Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Albania In The Spotlight

Seems this country continues to capture attention in a variety of ways.  Athletically, Albania will soon host the World Mountain Running Association Championships for 2011.  Evidently there are people who have no aversion to running up and down some of the most rugged territory in the world.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

On a less sweaty (I hope) front, Eliza Dushku continues her whirlwind tour of Albania,  The petite starlet is of Albanian descent on her father's side and has for several years taken an interest in her dad's native land.  She joins the distinguished list of, well, basically her and Jim Belushi who have received the prodigal son's welcome upon return to Albania.  She one-upped Belushi by getting a two-headed eagle tattooed on the back of her neck a few years back and now has done it again.  She was officially made a ctizen of Albania and presented a passport and identity card by the President of the Republic.  She says she is making a documentary to highlight the history and tourist potential of her adopted country. It remains to be seen if she will go "full Belushi" and make a cheesy commercial for a cell phone company to cash in on her regional fame.

Best of all, from the perspective of showing an authentic face of Albania, we turn to Sundance.  Josh Marston, director of the Academy Award-winning indie film "Maria, Full of Grace," has had his most recent production picked up by Sundance Selects for distribution in the U.S.   This means we may get a chance to see it soon.  The film, "The Forgiveness of Blood," is set in modern-day Northern Albania and tells the story of a family afflicted by an ancient curse: the blood feud. 

Like all things Albanian, I managed to be separated by two degrees from the making of this movie.  I got an e-mail from a production assistant who was looking for a hairdresser for one of the actors or somebody.  She found me via the intertubes and gave me a brief rundown on the production schedule and general theme of the flick.  She mentioned Mr. Marston's name but it did not click at the time who he was and I remember thinking, "Good luck getting your film made."  Over two years later Albania has the good luck to have its story told by a true artist.  I can't wait until we can get a pirated copy of it here in the videoteka!

1 comment:

Beyond Belief said...

My friend Gardar does Mountain running, and I may send him your way.... but now I see it is on 9/11. Who runs on 9/11? :-)