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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

SpIFF 2012 presents a bit of Kosovo

Life is good at the Sundance Film Festival, especially when you're from Kosovo and you have an excellent short film to present. Above you can see filmmaker Blerta Zeqiri and producer Blerim Gjoci who came to Park City to show their film "Kthimi" ("The Return").

The significance for Spokane filmgoers is that "Kthimi" will screen during the 14th Spokane Inrernational Film Festival, which begins its 11-day run Thursday. For schedule and ticket information, click here. "Kthimi" is part of the World Shorts progrem, which screen at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Magic Lantern.

Unfortunately, because SpIFF conflicts with Sundance, the Kosovars won't be coming to Spokane. But their film is well worth seeing. I say that because I was a member of the jury that gave six out of eight awards to "Kthimi" at September's 9/11 Dedication Film Festival in Pristina, Kosovo.

"Kthimi" tells the story of a couple's difficult reunion following the Kosovar man's release from a Serbian prison. One of many such Kosovars unjustly imprisoned during Serbia's late-'90s campaign of ethnic cleansing, the man discovers his wife harbors a secret that will be difficult for them both to handle. It's a tale that is tender, touching and universal in message, made well enough to win honors for directing, acting, screenplay, editing and cinematography,

SpIFF 14 will offer a lot of high moments. "Kthimi" will be among the best of them.