Albanian Oscar Entry ‘A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On’ Boarded by M-Appeal (EXCLUSIVE)

Berlin-based sales company M-Appeal has boarded Gentian Koçi’s Albanian drama “A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On,” which will world premiere in Tallinn Film Festival’s Main Competition and is Albania’s official submission for the Academy Awards.

Set in urban Tirana, the film follows the emotional story and close bond of two identical twin brothers in their thirties. They are deaf, which doesn’t get in the way of their everyday life, but after visiting a doctor they find out that they will also lose their sight.

In preparation for the film, the three lead actors and producer Blerina Hankollari spent six months learning Albanian sign language with the Albania National Assn. of the Deaf (ANAD). Representatives from the association were also present on the film set every day, coaching the actors and making sure the sign language was interpreted correctly.

Maren Kroymann, M-Appeal’s managing director, said “at M-Appeal we love films that invite us to better understand the world from underrepresented perspectives. This narrative-driven drama brings audiences into the intimate universe of deaf twins Agim and Gëzim. It is a film without spoken dialogue, but which powerfully expresses that communication and love don’t need words.”

Koçi said: “I was fascinated by the idea of making a film that deals with evolving, complex human relationships and a fundamental question: What happens to a person when they are completely immersed into darkness, and communication with the world becomes difficult?”

The sound design, which plays a key role in the film, was created by Leandros Ntounis, who worked with Yorgos Lanthimos on his films “Dogtooth” (2009) and “Alps” (2011). The film’s sound mixer Kostas Varybobiotis was a long time collaborator of Theo Angelopoulos.

“A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On” is Koçi’s second feature film, following “Daybreak,” which had its world premiere at Sarajevo Film Festival, and was Albania’s entry for the Oscars in 2017. It is produced by Artalb Film Productions (Albania), in co-production with Maria & Mayer (Portugal), Graal Films (Greece), and Added Value Films (Kosovo).

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