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Fusco Films

Saluti da Sar Planina

Research & Direction:
Erik Fusco
Camera, sound, editing:
Erik Fusco


Kosovo is the last territory in the Balkans whose citizens cannot travel freely into the European Union. How does this influence the life of a lonely berry picker in the desolate Sar Mountains of Kosovo?

The European Union is facing a major economic crisis. Anti-European sentiments are gaining ground. Will the EU fall apart? Filmmaker Erik Fusco travels to Europe's newest country to meet someone for whom the dream of a united Europe is still very much allive.

Erden Balje was born in the Sar Mountains of Southern Kosovo. At the age of 14 he left home to work abroad. He ended up as an illegal immigrant in Italy. Erden came back to Kosovo but he would love to return to Italy. This is impossible without enough money for another illegal border crossing. So now he's stuck in the mountains he once run away from.

We accompany Erden during his work in the mountains. While being filmed Erden takes the opportunity to say hello to Italy. He also shows his gratitude to those who helped him to illegally enter Italy and to find work there. They might be criminals, but for Erden they were his saviour!

Erden belongs to the ethnic group of Gorani whose home is in the Sar Mountains. It's hard to find work in this remote region. Inhabitants can only survive by working abroad for 10 months a year. Gorani like Erden consider visa-free travel into the European Union as a great opportunity for a better life.

-18th Regensburger Short Film Week - Germany (March 14 - 21, 2012)
-60th Trento Film Festival - Italy (April 26 - May 6, 2012)
-8th Lago Film Festival - Italy (July 20 - 28, 2012)
-5th Shortini International Short Film Festival - Italy (August 1 - 5, 2012)
-3rd Corto & Fieno Rural Film Festival - Italy (September 14 - 16, 2012)
-16th Oltre le Vette, commune di Belluno - Italy (October 6 - 14, 2012)
-27th Osnabruck Independent Film Festival - Germany (October 10 - 14, 2012)
-11th Magma Short Film Festival - Italy (Nov 29 - Dec 1, 2012)
-12th Bansko International Film Festival of Mountain Film - Bulgaria (Nov 21 - 25, 2012)
-19th Mountain Film Festival Salzburg - Austria (Nov 21 - Dec 9, 2012)
-Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival - Nepal (Dec 7 - 11, 2012)
-Alpi Giulie Film Festival - Italy (Nov 2012 - March 2013)
-Valmorel sotte le stelle e sotto il sole - Italy (July 13 - 2013, Public Screening)
-16th Cervino CineMountain Festival, Italy (July 30 - August 4, 2013)
-10th Collechio Video Film Festival, Italy (August 22 - 25, 2013)
-Festival della Montagna, Cuneo, Italy (May 29 - June 2, 2014)

"Golden Rake" (1st price short film competion) - Corto & Fieno Rural Film Festival
Special Mention - Shortini International Short Film Festival
Special Mention - Bansko International Film Festival of Mountain Film



About Erik Fusco