Hunting Flies is a political metaphor about the rise and fall of dictatorship set in a classroom over the course of one intense day. Ghani, an idealistic teacher, loses his job on the first day of school. Making one last attempt to get it back, he locks his students inside the classroom, forcing them to resolve a generation-long conflict between their villages.
Motivation of the adjudication committee
Hunting Flies is an unusually well-made low-budget film that makes deft and impeccable use of its limited resources. The characters – a teacher and his pupils – are established subtly and organically, so that the viewer feels like a witness to authentic dialogue and confrontations. Set in a Macedonian village classroom, Izer Aliu’s story sensitively explores how dictatorships rise and fall, in a way that is politically and psychologically relevant on multiple levels.
Scriptwriter/director – Izer Aliu
Izer Aliu (born 1982) is a Macedonian-born director who grew up in Sweden before settling in Norway. In 2012, he graduated from the Norwegian Film School in Lillehammer with the short film To Guard a Mountain. The film won the Amanda Prize for Best Short at the Norwegian Film Festival in Haugesund and was nominated for a Student Academy Award in Hollywood. His second short film, The Good Life – Over There (2014), won Best Film at Grimstad’s Norwegian Short Film Festival.
Hunting Flies is Aliu’s feature-length debut. Shot in Macedonia, the film had its world premiere as part of Toronto International Film Festival’s Discovery programme in 2016 and then screened at another dozen festivals, including Tromsø, where it won the Norwegian Peace Film Award.
The prolific Aliu has two upcoming feature projects: the realistic drama 12 Dares, currently in post-production, and the political period film Song of Scabs.
Producer – Khalid Maimouni
Khalid Maimouni (born 1979) was born in Tangiers, Morocco and came to Norway aged 11. His first experiences in film were as the scriptwriter of Rune Denstad Langlo’s TV series Glatte gater (2007) and documentary 99% Honest (2008). He made his debut as writer-director with the 2010 short film Concrete Dreams, produced by Denstad Langlo for Motlys. In 2012, he joined Norway’s top post-production company Storyline Studios, working first in the camera-rental department and then as a post-producer before heading up its new production division, The End.
Izer Aliu’s Hunting Flies is Maimouni’s first feature film for The End. Upcoming projects with the director include the Norwegian/Swedish feature film 12 Dares, the short film Crazy Love and feature-length political drama Song of Scabs, set in the early 1900s and based on one of the biggest strikes by miners in Scandinavia strikes.
Maimouni’s other projects in development include the first Sámi feature for children: Sáve – The Last of the First.
Original title: Fluefangeren
Director and Scriptwriter: Izer Aliu
Principal cast: Burhan Amiti, Miraxh Ameti, Hadis Aliov, Besar Amiti
Producer: Khalid Maimouni
Production company: The End
Running time: 109 minutes
Norwegian distribution: Europa Film
International distribution: LevelK