Filmi; Kino; Bioskop. Peja has called Cinema Jusuf Gërvalla by many names since its construction in 1955. Jusuf Gërvalla was the center of cultural life in Peja with new film screenings, musical and theater performances, and the social hub within the city until its untimely abandonment in 1998. Then in 2001, with the assistance of foreign donations, the cinema was repaired and added as a historical monument under the National Culture Heritage list.
Anibar International Animation Festival, founded in 2009, made the Cinema its home in 2015 after living half a decade as a key festival cinema. The municipality of Peja awarded Anibar a 15-year lease in December 2016 for the Jusuf Gërvalla Cinema. In 2017, The Kosovo Privatization Agency (KPA) placed the building under the liquidation process, which regularly results in privatization and demolition. Peja mobilized in defense of the cinema through a petition campaign which generated 6,000 signatures and secured the support of another 70 NGOs throughout Kosovo for its preservation. Anibar and the local community hosted events to increase media awareness, rally the citizens of Peja, and coordinate civil society organizations which resulted in the freezing of the process in court litigation.
Anibar has served as devoted stewards of the Jusuf Gërvalla Cinema and its cultural significance. Working with the municipality and other organizations to ensure the Cinema remains Peja’s cultural center. Anibar has revitalized the cinema as the Peja cultural center by hosting local cultural events, organizing concerts, and orchestrating film screenings.
The next step in the Jusuf Gërvalla Cinema revival is to restore its cinematographic functions. Anibar understands the importance of the cinema to our community as well as the importance of retaining the collective memory and the identity of the cinema. That is why Anibar is starting the journey to crowdfund through Kosova Ideas. The amount collected through the campaign will help in the renovation of the cinema which will include basic infrastructural interventions and creating a space that will be better used and multi-functional. This campaign can provide the necessary assistance required to make the cinema an alternative place of film, art, culture and civil society by improving the social and cultural life of the citizens.
For more information on the campaign, its purpose, and how to contribute please check out the link.