Viktor Gjika - Tribute
|Viktor Gjika tribute|
Motion picture director, writer, producer and cinematographer Viktor Gjika was born on June 23rd, 1937, in Korca, Albania.
He pursued his film studies in Moscow then after graduation returned to Albania to co-direct his first short ‘Njeriu Kurre Vdes (Man Never Dies) (1961) along with Dhimiter Anagnosti. Their first effort was honored with the grand prize at the World Cinematography Student Festival held in Lodz Poland in 1961.
That same year Gjika and Anagnosti both served as cinematographers on Hysen Hakani’s black and white masterpiece ‘Debatik’. Gjika spent much of the early 1960’s honing his skills as a cameraman not only on fiction films but on documentaries as well. Gjika served as both director and cameraman on the short documentaries ‘Takimet ne Helsinki’ (Encounters in Helsinki) (1962) and ‘Bistrica 63’ (1964) which received the national film prize in 1964.
Gjika returned to his work as a cinematographer in the mid-1960’s capturing black and white images along with Anagnosti as director for ‘Komisari i Drites’ (Commissar of Light) (1966). In 1968, Viktor Gjika directed and acted as cinematographer for the black and white feature, ‘Horizonte te Hapura’ (Clear Horizons).
Viktor Gjika directed and shot twelve features and documentary shorts from 1970 to 1980. Two of the fiction features he directed, the color ‘Rruge te Bardha’ (White Roads) (1974) and the black and white ‘Gjeneral Gramafoni’ (General Gramaphone) (1978) are both considered to be classics in Albanian motion picture history.
Gjika worked mostly in short and feature documentaries in the 1980’s and was made the director of the Kinostudio ‘New Albania’ a post he held till the fall of communism in 1991. Viktor Gjika was a member of the Advisory Board of the European Film College, and a member of juries at international film festivals in Varna, Istanbul, Annessy, Montpellier and Saint-Etienne.
His last film, a documentary, ‘Kur ikin Korbat’ (When the Raven Leaves) (2000) capped nearly forty years of Albanian motion picture craft. Two years before his death in March, 2009, Viktor Gjika was the subject himself of a television documentary about his long career entitled ‘Ne 70 Vitet e Viktor Gjika’ (2007).