“101 Stories” is a project by AWA that aims to bring to the screen.

AWA successfully shows the documentary "Rising above Violence"

Around 70 people watched last night in ‘Millennium’ cinema the premiere of the documentary "Rising above violence" - a project supported by the Small Grants Program of the US Embassy in Tirana.

AWA successfully shows the documentary “Rising above Violence”

Around 70 people watched last night in ‘Millennium’ cinema the premiere of the documentary “Rising above violence” – a project supported by the Small Grants Program of the US Embassy in Tirana.

The documentary -with a script by Valbona Sulce, directed by Suela Bako, with Armelin Llanaj and Subjon Dume as camera operators, with journalists Anila Hoxha and Evis Nasto, and with post-production by Adi Guri- brought to the screen for the first time, through real stories of four women, a journey to the mechanism of referral against violence. Filming lasted 5 months in Tirana, Elbasan and Pogradec, including the lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In her welcoming speech, Mrs. Sabina Kodra, President of AWA, emphasized that the fight against violence against women is AWA’s mission. “This documentary is a continuation of our efforts to give a voice to the abused women, as we did with the campaign “An abused woman is like poisoned Earth”. I would say that an abused society is a poisoned society.”

Afterwards, Valbona Sulce and Suela Bako briefly talked about the purpose of the documentary.

“This documentary is proof of what has happened in these 15 years since the adoption of the law against domestic violence”- said Ms. Sulce. “An average of 300 protection orders are issued per year in Albania. We do not see these women. Women appear on the screen only when they are killed. This is a documentary dedicated to living women, women who fight, women who do not give up, women who believe that with the help of institutions there is life beyond violence. But also, to all those men and women who work every day to free women from the chains of violence: the police, the prosecutor, the judge, the teacher or the family doctor, the social administrator or the anti-violence coordinators in the municipality and all civil society organizations, and journalists, who even when they receive threats, they do not withdraw, but help to the end. I wanted a documentary with women who managed to survive the violence; I wanted a portrait of a warrior who succeeded. Because fighters inspire, empower, and give courage. Victims cannot do this.” she concluded.

Suela Bako talked about how witnesses had recounted their stories of abuse and thanked them for their collaboration and participation in the important process of escaping violence.

The US Ambassador in Tirana Yuri Kim, thanked the organizers for the event and emphasized in her speech that she was positively impressed by the documentary. “The data of UN Women show that 1 in 3 women in the world is raped. This is an alarming figure. But if all the institutions do their job, if the prosecutor prosecutes the rapist, the police take the criminal complaint seriously, this battle can be won. Let us all do our job!”, she concluded. Ms. Kim hinted at the possibility for other collaborations in the future with AWA for the cause of protecting women from domestic violence.

After the premiere, the documentary will be shown in different cities, at the request of civil society organizations, universities, schools, and municipalities to raise awareness about the topic and to open a discussion on what can be improved.

AWA thanks all the participants for the positive comments and remains determined to continue the mission of empowering Albanian women.