Ambassador Delawies Remarks at the America Night Reception at DokuFest,

Ambassador Delawies Remarks at the America Night Reception at DokuFest, Aug 06, 2018

Good evening everybody. It is wonderful to have you here at Dokufest. For me, it’s really terrific to be back in Prizren.  This is my third time hosting America Night at Dokufest, and it is always a highlight of my summer to get together and celebrate our great cultural ties through film.

We are very excited to again support the participation of several American filmmakers, curators, and educators at this year’s festival.  I want to welcome them and other guests from abroad to Kosovo.  I think you’ll be impressed by just how dynamic this festival is, and how welcoming everyone is to us Americans.

Dokufest has a long history of partnership with Americans in the film industry, including with the AmDocs Film Festival in Palm Springs, CA, by the way that is very close to my hometown of San Diego.  I hope some of our American visitors this year will develop similar long-lasting ties to Dokufest and to some of the fantastic local filmmakers that you’ll meet right here.

I am always so impressed and inspired by the Dokufest’s themes.  Each year they manage to choose a topic that really speaks to the people of Kosovo, as well as to the international visitors here for the festival.  Last year was “The Future,” and the year before was a topic I am particularly fond of – “Anti-corruption.”

This year, the main theme is, of course, “Reflections.”  With Kosovo having celebrated 10 years of independence this year, this theme is particularly appropriate.  There is no better time to reflect on where Kosovo is as a country, and where you – the people of Kosovo – want to see your country go in the future.

Recently, the dialogue with Serbia has been in the news quite a bit.  You have probably heard me tell politicians that they need to reflect on their goals for the dialogue, and to make sure negotiations reflect Kosovo’s citizens’ goals.

You all are a critical part of that reflection.  Whether you work in politics or the arts, you play an important role in shedding light on issues and challenges that are central Kosovo’s future.

Dokufest wanted this year’s festival to be “a reflection of the world we live in and a place to see, learn, reflect, and collaborate.”  I invite all of you to use film and the arts to reflect not only the world we live in, but also the Kosovo you want to live in.

I want to thank the entire Dokufest team, especially Veton, Eroll, and Nita, for allowing us to partner once again on the festival.  Congratulations to you, the staff, and all of the volunteers for once again putting together a fantastic festival.  I have no doubt that the tens of thousands of visitors will take you up on your offer of reflection, and I hope they have a great time while they’re here.

Thank you all for joining us tonight.