Drama - Development 2016

KOSOVO.SPORT - Jan Komasa's new feature film based on a true story.
In co-production with SPOKUJ (Piotr Glowacki).

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Drama, Biography
    • Countries
    • POLAND
    • Languages
    • Director(s)
    • Jan KOMASA
    • Writer(s)
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Kosovo.Sport is the story of a young, ambitious law student from Warsaw that decides to take the plunge and go to Kosovo to work for the UN Mission. His task is to facilitate communication with the Serbian enclave in Strpce. Once there, it quickly becomes clear to him that no one really cares about whether he succeeds or not. Tired of struggling with the local authorities, he decides to act on his own. He wants to make his Serbian friends’ dream come true and organise the first basketball tournament in Kosovo.
      It’s the year 2000, a young pragmatic lawyer from Poland needs money to buy his first flat and decides that he will work for the UN to earn it. He ends up in Kosovo, which is taken over by the post war chaos. He is assigned to work at Strpce, a Serbian enclave surrounded by mountains. There he meets a 14 year old boy, Bjeli. Bjeli is one of the hundreds of the Serbian refugees from Prishtina and other places in Kosovo that have been moved to Strpce. The boy sees in Mark his older brother that he lost during the war. Mark plays basketball with Bjeli, and soon two other boys join their game. When a retired basketball coach from Prishtina, Bilic (45) starts giving them his support, they decide to put together a team.
      With the help of their parents they manage to restore a destroyed sports’ hall and start training regularly. With nothing else to do, the boys quickly make great progress. An experienced Canadian chief commander of the UN Mission, Claude (55), warns Mark not to keep the refugees’ hopes up. Nevertheless, Mark goes on organizing matches with teams of soldiers from different contingents that are located in Kosovo. The young team beats them all! Drawn out from the depression of the refugee camp, the boys ask Mark to help them make their dream come true - they want to play in the newly created Kosovo’s basketball league run by Albanians.
      As a mission lawyer, Mark has access to all of the documents and knows that none of the conflict’s parties - including UN, cares about the reintegration of Serbians and Albanians. Even so, they still have to keep up the appearances. Only this way, can they keep the mandate of the mission and bring big money to Kosovo. The post-war chaos offers big opportunities to some serious business and dirty politics. Mark uses his experience and knowledge about fraud at the levels of both local and international authorities and ends up in the place where the big mob: international intelligence and seriously dangerous people, play their cards. At this point Mark is being pushed to the wall and his whole plan starts to fall apart. His hope is awakened when he realises that he has to do this for the boys and that if he will disappoints them, all will be lost.
      Instead of saving his own skin, he decides to save his pride. Using his lawyer’s cleverness and investing his own money, he forces the Albanian Minister of Sports to use his power to help him. During this whole time Mark experiences the reluctance from the authorities in Kosovo.
      In the fall of 2000, less than a year from the end of the conflict, a team of teenage Serbians in professinal basketball outfits and gear are getting onto an armoured bus while their terrified families wave them goodbye. Escorted by armed KFOR soldiers, in fully armoured convoy and with “Apache” helicopters circling above, they leave the Serbian enclave to go to the Albanian city of Ferizaj. There, in a sports hall surrounded by the army they are to play their first game.
      Observed by Greek snipers from the rooftops, watched by American Marines, they go past Polish snipers and... onto the court. Mark and the coach gather the team. They stand together before a group of Albanian players. They shake hands. The only audience of that first after-the-war peaceful match of two conflicted nations is the Ukrainian Militia with dogs. The referee gathers the captains in the middle of the court and asks them to play fair. Bjeli looks at Mark and smiles. The referee whistles and throws the ball into the air… the game begins.
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