Private Project

The white sheets

Based on the novel of Maks Velo, Albanian painter, architect and writer. Maks Velo sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 1978 for "agitation and propaganda" against the communist regime in Albania, in labor camp of Spac. 248 of his paintings were then destroyed, and his art collections were either stolen or burned.
The artist return to visit the camp after the fall of communist regime and wrote his reflections about his feelings on the novel "The sheets were missing".

  • Pandeli Ceco
  • Luljeta Progni
  • Pandeli Ceco
    Luljeta Progni
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 20, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Audience Award at Tirana International Film Festival
    September 16, 2020
    Albanian Premiere
    Audience Choice Award
  • Vishwarang International Film Festival 2020
    November 23, 2020
    Indian Premiere
    Golden Price
  • 7th International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra
    August 9, 2020
    Greek Premiere
    3d place for short documentary
  • Pápa International Historical Film Festival
    November 13, 2020
    Hungarian Premiere
  • International Film and Video Festival «Catharsis»
    Russian Federation
    December 11, 2020
    Semi Finalist
  • GENERIcamente UMANI
    September 25, 2021
    Quarter Finalist
  • Direct Monthly Online Film Festival

    June 24, 2020
    Top 10 rating
  • Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival
    October 4, 2020
    Official Selection
  • 6th Balkan Panorama Film Festival
    October 3, 2020
    Turkish Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Tetova International Film Festival
    Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
    October 15, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Corto Week End
    December 18, 2020
    Official Selection
  • AXD Film Festival
    June 25, 2021
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Pandeli Ceco

Pandeli Ceco comes from a long career in graphic design, since 1998. His first job on a feature documentary project was in 2018 as a production designer of “Azizi – confesses a true story» film.

After that he filmed, directed and edited a documentary series on persecution themes from the dictatorial past of Albania, from their inception to completion, including “Imprisoned guitar” 31 min, “The stones of religion” 30 min, « Bloody frontiers” 21 min, “Longing to sing” 29 min (Finalist Lift-Off Global Network, Official selection TIFF ODA festival - North Macedonia 2019), “The revolt of Qaf-Bari” 32 min, “High-minded” 35 min, “The missing” 29 min, “The persecution of kulaks on dictatorship” 33 min.

The last short documentary “The white sheets” (5 min, year 2020) is selected at more than 10 international film festivals and won three awards: Audience Choice Award at 18th Tirana International Film Festival – Albania, Golden Price at Vishwarang International Film Festival 2020 - India, 3d place at the 7th International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra 2020, Semi-finalist at International Film and Video Festival «Catharsis» - Russia, Finalist at Pápa International Historical Film Festival - Hungary, official selections at International Documentary and Short Film Festival DOKUFEST - Prizren 2021, Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival - Izmir, Direct Monthly Online Film Festival, TIFF ODA – North Macedonia, 6th Balkan Panorama Film Festival –Turkey).

Pandeli Ceco is Founder and Director of the international film festival Travel Fest Albania

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Last years I was the director of a documentary series on persecution themes from the dictatorial past of Albania under the communist regime, in collaboration with the screenwriter Luljeta Progni. Two years ago, we read an impressive story by the famous Albanian architect and painter Maks Velo, who wrote about his years in prison a book, entitled "The translator". There was a story that stuck in our minds. I imagine that time the story as a film and it’s almost the same film. Unfortunately, we finished the film some days after the author passed away.

It was an amazing meditation of an artist filled with literary and symbolic figures and at the same time so simple and minimalist. The white sheets were more than a white piece of cloth. These were symbols of innocence, delirium, dream, imagination and freedom. The artist felt free even though he was locked in the middle of hell, surrounded by barbed wire between the remote mountains of Albania. He felt inspired and powerful to realize through his imagination those beautiful expressive paintings, where every character has played a key role on his life during that difficult era. Despite the punishment and persecution, the painter built his world in the midst of pain, although he painted them on the canvas only after 1991.

After the script was over, we took the road to the former Spaç prison, set up the scenography there, painted the sheets and filmed. The rest of the filming took place in the studio.
I wanted to show a striking conceptual and performative short documentary by condensing a painful story based on the brilliant and felt narrative of the painter exploring his beautiful art.

The main characters had to be paintings on white sheets, illustrating the story in a simple way and creating that feeling of dreaming that you can’t forget.