IRIS ELEZI is an award winning director and scriptwriter. She studied film theory and criticism, anthropology and women’s studies before completing her film production studies at NYU in 2001. Her editing and directing skills on the six-part documentary series Under Construction (2007) resulted in the Amnesty International’s “Films That Matter” selection for the episode Disposable Heroes. Her feature debut, BOTA, premiered at the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, winning the FEDEORA critics award. Bota also triumphed in the Reykjavik Intl. Film Festival, winning both the FIPRESCI and the Audience Award. In USA, Bota, was nominated for the Golden Gate award by San Francisco Film Festival, and won two awards at SEEFest – South East European film festival in Los Angeles. After garnering seventeen international awards, BOTA, became Albania’s representative film for the 2016 Oscar race. Iris Elezi lives and works in the Albanian capital of Tirana where she teaches film history. Together with American archivist Regina Longo and partner, Thomas Logoreci, they co-founded The Albanian Cinema Project, an initiative that aims at restoring and raising awareness about the endangered Albanian National Film Archive.