start work soon.

What to wear?

Pogradec stands for cool summer. During the day wearing t-shirt may is normal, but at night it is always advisable to wear an easy jacket. A wind that blows across the lake, from the north to lower the temperature, can happen in summer time.
One of these winds is called “Krivec”

What to eat?

Pogradec most famous fish is the Ohrid trout, a kind of endemic trout that grows only here. It’s cooked in many traditional ways.There is also other delicious grilled products, like kërnacka and many home made sausage types .Lakrori is a two foil pie that is filled with tomatoes, onions, cheese, or vegetables. It is baked under a very old traditional way that is called SAC.Most popular drink province is rakija and wine that are produced by the Pogradec people. These drinks are easily found on every bar and restaurant in the city.


In Albania the official money is LEK. In any city you can find exchange offices that provide this service. In some restaurants and other services you can pay easily in Euro and US dollars.
The rate is approx 1 Euro = 145 Lek

Principal Characteristics of the Balkan Food Culture

The food culture of the Balkan Peninsula depended upon the historic, geographical, climatic, social, and religious elements. There are three main food culture areas: the Mediterranean, the continental lowland, and the continental mountain areas. The Mediterranean area is divided into the coastal and the continental parts. People living along the coast tend their vineyards, grow olive trees, different kinds of vegetables, citrus fruits, spices, and they fish. Wine, olive oil, cabbage, kale, different kinds of salad greens, cauliflower, figs, grapes, almonds, cherries, marascas, and different fishes are their main staples. The continental part of the Mediterranean area has a well-developed agriculture. Farmers breed mostly sheep, goats, and poultry, to a lesser extent also cattle and pigs. Fields yield crops of wheat and corn, in some places also rice, cotton, sesame, and poppy. Fertile valleys are sprinkled with vineyards. Meals, therefore, consist mostly of meat dishes, but also of milk, milk products, and vegetables. Lakes provide freshwater fishes. The continental lowland area, which is distinctly agricultural, starts north of the Balkan Mountains and Šarplanina. Vast fields of corn and wheat give plenty of food. Farmers grow oats, barley, rye, millet, and buckwheat. Since wheat is mostly sold for profit, dishes consist mainly of corn; corn bread is eaten in most places. Because of an abundance of corn, which is very important as fodder, cattle and pig farming are very developed; in the north, sheep and goats are bred as well. The meat of these animals plays a very important role in the food culture of the local population. Farmers also grow fruit, especially apple, pear, plum, and they cultivate walnut trees. Sheep farming is important in the mountainous part of the Dinaric Alps and in the Rhodope Mountains; less important is cattle breeding. Meals generally consist of milk and different kinds of cheese, corn bread (proja), and polenta (kaèamak). Many dishes are prepared from cornmeal, eggs, and the kajmak cheese; one of these dishes is èimbur, boiled eggs covered with kajmak. Also popular are vegetable dishes made from cabbage, beans, onions, green peppers, and eggplant. Vegetables pickled in vinegar (turšija) are consumed in winter. Meat dishes consist mostly of lamb and sheep meats, usually roasted or prepared in a number of different ways. Beef and pork, which are usually dried in the air and made into prosciutto, or smoked, are eaten during the winter months (pastrma).

Individual Groups of Dishes

The food culture of the Balkan Peninsula displays Asian as well as west European influences. Even though the Oriental influence has been very strong in the last several centuries, ethnic characteristics and traditions have been preserved. Dishes consumed in this region therefore contain many similar elements, but may also greatly differ from each other. One of the characteristics shared by most is the use of numerous spices, onions, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, paprika, and capers.

Soups are prepared from vegetables, meat, herbs, or different kinds of fish. Meat soups usually contain a variety of vegetables, as well. Throughout the Balkans, spring is the time for a thick lamb soup (mayiritsa). Other popular vegetable soups are potato, leek, corn, or bean soups, or a soup made of zucchini with milk or eggs. Along the Danube River, fishermen prepare thick soups (Alaska èorba), while in coastal areas, they make soup from sea fishes (the Greek khakhavia).
> In the past, meat did not play a central role in the food culture of the Balkans. It was, nevertheless, a highly esteemed food, which could be prepared in a variety of ways. Grilling and spit roasting are characteristic of the Balkan region, and lambs, kids, or pigs are roasted on spits on prominent occasions, such as weddings and New Year’s Day. People grill seasoned minced meat shaped in different forms (èevapèièi, pleskavica), kabobs (vešalica, šaši kebasi), lamb and veal cutlets, beefsteaks, or small pieces of meat with vegetables and mushrooms (muèkalica, krzatmas).

Also very popular are meatballs (èufte), be it in or without a sauce, for instance, the pasha of Turkey or the Greek kreftaidakiya. Minced meat is also used for the preparation of meat pie (burek), which can also be filled with cheese or vegetables. Meat can be served in a stew (goulash, paprika). Chicken is roasted with an addition of spices and vegetables, such as olives, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant. Duck or goose is most often served roasted, sometimes with filling.

In Balkan cuisine, vegetables are often prepared as a main or side dish, usually consisting of legumes, cabbage, kale, root crops, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. These vegetables are made into a ragout, or filled with rice, meat, corn, vegetable, or cheese, or stewed with rice and meat (uveè). Very popular dishes are those which are made from a mixture of vegetables, meat, and rice (sarma), or those prepared with vine leaves ( jalanci dolmasi), or other leaves (cabbage, kale, chard). There are different casseroles in which meat is prepared together with vegetables, for instance, the Albanian shepherd’s pot, or the Bosnian pot. The Turkish moussaka, a baked dish consisting of layers of sautéed vegetables, meat, rice, or potatoes, is prepared throughout the Balkan Peninsula.

Oriental influence is most strongly felt in the great variety of pastries, which have always been an important part of festive meals in all Balkan countries. Among the most popular are different pastries drenched in sugar syrup, and strudels. Most of the sweets contain walnuts and almonds, which are also put into stuffed apples (tufahije), or fill walnut pies, cakes, and the famous baklava cakes made from paper-thin dough. Nuts are sprinkled on sweet noodles (kadaif ). Žito, wheat with walnuts, is a festive dish from Serbia. On Christmas and Easter, which are among the most prominent holidays in the region, different kinds of cakes are still served; one of them is the pinca from the Croatian coastal area, or Greek melomacarona, and another is kourabiethes. Vasiljica or badnjaèa are prepared in Serbia and Bosnia. Tables filled with festive dishes display a great variety of the Balkan cuisine and a strong attachment to the traditional culinary tradition.

Visit the link: http://balkan3f.com/  where you can have all the information regarding the festival 



Detajet e kontaktit
BUNKER FILM, Production Distribution | Rr. Mine Peza, P. 2, Sh. 3, Ap. 20 | TIRANE, ALBANIA
355 68 20 70 701
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