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The September 11, 2001 was a day that changed many things in the world. That day had a lot of influence in Kosova, first and foremost in causing a great grief and pain for the people of Kosova as they felt for what America and the American people were going through. This also brought back memories of the most difficult days that Kosova went through only two years before. Back than, it was the USA that helped the people of Kosova to get through the very tough times. Now the 9/11 attacks on the USA were also seen as attacks on Kosova and its people. At that day Kosovans showed their support for the USA by lighting candles and demonstrating in support of America and the American people.

This continued in 2002 as well. This year a group of young Kosovans from Prishtina Film and Kosova Initiative for Democratic Society got together to organize an event that would best mark the 9/11 and would give the chance to the people of Kosova to express what they felt for America. We wanted the event to be something that would continue for a long time and would best represent the feelings of the Kosovan people, and who can do it better than artists. That is why the decision was made to organize a multimedia festival of film, graphic design and sculpture on the topic of 9/11. This would be the 9/11 Dedication Festival, which would become a traditional festival in Kosova commemorating the victims of 9/11 and to celebrate the common values shared by the people of Kosova and the United States of America.

During approximately two months between the initial idea and the realization of the 9/11 Festival there were six films made for the Festival, 9 pieces of graphic design, as well as 9 sculptures, all on the theme of 9/11. The Festival itself supported the making of four of the films and all the organizational side. The Festival was held during a period of four days, September 8-11, at the premises of ABC Cinema in Prishtina and included the screening of the Festival films, pieces of sculpture and graphic design, as well as two guest films from the US, production of Troma Films New York. The Festival was also a competition for the 9/11 prize in film, sculpture and graphic design. The prizes were given by the 9/11 Festival Jury and included a Festival certificate, the Festival statuette and the prize money totaling 2000 Euro, 1000 for the best film and 500 each for the best sculpture and best poster. The artists that won the prizes all decided to donate the prize money to the 9/11 Victim’s Families Fund. This was a great positive surprise, taking into consideration the difficult financial situation of artists in Kosova, but it showed the great emotions and feelings of the artists and Kosovans in general for the people of America. There was also a contribution made by the president of the jury, Lloyd Kaufman from Troma Films, with the amount of 1000 USD. Also the ticket sales from the Festival were intended for the 9/11 Victim’s Families Fund, so the total contribution from the 9/11 Festival to the 9/11 Fund was almost four thousand US dollars. This though symbolic contribution shows the feelings of the Kosovan people and desire to help and support America and its people in any way possible.

This was a remembrance Festival dedicated to the Victims of 9/11, to show the support and love of the people of Kosova for America and its people. We know how it is to hurt, and we believe we can best understand the feelings of the American people and sympathize with them in a way not many nations can. This we believe can be shown best through the eyes of an artist, who in an honest way through their pieces, try to reflect the feelings of the people.

The 9/11 Festival is intended as a traditional annual Festival dedicated to the memory of 9/11 and to the links between Kosova and the United States of America. The 9/11 Festival, organized by Prishtina Film/The Group had its first edition from 8-11 September 2003 in Prishtina, which included the screening of six films and art pieces in graphic design and sculpture on the topic of 9/11. The Festival was held at the premises of ABC Cinema in Prishtina, where the graphic design and sculpture pieces was constantly exposed during the Festival, while during the four days of the Festival, the Films made for the 9/11 Festival were shown. The Films shown in the Festival were short artistic films realized by Kosovan artists on the topic of 9/11. The artists were competing for the 9/11 prize in film, design and sculpture.

The 9/11 Festival was able to fund symbolically the making of 4 short artistic films on the topic of 9/11 and for that purpose an announcement was published for scripts and the winning scripts received the support from the 9/11 Festival. There were two extra films made for the 9/11 Festival funded from outside private sources. There was also an announcement for receiving graphic design and sculpture pieces for showing in the Festival. The proceeds from the ticket sales for the 9/11 Festival are dedicated to the 9/11 Victim’s Families Fund. The 9/11 Festival was also supported by Troma Films, New York, the oldest independent film studio in the US. Two guests from Troma, Lloyd Kaufman and April Voth, were here to support the artists of Kosova and independent film making here, as well as to support the 9/11 Festival.

The festival Founder and Producer is Blerim Gjoci.