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Cold November

DirectorIsmet Sijarina
ProducerFatmir Spahiu – Thumbs Up & Buka; AlbaSky Film, Audiohaus – Sound Solutions, Ikone Studio
WriterArian Krasniqi, Ismet Sijarina
CameraSevdije Kastrati
EditorVladimir Pavlovski
CastKushtim Hoxha, Adriana Matoshi, Fatmir Spahiu, Emir Hadzihafizbegovic, Bislim Mucaj, Gordana Boban, Lum Veseli, Maylinda Kosumovic
SoundIgor Popovski
Length93 min
CountryKosovo/Albania/North Macedonia
SectionCurrent Relevant Cinema
ScreeningThursday 7 November | 21:15 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag
Friday 8 November | 17:15 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag

An Albanian archivist faces a moral dilemma when the Serbian regime demands loyalty from state employees. This compelling Kosovar film had its premiere at the prestigious San Sebastian IFF and later won numerous awards. Screenings will be followed by Q&A with the actor and producer Fatmir Spahiu.


In the early ’90s, the Yugoslavian Government cancelled the autonomy of Kosovo, dissolved its Parliament and closed down the National Television. With the implementation of the extraordinary measures by Serbian authorities, the Albanian citizens who were working at that time were forced to sign a declaration by which they officially accepted Serbia as their own country. If they refused, they would lose all their privileges, jobs, health insurance, children’s funds, as well as the real estate which was given to them for use by institution they worked for. Fadil, an archivist, has to choose between two options, knowing that both of them are wrong. He therefore involuntarily and unwillingly swallows the shame, endures the stigma, and the pressure coming from all sides.

Director’s statement

Cold November is one of those stories that would normally be left untold. This film deals with a family’s history. It is based on real events in a turbulent time, when we cannot say that we were living, but merely existing. His name is Fadil, he lives in Pristina-Kosovo during the early 90s, has a wife, two children, a father and a story to tell.

Festivals & Awards (selection)

San Sebastián International Film Festival, 2018 – World Premiere (New Directors Competition) | Bosphorus Film Festival, 2018 – Best Actor (Kushtim Hoxha) | Zurich Film Festival, 2018 – Audience Award

Director’s bio

Ismet Sijarina is a filmmaker and scriptwriter living in Pristina, Kosovo. His first documentary BEYOND THE RAINBOW (2008) premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival. His projects were shown at many international film festivals. Sijarina is a member of European Film Academy and currently works as an Associated Professor in the University of Prishtina, Film Directing Program. COLD NOVEMBER (2018) is his feature directorial debut. The film was supported by Kosovo Cinematography Center and Albanian Film Center.