Fisnik Maxhuni

Photo by Sandra Gomez

Photo by Sandra Gomez

Fisnik Maxhuni was born in Kosovo during the dismantlement of Yugoslavia. He illegally emigrated to Switzerland in 1993, where he grew up. After finishing his Bachelor in International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland, he moved to Tokyo, Japan for nearly a year to work in diplomacy. In 2012, he began his Master studies in Geopolitics, Security and Territory at King's College London and did one semester abroad in Singapore. During his stays in Japan (2012), Indonesia (2013), Argentina and Bolivia (2014), he wrote and shot several films blending fiction, documentary and experimental approaches.

It was then only natural for him to turn to professional cinema, while keeping a very political approach to his projects. He is a recent graduate of the Master in Cinema at ECAL (Lausanne) and HEAD (Geneva), specialized in directing. During the two years of his Master studies, he directed ON CULTURE AND TROPICS (2014) as well as MINISTARSTVO SJEĆANJA (2015), shot in collaboration with Béla Tarr in Sarajevo.

He wrote and directed its graduation film called LOST EXILE, shot entirely in Kosovo with an international team. It premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in the Pardi di domani competition and won a prize from the Jury. LOST EXILE portrays the life of Hana, a young Kosovar wishing to leave her country to reach Europe. In order to do so, she must require the services of Emir, a Serbian people smuggler to drive her to Hungary. On the way, problems arise as Emir’s unscrupulous bosses want to deliver Hana to a prostitution ring.

Fisnik’s own words capture the drama best: „Through this film, I wanted to show the contemporary situation of Kosovo refugees, which are the only continental Europe citizens to require a visa to travel to Europe, therefore pushing numbers of them to require the services of illegal people smugglers just like I did in 1993. However, I chose to portray this situation through an innovative lens when talking about refugees: indeed, I refused to portray this situation through a “social” film but rather through a mysterious, dark and even mystic approach.“

At the moment he is writing two new projects. The first one is a hybrid projet between documentary and fiction that will be shot in October and November in the Southern states of the United States against the backdrop of the Trump-Clinton presidential election. The other project is the screenplay for his first long-feature fiction film CABALLEROS INDIGNOS, which takes places in the horse trading milieu in Uruguay.

With LOST EXILE and his new projects, he always combines his interest and experience in politics with his cinema perspective.

Writer, Director (CH)

2016/17 FORWARD AMERICA (Doc in Production)
2016 LOST EXILE (Short Fiction)
2014 MINISTARSTVO SJECANJA (Short Doc)
2013 ON CULTURE AND TROPICS (Short Doc)