Los Angeles, CA: In 1999, teenagers Antoneta and Sevdije Kastrati barely managed to escape the horrific village massacres in the Kosovo War that claimed both their mother and older sister. Years later, they are both graduates of the American Film Institute, in pre-production for their first feature film collaboration, a dark psychological drama entitled ZANA.
ZANA (Albanian for Fairy) tells of a Kosovar mother who has lost her only child in the war. Years later, she is plagued by night terrors, guilt, and is unable to get pregnant. Desperate for a grandchild, her in-laws take her to a variety of witch doctors who subject her to unusual rituals to cure her infertility. But when finally she again becomes pregnant, her dark wartime past comes back to torment her and her unborn baby.
Writer and director, Antoneta describes the unusual connection between war and magic. “Post-war Kosovo, while a rapidly modernizing nation, still has one foot rooted in the mystic,” she explains, “In ZANA, the shadowy world of dreams and terrors is set against a traditional village mentality, one that lacks the language to address the deep wounds of war, but instead turns to magic for its answers. It is a dark and twisted look at a family and community that prescribe an archaic treatment for a woman suffering from loss.”
In collaboration with Sevdije, her sister and Director of Photography, Antoneta has directed dozens of documentaries, including one that investigates the real world of healers in Kosovo. Her three recent shorts reflect a very personal exploration of war based on her own past. “ZANA,” she admits, “will be a culmination of my past 15 years of filmmaking.”
With support from the national film funds in Kosovo and Albania, along with grants from Panavision and MIDPOINT, ZANA is almost fully funded. Now the filmmakers have have launched an Indiegogo campaign to complete financing and begin filming this coming January in their home region of Kosovo.
Check out the Indiegogo campaign: https://igg.me/at/zanamovie