underestimate the power of a woman, or in the case of the award-winning film HIVE,
the power of many women. The film is based on the true story of Fahrije Hoti who
inspires her neighbors with her enterprising spirit to provide for their
families after the war in Kosovo (1998-1999) when so many men from their village
went missing. Shown as part of the Greenwich International Film Festival 2022, it is a "must see" film.
We had the
pleasure of attending the Greenwich International Film Festival's presentation
of HIVE at the Avon Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut on Thursday, April 2022. Avon Executive
Director Stuart Adelberg introduced Wendy Stapleton, Chairman of the
Board and Founder and Ginger Stickel, Executive Director of the
women-owned, non-profit, Greenwich International Film Festival.
Wendy Stapleton, Chariman of the Board and Founder
Special guests at the showing included lead actor Yllka Gashi who portrayed
Fahrije, the Lukaj Foundation, World Affairs Forum, Albanian Youth Center of
Greenwich, Albanian Institute and Local Stamford chapter of the Albanian
Writers Association, StoneCastle Vineyards, Stamford Çka Ka Qellu, and Doro.
attended the Greenwich International Film Festival since 2017, and are always
impressed with the high-caliber, impactful films that they bring each year. HIVE
was another film that made an impact. Written and
directed by Blerta Basholli, HIVE is based on the true story of a
Kosovan woman Fahrije Hoti. It is a powerful film that delves into the aftereffects
of war and how the survivors must learn to adapt to survive. It is an
award-winning film that took home three awards from the Sundance Film Festival
in 2021, which was the first film in the history of the Sundance Film Festival
to win all three main awards, the Grand Jury Prize, the Audiences Award, and
the Directing Award.
Ginger Stickel, Executive Director
war in Kosovo (1998 - 1999), many men were taken from their villages, with the
families living in limbo wondering if they would ever return. Afterwards, life for
the families was a daily struggle rife with emotional turmoil whenever the trucks
would arrive carrying personal items and clothing found that could be from the
missing men. For some families, this would bring closure as they identified a
jacket or a watch, while for others they would never know what happened to
their loved ones.
and the widows of her village, there was also the daily struggle of how to
provide for their families. Living in a male dominated society, the women had
to learn to fight against this stigma for their right to earn money to support
their families. She has two children she must care and provide for, as well as
her wheelchair-bound father-in-law. When her beekeeping efforts making honey,
which her father-in-law sells at a local farmers' market does not bring in
enough money for the family, she must look to other avenues. In a society that
frowns on women working, she must also learn to find the courage to defy
the help of other widows living in similar situations, Fahrije convinces
them that they must band together for their right to earn money to support
their families. The women confront many obstacles and challenges along the way including
the right to learn to drive a car. The women's main skills are cooking, and
they meet with a supermarket owner to discuss making ajvar, a
traditional red pepper condiment to be sold in the store. It is through the
sale of ajvar that they are able to achieve financial stability and build
a sense of community and pride in their ability.
Q&A - Moderator Colleen Complex & Yllka Gashi
Gashi portrays Fahrije with compassion and brings her story and that of
the women of Kosovo to light. A powerful film beautifully told with passion,
sadness, and a touch of humor that saves the day. Never underestimate the power
of women, they can achieve anything as this film clearly demonstrates. After
the film there was a wonderful Q&A with Yllka Gashi and Moderator
Colleen Complex discussing the making of the film and the powerful effect
it had on the cast.
information on how to purchase ajvar, please visit the website: https://albproducts.com/collections/jarred-foods/ajvar
Greenwich International Film Festival has year-round programming and special
events including their upcoming Changemaker
Gala on May 25, 2022, honoring Lin Manuel Miranda.
information on the Greenwich International Film Festival, please visit their
International Film Festival
Field Point Road
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