Samir Karahoda started as a photography apprentice in 1992, to later graduate in Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, Faculty of Fine Arts – Department of Photography, where he is currently a postgraduate candidate.
As a successful photographer, behind many unique photography projects Samir crafted himself into cinematography. He was behind the lens of several award winning short and feature Kosovar films. Occasionally, he lectured on photography at the Institute of Photography and Film “Gjon Mili” and “Kosova Art Academy” in Pristina. Samir is also a short film programmer at DokuFest, Kosovo’s major film festival and one of the very important film festivals in the Balkan region. As a result, Samir is often invited to program short films for international film festivals.
NË MES / IN BETWEEN is a short documentary film inspired by a photography project. This is also his directorial debut.
In 2011, I was working on a photography project entitled “Kosovar Brothers”. That project became the inspiration for this film. During that time I had the opportunity to meet many family land owners who were willing to talk to me about the various reasons why they had built identical houses for each of their sons. The filmmaking style reflects my process of understanding this phenomenon and enabled me to try to reflect this to others through careful observational portraiture of these families as well as my inner reflections on this vision I’d been seeing for a long time—houses all in a row, all of them exactly the same, all of them sitting empty. Other topics began to emerge that further explained this curious occurrence.
“Në Mes”/“In Between” signifies the relationship and solidarity between brothers; the sacrifice and determination of the parents to maintain harmony within the family; and, the meaning and significance of home. We shot through four seasons of one year and integral to the structural concept, the original sounds surrounding the various locations we filmed were recorded, thus essentially creating another character in the film, that of the country of Kosovo itself. Through precise compositional framing and the changing of the seasons to enhance a more streamlined storytelling approach, so many complexities emerge about what it means when a place that’s been built especially for you and your brothers by your father waits patiently—year after year after year—for your return.