Albanian filmmaker Iris Elezi studied film theory and criticism, anthropology and women's studies before completing her film production studies at NYU in 2001. Her acclaimed six-part Balkan documentary series UNDER CONSTRUCTION (2007) was broadcast on key regional TV’s with its episode "Disposable Heroes" recognized by Amnesty International, becoming part of the 'Films That Matter' screenings. Her feature debut, BOTA (2014), an Albanian/ Italian/ Kosovar co-production, garnered eighteen international awards worldwide and became Albania's representative film for the 2016 US Academy Awards. Together with American archivist, Regina Longo, and cineaste Thomas Logoreci, Iris co-founded in 2012, the Albanian Cinema Project, an initiative to restore and promote Albanian cinema. As of October 2017, Mrs. Elezi is the director of the Albanian National Film Archive - AQSHF.