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When the summer comes, most Kosovars leave their homes to head to the beaches of Albania and Montenegro. However, during the warmer months of the year, there are several reasons to stay in Kosovo. From July to September, there are several interesting festivals taking place in the youngest country of Europe. Read our list of the five best festivals in Kosovo.
PriFest, or Prishtina International Film Festival, is a film festival that has been held every July since 2009 – the year after the country’s declaration of independence from Serbia – in the capital city of Kosovo. The festival screens international and local cinema productions and draws particular attention to the Kosovar film industry. PriFest features four competition categories, including mid-length films, European feature films, documentaries and Balkan movies. Outside of the competitions, there are special screenings, including a program dedicated to the LGBT community, a focus on Turkish cinema and many Kosovar premieres of Albanian movies.
Kosovo Architecture Festival starts in July and ends in October. It is the most famous architectural event in the country with a large program that includes exhibitions, screenings, lectures and workshops. The majority of events, such as lectures series at the Kosovo Museum or architectural tours of Pristina, take place in the capital city. However, the program also spreads across the country, with a series of events in Prizren, Peja and Gjakova.
In the heart of Gemia Park, also known as the lung of Pristina, the Sunny Hill Festival is held every August. This is a musical event organized by the Sunny Hill Foundation, a charity organization set up in Pristina, under the patronage of the great Kosovar-Albanian artist Dua Lipa, who works to reduce poverty and injustice in the country. Famous singers perform at the festival, as well as local and international artists.
The largest film festival in Kosovo, and the most famous, is DokuFest, a cinematographic event dedicated to documentaries and short films. The festival is held in the historical town of Prizren, which is one of the prettiest towns in the Balkan Peninsula. DokuFest features workshops, exhibitions, discussions, masterclasses and live music.
At the end of summer, when the grapes are ready for harvesting, there are fewer activities more enjoyable than heading to Rahovec, a small village near Prizren, and taking part in Hardh Fest. The festival aims to promote the regional products of Rahovec, such as wine and raki. This is a great opportunity to taste excellent local products and have fun in one of the least visited Balkan regions.