Sami Mustafa was born in Plemetina, Kosovo in 1984. An independent documentary director and producer, in 2007 he was also one of the founders of Romawood, a production company focusing on Roma issues and the Roma population. He initiated the Jekh Kham Jekh Sel (One Sun One Nation) project in 2007, the Rolling Film Festival, which has been running since 2009, and is a member of the International Romani Film Commission, the body responsible for fostering Roma cinema and filmmakers. Moreover, in his role as a film tutor he gives young Romani people the opportunity to learn how to express their lives, experiences and identities through artistic methods, and thus to produce documentary films.
He made his first film in Plemetina as a trainee in 2003. Since then, he has produced, directed and written more than fifty short documentaries, docu-fictions and two feature-length films. Mustafa has been active in an advisory and programming capacity – with a special focus on Romani films – for various international film festivals in Europe such as Cineromani – Empowering Roma Filmmakers, Motovun Film Festival and the International Romani Art Festival, to name but a few.
In 2011, he moved to Lyon, France. His first feature-length film, Trapped by Law (Kosovo/Germany), was released in 2015. It tells the story of two Romani rap brothers from Essen in Germany who are deported to Kosovo overnight and, all of a sudden, become what they have never been before: Kosovars. The film won nominations at numerous film festivals such as Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival and the Kasseler Dokfest.
Filmography / Awards
2017 Over the Sea, pre-production
2015 Trapped by Law, Kosovo/Germany
nomination for Best Central and Eastern European Documentary at Jihlava Film Festival
nomination for Best Director, Young Talent Award and Golden Key at Kasseler Dokfest
screened at This Human World International Film Festival, Vienna, Balkan Florence Express, Dok.Fest München 2016, Human District Festival, Belgrade 2016, Jacob Burns Film Centre, New York 2016, Astra Film Festival 2016
2014 Fogy Purge, France
2014 Discovery Young Talent Award in Cottbus as part of the Berlin Film Festival.
2012 Learn to Discover, Montenegro, UWC Adriatic
2011 To become Slovenian: Sejdo, Slovenia
2010 Never Back Home, Kosovo
2010 Sar Thuvf (Like Smoke), Slovenia, Best Director Award at 2014 Golden Wheel Film Festival in Skopje
2009 Mangipe (Engagement), Slovenia
2007 One Sun One Nation, Kosovo
2006 Road To Home, Kosovo, Critique’s Week at 2007 Cannes Film Festival
2005 Four Changes, Kosovo, fourth best short documentary by Dosta! Campaign against Roma Prejudice
2014 Three Rooms of Hope
2011 Pink House
2011 Toxic Fun, DEPOK Film Festival Merit Award
2011 The Impossible Film, Kosovo B
2010 The Dream Power, RFF Audience Award
2010 Songs and School, best short documentary at 2011 Nova Svetlost Film Festival
2007 Through Bihac
Cinematographer / Editor
2006 Both-Bosnian, 8 minutes
2004 Who do You Love
2005 What you Give is What you Get
2004 Where Is She Going, 28 minutes
2003 Welcome to Plemetina