In the Name of Vjosa


The Vjosa is one of the oldest rivers in Europe and still has a very long natural watercourse (270 km). Flowing from Greece into Albania, it meanders through a wide valley with extensive softwood floodplains that provide spawning grounds for fish as well as habitats for migratory birds and many other species. Finally, the Vjosa flows into the sea north of the Narta Lagoon. 


For the people who live on its banks, the Vjosa plays a central role in their daily lives. The river terraces provide the villages with fertile land for agriculture and animal husbandry. The abundance and diversity of fish are an essential economic factor and livelihood for local fishermen. Recreational tourism on the Vjosa and its tributaries is becoming increasingly important, especially in recent years, when sports such as rafting, paddling and swimming have become more popular. 


The existence of numerous small businesses and ecotourism enterprises depends on a free-flowing Vjosa. In addition, the crystal clear river has an emotional value for the people of Albania: the Vjosa is perceived as a cultural heritage. Many girls are named after the Vjosa today; the name stands for the beauty and the untouched nature of the river. 


Hydropower generation is currently the biggest threat to rivers. More than 400 new hydropower plants are planned in Albania. Along the Albanian section of the Vjosa, the Ministry of Energy wants to build eight dams...

Technical Sheet

A longterm group project: (2020-2026) by Matthias Leupold, Eric Berg, Manja Ebert, Abi Shehu, Enis Shehu, Mikela Kakeli
Support: EcoAlbania


Matthias Leupold & Eric Berg: Directors

Matthias Leupold: Producer

Abi Shehu: Unit Manager, Guide, Translator, Music Selection

Enis Shehu: Driver, Guide, Sound Assistenz

Phil Freeborn: Sound Design 

Kristaq Kullufe, Traditional Guesthouse Përmet: Support

Henrik Stuch: Assistence Postproduction

Mikela Kakeli & Lawrence Hartmann: Translation

Tim Bentlin: Assistence and Panorama Photography

Resmi Skëndere & Dilaver Murataj: Interview Kuta

Kristaq Cullufe: Interview Përmet 


2021, runtime first short film 14 min

Language: Albanian / English

Subtitles: EN



Award Winner
Paris Play Film Festival
Golden Sparrow International Film Festival
Milan Gold Awards


Honorable Mention

World Indie Film Awards

Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival

Stardust Films and Screenplays Festival



Sweden Film Awards

Onyko Films Awards



Tirana International Film Festival

New York Istanbul Short Film Festival

Equinox Mountain Environmental Film Festival

Rome Prisma Film Awards

Rome Movie Awards

Paris Film Awards

Florence Film Awards

DEA OPEN AIR International Film Festival


Iconic Images Film Festival

Golden Bridge İstanbul Short Film Festival

Mabig Film Festival

Symbiotic Film Festival