2016 - released

Lost Exile is the diploma film project for the Master in Cinema at Ecal / Head, shot in Kosovo.

Logline: To escape from a lack of perspective in Kosovo, Hana meets Emir, a smuggler in Serbia who will drive her to Hungary. On the way, complications arise as Emir's unscrupulous associates try to take advantage of Hana's vulnerability. In the midst of the frozen winter, Hana's courage and determination and Emir's honour will be tested.

International Premiere: Locarno Film Festival 2016
Award: Locarno Film Festival 'Cinema & Gioventù' Jury Prize

Directed by Written by


Running time Release date

Fisnik Maxhuni
Fisnik Maxhuni

Alva Film, Geneva
ECAL (Lausanne) / HEAD (Geneva)
RTS (Radio Télévision Suisse)
Ikone Studio, Pristina

Léo Lefèvre
Kostas Makrinos
Boris Gétaz
29 minutes
Summer 2016
VO Albanian, English, Serbian / subtitles available in French, English, German


Soundtrack: https://soundcloud.com/visceralfilms/sets/lost-exile

© Boris Gétaz, with additional compositions by Tanto.

Festivals :
• Locarno, 69° Festival del film Locarno, Competition, 03.08.2016 – 13.08.2016
• Clermont-Ferrand, 40th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, 02.02.2018 – 10.02.2018
• Solothurn, 52. Solothurner Filmtage, 19.01.2017 – 26.01.2017
• Paris, 14e Festival international Signes de Nuit Paris, Competition, 24.11.2016 – 04.12.2016
• Villeurbanne, 37e Festival du Film Court, Competition, 18.11.2016 – 27.11.2016
• Tirana, 14th Tirana International Film Festival, Competition, 03.11.2016 – 11.11.2016
• Lisbon, 14th International Festival Signs of the Night, Competition, 01.10.2016 – 09.10.2016
• Prizren, 15th Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival Prizren, Competition, 05.08.2016 – 13.08.2016
• SEE Los Angeles Film Festival 2017
• Montevideo Film Festival 2017
• Le Map Montreal Film Festival 2017

Awards: (a short selection)
• Locarno, Locarno Festival, Mention spéciale Concorso nazionale (Giuria dei Giovani) 2016
• Delhi, Delhi Shorts International Film Festival, Best short film 2016
• Tirana, Tirana International Film Festival, Best Albanian Short Film 2016
• Villeurbanne, Festival du Film Court, Prix de la région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes 2016

Director's statement: Behind my artistic and political will to shoot Lost Exile lies my personal story. Born in Kosovo during the dismantling of Yugoslavia, I emigrated in 1993 with my parents illegally towards Switzerland. At the time, I was 4 years old and my mother was 9 months pregnant.
In 1993, the migration fluxes from the Balkans towards Europe were still relatively small. Also, in a time when internet wasn’t around to help us organize any “trip” like it is done nowadays, it was difficult to plan in details our migration, and even more difficult to know what was awaiting us “on the other side”. Without any valid travel documents – as Serbia had confiscated them – we required the services of several people smugglers to cross Europe’s border and reach Switzerland. In 2016, illegal immigration is now a very hot topic and concerns all of Europe, without any exception. In Kosovo, the debate is even bigger as the country is seeing a large part of its active population leaving towards a better future.
By writing and shooting this film, I was confronted with the need to turn the page on my personal history and concentrate on recent events. However, even though more than two decades have passed, the situation remains the same ; there are still lots of illegal migrants and people smugglers in the region.
By concentrating the plot of Lost Exile on a woman migrating from Kosovo (Hana) and a smuggler from Serbia (Emir), I had the opportunity to explore the “two faces of the mirror” of migration to finally interrogate the question of exile and its meaning in 2016.

Info :
  • https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5730344/
  • http://www.pardolive.ch/en/pardo/program/film?fid=892299&eid=69&
  • http://www.swissfilms.ch/en/film_search/filmdetails/-/id_film/2146991896

Press :
  • http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2017/02/21/filmer-encore-les-migrations/
  • https://www.hesge.ch/head/projet/mention-speciale-lost-exile-fisnik-maxhuni

Contact :
Alva Film / Britta Rindelaub