Shpat Deda Brings His Award-Winning Short Film “Home” to AUBG
Shpat Deda, AUBG ’08 alumnus, came back to his alma mater nine years after his graduation for the screening of “Home”, winner of the BAFTA Award for Best Short Film in 2017. The event was organized by More Honors, AUBG Documentary Club and Students Advocating Leftist Thought (SALT) on Saturday, April 8, and hosted honored guests Shpend Kallaba – ambassador of Kosovo in Bulgaria, and other embassy officials.
“Home”, co-produced by DokuFest, Somesuch, and Black Sheep Studios, has some solid production crew names behind its back: director Daniel Mulloy and stars Jack O’Connell (Skins, Unbroken, Money Monster) and Holliday Grainger (The Borgias, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre). The film, shot in Kosovo and the U.K., highlights the fate of the refugees as well as the violence they faced across the globe. This effect is achieved by portraying a young British family led to the limits of human survival in wartime.
A Q&A session with Deda followed the screening of the film, which caused an initial silence and a later applause after the closing credits.
“The reaction we got tonight is actually a reaction we get after many viewings – silence. It takes a while to swallow what you just saw,” explained Deda. “Every time I watch the movie I get upset and emotional. I have personal experience with this [wartime], although I‘m luckier than most. My dad decided to take us to Albania before the bombing started in Prishtina, so I didn’t personally get to witness a lot of the bad stuff that was happening,” he shared.
Deda explained that the purpose of “Home” is “to give voice to the refugees of today, because on many places they’re facing prejudice and bias.” Deda pointed out that people do not become refugees and take risky choices willingly. In order to broaden the film’s message, the creators decided not to set the action in only one country. They also depicted a normal, middle-class family from a developed country, which is going through the same struggles as thousands of other families every day, in order to inspire compassion and non-judgmental behavior.
“We wanted to make the movie about the phenomenon of refugees, about the fleeing from war zones and life threatening situations,” explained Deda. “There‘s no shame in trying to survive and people should not have to fight that stigma.”
According to him, the idea and “the big creative drive” for the film came from the director, Daniel Mulloy, with whom he has worked before for two of his music videos. Being the only renowned producer from Kosovo, Deda joined the project while the script was still being developed, about five months before the start of the shooting, and participated in the pre-production work, the building of the team, and the organizational logistics. He pointed out that it was Mulloy who took the initiative, connected the key points, and chose the main actors.
Deda acknowledged that winning the BAFTA award has worked out especially in favor of the film and the creators because it has widened its message and opened opportunities for the team to work on new projects.
“Daniel [Mulloy] is developing another script for a feature film this time and we consider shooting it in Kosovo as well,” revealed the producer and expressed his willingness to join such a project again.
Deda is currently working with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Kosovo and has also plans for a third music album.