Berlin: Synergetic Takes Kosovo Oscar Entry 'Zana' for North America (Exclusive)

Zana - Publicity Still - H 2019

The surreal, psychological drama from director Antoneta Kastrati was Kosovo's submission for consideration in the best international feature film Oscar category.

Taking a bet on U.S. audiences' growing appetite for unusual foreign-language drama, Synergetic Distribution has picked up North American rights to Zana, a surreal feature from Kosovar director Antoneta Kastrati.

Zana premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it drew rave reviews for its haunting story of post-traumatic stress and the psychological scars of war, inspired by Kastrati's own tragic family history.

The plot of Zana also has a touch of horror about it. Set in a small Kosovar town 10 years after the end of the Balkan wars, Lume (Adriana Matoshi), who is still traumatized from losing her young daughter in the war, is under pressure from her husband Ilir (Astrit Kabashi) to get pregnant. As an increasingly desperate Ilir attempts more and more extreme methods, from psychologists to quack medical cures to holy men and even an exorcist, his mother Remzije (Fatmire Sahiti) pushes him to replace his current wife with a younger model.

Zana was Kosovo's submission for consideration in the best international feature film Oscar category.

Zana is a deftly directed visual experience, which allows audiences to connect to its characters on a personal level. It's a film made to be watched on the big screen,” said Anatol Chavez, head of acquisitions at Synergetic Distribution, who negotiated the deal with Miguel Govea and Brett Walker at sales group alief.

Synergetic is planning a platform release for Zana in the U.S. to begin in May or June. Alief is handling world sales and is shopping the film to international buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin.