Scriptwriter of the Month: Rita Krasniqi

Kosovan writer/director Rita Krasniqi who spends her time between Los Angeles and Prishtina holds BA in Filmmaking from Faculty of Arts in Prishtina and MA in Film and Media Productions from New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. She likes telling stories through pictures hoping to capture as much imagination of the audience as possible. 

To find out more about what Rita is working on check her MTSW profile here and keep on reading.


What makes the 5 films on your Top 5 list so special?


Both as a storyteller and an audience, I always search of good stories and remarkable characters. I believe my top 5 films embody excellent storytelling and impressionable characters.


AMADEUS by Miloš Forman, is a movie I spent a year watching it every night. I was twelve at the time. I could not fully understand then why was I so attached to this movie. Apart from being a movie about the renowned music composer and genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the late Mr. Forman, achieved in bringing on screen not only a moving picture, but rather a moving painting. As I grew up and finished my undergraduate studies, I finally understood the reason why I was so in love with the movie. The story itself was built perfectly. It immediately pulls in, in the first scene where we meet Salieri and his lamenting life. As we follow him and experience Mozart’s life through the eyes of his nemesis, character development walks us through a painting-like story in which you both laugh and cry. 


As a fan of Jane Austen, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY is one of my favourite books. The characters and the story progression make you fall in love with all the characters involved in it. In addition to this sincere adoration, as a fan of Emma Thompson, I got to witness a beautiful adaptation of the book which possessed all the emotions and characters such as they were in the book. Ang Lee, same as the late Mr Forman, created a world in which you forget you are watching a movie and feel as though you are in a museum and you’re looking at moving paintings.


As a big fan of musicals, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, stole my heart the first time I watched it. Its characters stayed with me, together with the entire soundtrack. Such a simple story about a family withstanding generation changes and facing the horrible wrath of prejudice, and the echoing of the horrible war that years after hovered over Europe. The sentimental journey of a father facing generation changes and learning to let go of its daughters, throws us to highs and lows, both laughing, singing, and crying. Experiencing a culture which embodies tradition, character, and most importantly love. 


Lastly, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS resides in this top five list. What makes this movie truly remarkable is the challenges the protagonist faces — not only catching a horrible serial killer — but the constant clash with the patriarchal society in which she has to prove herself worthy. Adding to that, what makes this movie memorable is one of the most terrifying characters of all time: Hannibal Lecter.  


• Why did you decide to go into film?


Ever since I was a young girl, I was in love with movies. Storytelling in general. I always knew that I would be part of this world. Therefore, when time came for me to make a decision regarding my career path, I immediately knew that filmmaking was what I wanted. To be able to visually tell stories and make people fall in love with my characters, such as I have fallen in love with so many great ones. I wanted to be in a position to create stories that people will relate to and enjoy watching. 


• Commercial films or art house?


I think I want to make movies that people enjoy. I try to use elements from both so that the movies embody both a great experience and carry out a message. 


• How and when did you begin writing?


I used to write very early on in my childhood. However, beginning of high school I took action deciding to pursue the career of a storyteller. I think fondly of my memories when I used to hide from my family poetries I’d written, short stories, sometimes even monologues. As years went on, although I focused mainly on screenplays, I have continued writing short stories and poems in my spare time. I have always found it important to write as much as I can. To build an archive of my own life. So that people will get to a glimpse of what goes on inside my head.


• Where do you like to write the most?


I mainly write in my library or in my room. It is quiet, safe, and cosy. I like solitude; therefore, these two places are the ideal ones. However, sometimes when I need help building characters, I go to a cafe and write there amongst strangers. It helps the brain flow, giving me the information, I need to complete my work. 


• What kind of music do you listen to while writing?


I mainly listen to classical music. If I need to focus on a specific genre, I tend to listen to movie scores. Music inspires me greatly and it is always my companion whenever I sit down to write. 


• Where do ideas come from?


I usually have one scene in my head and then I elaborate from it. I continue to know who the protagonist is and follow her/his story. 

However, in some cases, I tend to find a protagonist and try to understand what that protagonist wants and that leads me to have an idea and start writing. 


• If you could go anywhere in space and time, where would that be?


I think I would like to go back to the 1800s. Most of my favourite books, movies, and TV series take place during that time. I would like to be there and experience it in person. I would like to be there without being noticed, and just sit and watch such artist write the stories we so enjoy today.