The Sundance Film Festival is just weeks away from launching on January 28, and this year it’s coming to your living room with a first-of-its-kind virtual edition. One of the films to look out for in the World Cinema section of the Dramatic competition is “Hive,” the debut film from Kosovo-born filmmaker Blerta Basholli. Inspired by a true story, “Hive” is an empowering look at a woman adrift but surviving after the disappearance of her husband. The feminist portrait, which is currently seeking distribution, premieres at the festival on January 31, with an encore screening the next day. IndieWire shares the exclusive first trailer for the film below.
Here’s the synopsis for the film, courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival:
In a tight-knit town in Kosovo, families struggle to make ends meet as they anxiously await news of husbands, fathers, and sons who were ripped away by the war. When Fahrije’s bees stop producing honey, she acquires her driver’s license and ventures into the city to sell homemade ajvar in a local grocery store. Fahrije’s ingenuity and ambition challenge the conservative townspeople, who are steadfast on traditional roles and patriarchal expectations. She disregards insults, gossip, and even physical attacks to empower a community of women to be self-reliant and independent in order to survive together.
Anchored by Yllka Gashi’s subdued yet intensely emotional performance, writer/director Blerta Basholli’s captivating debut is layered with honesty and authenticity. Her naturalistic camera focuses on the high-stakes enterprise Fahrije takes on while mourning the disappearance of her husband, navigating a new world, and surprising herself and those around her. Based on a real story, “Hive” is a quiet, uplifting gem that highlights the strength in its characters as it proves nothing can stop women on a mission.
The cast also includes Çun Lajçi, Aurita Agushi, Kumrije Hoxha, Adriana Matoshi, and Kaona Sylejmani. Producers are Yll Uka, Valon Bajgora, and Agon Uka. LevelK is handling sales.
Check out the rest of the Sundance Film Festival’s virtual hybrid slate via IndieWire here. While pre-festival deals are slight at the moment, the acquisitions market is starting to heat up. IndieWire is keeping track of all the Sundance Film Festival buys this January here.