“The vain motive!” is one of the first cinematic achievements that would take Piro Milkani once again back in the 1960s, during his university years in Prague. His emotions were strong as he watched this cinematic production today at a ceremony that took place in the Ministry of Culture in his honor, after the assessment he received in the Czech Republic as “Dedicated Man.” The Minister of Culture Ilva Margariti, along with the Czech Ambassador to Albania Mr. Jaroslav Ludva, expressed their gratitude for the contribution that the Albanian filmmaker has provided, contributing to the Czech Republic, and especially to the Albanian cinematography.
“I am very happy that today, in the presence of the Albanian personalities as well as the former students in Czech Republic, we appreciate one of the most talented people in Albanian cinematography, Mr. Piro Milkani. Lately, he was decorated in Prague with the highest honor ‘Dedicated Man,’ a rare appreciation in my country, only for those tireless people who have honored the Czech Republic around the world,” said Ambassador Ludva.
About 60 years of artistic creativity with 20 long films and short documentaries, such as “The lady from the city,” “Conviction on death,” or “The Sorrow of Mrs. Schneider,” preserved as a treasure in the Film Archive, made the Minister of Culture to appreciate the filmmaker with the medal “Ambassador of the Albanian Film.” Minister Margariti said that Milkani is one of those artists who have not lost their values because of the system, and that he is a real intellectual. “Appraisals are not individual, there is no way to not feel proud that a small country like ours brings out such intellectuals,” Margariti added. Milkani didn’t just survive, but he also managed to do art in a time when censorship restricted such a thing.
Piro Milkani felt obviously appreciated from these assessments, especially in a time when he was feeling that his creative composition had come to an end. “I do not know what to say, but I remember the popular expression that ‘if wellness comes along then open the doors,’ and this assessment has its own importance, because my Minister of Culture is giving it to me,” filmmaker Milkani said.
In his upcoming projects he will be back next to the artlover at the Book Fair in November with a book on cinematography. Meanwhile, life co-workers expressed their appreciation for Milkani both as a filmmaker and human. Painter Ksenofon Dilo said that Milkani’s contribution to cinematography will be appreciated by future generations too, as he has worked with the soul. He got acquainted with the filmmaker while students in Prague. During that time he had seen some of his works, but it was when they came to former Kinostudio (today Albania National Center of Cinematography) that they got to know each other better.
Dilo has made the decoration to some movies with Milkani since the time he worked as an operator, then at “Conviction on death,” later at “Happy Couple,” “Why does the drum chime,” “The Wedding,” etc.. “I know the work and the way he worked very well, he gave everything for the sake of our cinematography, despite the censorship we had. Even the time that is very selective will preserve a lot of values of the movies we have made, because the artists have worked hard to leave something for our people. He has left real values in cinematic art,” Dilo said.
Director Saimir Kumbaro calls Piro Milkani a gentleman, more than he needs for Albanian society. He knows the filmmaker for about 50 years. Kumbaro’s beginnings in the cinema starts with Milkani, whom he calls a friend, fellow and brother. Kumbaro said he has learned a lot from Milkani as he is kind and mannered for the Albanian society, and he is glad that the internationals are reminded to appreciate his contributions to the cinematography, with movies that someone loves and someone doesn’t.
The Albanian filmmaker was assessed a few days in the Czech Republic with the award “Thanksgiving to the Skilful Man,” as one of the 14 most important contributors to the Czech Republic.