Looking for Venera

Norika Sefa

IFFR 2021

Special Jury Award
  • 111'
  • Kosovo
  • 2021

Calm, taciturn teenager Venera lives in a small village in Kosovo. At home, three generations are constantly under one another’s feet in their cramped house, so she has hardly any privacy. Outside too, on the streets and in the café, it’s not much better: the village is small and there’s always a brother, nephew or neighbour keeping a beady eye on her. A girl is expected above all else to protect her good reputation – and that of her family.

All this makes it difficult for Venera to go her own way. Her spirits lift when she makes friends with rebellious Dorina, who already has a boyfriend. The two girls go out having fun together, as far as Venera’s father allows. One thing they know for sure: they don’t want to end up like their mothers. “I’ve never even seen my parents kiss”, Venera says.

In her sensitive, subtle feature debut, Norika Sefa portrays with a great eye for detail how a modern girl grows up in traditional, strictly hierarchical surroundings. But how can Venera make her own choices if there isn’t really much to choose from? The distinctive soundtrack and delicate, observational camerawork add a documentary feel to this intimate coming-of-age story. While Venera’s hunger for freedom only grows, she sees Dorina give in to the demands of her family. Now, she must choose for herself.

Winner Special Jury Award, IFFR 2021.

Norika Sefa
World premiere
Countries of production
Kosovo, Macedonia
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Original title
Në kërkim të Venerës
Besnik Krapi
Production Company
Circle Production
Circle Production
Norika Sefa
Luis Armando Arteaga
Stefan Stabenow, Norika Sefa
Production Design
Arben Shala
Sound Design
Risto Alchinov
Kosovare Krasniqi, Erjona Kakeli, Rozafa Celaj, Basri Lushtaku