BBB awarded filmmakers share their thoughts during quarantine…

From New York to Tirana and Potsdam to Ljubljana, BBB awarded filmmakers answer our questions and share their thoughts during the quarantine. Balkans Beyond Borders is building bridges and goes beyond the borders! During this challenging time, we asked the filmmakers who participate in the “BBB Best 2019 Go Online” to describe their experience and emotions during the lockdown. Don’t miss their short films online!

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 Stergios Dinopoulos, To Mati, BBB Audience Award 2019

New York has suffered so much due to the virus and it has lost its dynamic.  But there is solidarity here. I perceive the city to be a place with vast systemic inequalities. Not everyone suffers the same. The inequalities were already there. They have just been thrown into even sharper light. Hopefully, we (meaning the privileged) will take notice and most importantly will act. This situation should teach us a lot. It is been beautiful to see the mutual aid initiatives in the city becoming stronger. Every young person I know is becoming radicalized. This makes me hopeful.

These days even amidst the chaos and suffering I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Grateful for the mere fact of being alive. Even the smallest things we take for granted – a morning coffee, a walk with the friend, a love poem, a birdsong – are enough to sustain living joy. Personally, I am trying to be as present as possible and to not run away from anything. My life has been affected minimally. That is because I am massively privileged. I am learning to sit with that privilege and work towards changing the systems so that everybody can enjoy what I am enjoying. Art is always making us see clearly. Art reveals. Art asks the tough questions: who is essential? How do we envision a world where everyone is cared for? where lives are not ascribed value but are inherently holy? What would it look like to create a system that places people over profits? Collaboration over competition? Care over exploitation? Art makes felt the ancient truth: we are all on the same damn boat.

What about the next day?

We do not go back to the old world. All the world’s inequity’s and injustices are laid bare. There is a stillness. There is a breath. In that breath we can change our orientation towards one another. We put our efforts and imagination towards dismantling capitalism & the settler-colonialist state. We create a just and beautiful world not just in the service of a few oligarchs. We take care of mother earth. We stop consuming as much. We learn to love each other. Yes, we take the time to grieve and to heal. But as we grieve and heal, we organize. Organize and imagine a new world.

“To Mati” will be available here on 01 & 02/05

To learn more about the filmmaker Stergios Dinopoulos visit his website:

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Enes Foçi, Versus, BBB First Entry Award 2019 

Tirana is turned into a city of ghosts, people are all scared (reasonably), and the atmosphere feels very weird. But at least there are more green spots, a Pro from the lockdown. Personally, I had never imagined that a simple lockdown would have had such a deep negative effect to me, and I did not know that going out was that vital for me. Now, I feel suffocating. However, during the lockdown, the online world has become a big connection between people and art. Even though some artists, mostly performing artists are affected, there are some art activities that can be proceeded in isolation, like a post-production of a movie or a commercial. In my opinion, Art will never stop evolving and affecting people’s lives, because Art is everywhere. Nothing can stop it.

What about the next day? 

Will there be a next day?…

“Versus” will be available here on 02 & 03/05

Σχέδιο χωρίς τίτλο (1)Ismene Daskarolis, 9BED(s), Special Mention 2019

Potsdam, has not become particularly empty, but its parks and lakes have proven themselves to have near vital importance to our mental health. I consider myself extremely lucky to be here, although I must admit that my homesickness for Athens and the Aegean Sea grows by the day. I crave for the sea.

These days of lockdown it is been a rollercoaster of conflicting emotions, but what comes to mind first – and I hate to admit this, is loneliness. We need connection, especially when feeling vulnerable and this connection might give us the strength to deal with external difficulties. Personally, I have been working from home for years and I could even say that now I have been given the space to finally get into a better routine than the one I had. There is, of course, an underlying anxiety that wears you out but then you realize that the most important thing in the world is your physical and mental health and the love of those around you. Art is what helps us preserve our sanity in crisis. Art is a distraction from our everyday problems, but it also refocuses us in an essential direction into the things that really matter. In times of crisis, it is an act of resistance. It is proof of life. In the end, everything will be alright, because art exists, and it says it will.

What about the next day?

This circumstance could prove itself to be a turning point for the way we live and govern societies, an opportunity to rebuild our economies based on the respect of the environment. I honestly think this situation has brought out mostly the best in people. And of course, many will want to change but they will crave for the stability of how things were, which is reasonable. But we must put up a fight against ourselves to resist comfort for what is essential and what may be vital to our survival as a species.

“9BED(s) will be available here on 04 &  05/05

piterPeter Cerovšek, Fundaments, Special Mention 2019

I live in Ljubljana and I feel like the city is resting. Gone for a vacation.

Most of the time I am at home, working, reading, watching, planning. I feel like this is a big pause when we should gather strength, energy, get new inspiration for another long-term roller-coaster ride. I think that there are still so many things to do and that this could be the perfect timing to make things done. But,  art can be one of the strongest motivations in this kind of circumstances.


What about the next day? 

One thing that is for sure… If we survive, we will be older.

“Fundaments” will be available here on 05 & 06/05