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Kosovo drama 'Hive' wins three awards at Sundance Film Festival

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Kosovo drama 'Hive' wins three awards at Sundance Film Festival
Copyright  Ian Maule/AP
By Mark Armstrong  with AP

A drama set against the backdrop of the 1990s conflicts in the Balkans has picked up several awards at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

"Hive," tells the story of Fahrije Hoti (played by Albanian actress Yllka Gashi), a woman who lost her husband when all the men in her village were either killed or went missing after a massacre during the war in Kosovo.

The movie was directed by Blerta Basholli.

"First of all, we only knew about the directing award, and then getting the other two was way too much. But yes, we are very happy and very excited."

Based on a true story, Fahrije builds up a small agricultural business but faces the disapproval of a patriarchal society that would prefer she stay at home out of respect for her in-laws.

Some dislike what she does so much they call her a whore in public.

Blerta Basholli heard about the real Fahrije Hoti in a TV report and went to the village of Krusha where she runs an agricultural cooperative.

"I think she is the voice of many other women and I'm really glad that voice is going to be heard all around the world because it is a success story," explained Blerta. "At the end of the film, as much as it is sad, while she goes through it even today, she still doesn't know where her husband is and she still, after 20 years, wonders what if he comes back? What if he is alive?"

The film marks the feature directorial debut for Blerta Basholli, who also wrote the script.

It won the Grand Jury Prize, the Directing Award, and the Audience Award in the World Cinema category.