First Films First


(Albania, Italy, Kosovo, North Macedonia)
behind the heystacks


Director: Florenc Papas
Screenwriters: Florenc Papas, Ajola Daja
Producer: Eno Milkani
Co-producers: Besnik Krapi, Goran Stojilkovic, Riccardo Neri
DoP: Sevdije Kastrati
Art director: Eri Daka
Costume designer: Borana Gjyzeli
Sound: Igor Popovski
Main cast: Luli Bitri, Jonida Vokshi, Maxwell Guzja, Guljelm Radoja, Sotiraq Bratko, Elidon Aliko, Visar Vishka
Production companies: Bunker Film + (Albania), Circle Production (Kosovo), Award Film & Video (Macedonia), Lupin Film (Italy)
Production dates: October-November 2017
Funding: Albanian National Center of Cinematography, Kosovo Cinematography Center, EURIMAGES
Developed with the support of the SEE Cinema Network
Status: Completed (August 2019)


Rudina sets off on a long journey with her unmarried pregnant sister, Elma, to meet their strict, traditional father in the Albanian village where they were born. As Rudina\’s car makes its way across the mountains, Elma comes up with a plan to enlist an ex-classmate to play the part of her husband.


As a younger filmmaker coming from a certain generation, I feel tremendous empathy and fascination for these characters. I find myself particularly drawn to this confrontation between the traditional values of our parents and real human values. Perhaps this is the one thing ideology has not been able to impact: the very specific nature of the Albanian family. The characteristics of these clans are often marked by an extremely stubborn and serious father, a long-suffering, hard working mother, and children who attempt to live their own lives but feel they must please their parents. For me as a director, the inner workings and dynamics inside families, Albanian and otherwise, are the compelling material of which great cinema is made. The sisters in my story go to ridiculous lengths to please their father by producing a pretend husband for his benefit, a length that puts their lives in danger. For me, this absurdity perfectly captures the awful, tragic and sometimes humorous social landscape that marks Albania in the past twenty years.


Florenc Papas was born in Albania, on May 1991. He studied film directing and media at the MarubiFilm Academy in Tirana. He has worked innumerous short films,promotional videos, television series and broadcast documentaries. His first feature film Open Door (Dere e Hapur) was completed on 2019 and is going to be presented on the main competition of 25th Sarajevo Film Festival. As a festival programmer he is currently working for Tirana International Film Festival. Papas is an alumnus of Sarajevo Talents 2015, BerlinaleTalents 2016 and First Films First. With his prpjects he has also participated at Sofia Meetings, Midpoint, TorinoFilm Lab and Priforum. At the moment he is working on his second film titled Luna Park.


  • 2013 If… (short)
  • 2012 Without Words (short)
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