A Kosovan refugee now living in Battersea has written and produced a film depicting the troubles in his home country. 

Kesulat: A Story of Kosovo, written by Jimi Tihofsi, has been long-listed for the BAFTA awards in the Film Not in the English Language section. 

Jimi left Kosovo just before the war started in 1997. There were frequent clashes beween the Kosovo Liberation Army and Serbian police forces. Jimi said life in the country "became very difficult as the Serbian forces were very oppressive toward the Albanian population". 

He studied drama in Kosovo and continued to do so in London. Kesulat, which means the hats, recreates some of the horrific events of the closing stages of the war in 1999, culminating with the NATO bombings of Serbian forces.

Jimi said: "It was a journey into the unknown, as I started facing difficulties in many ways. Converting these stories into a screenplay was difficult enough. And that is when I met the director Alan Trow, who for the past 15 years has been part of the journey which finally last year came to fruition. 

"It has a cast of Kosovan actors, including myself, who all experienced the war, many losing close family members - and emotional interviews with survivors for whom the memories won't go away.

"The story is not a typical story of the good versus the bad. But it deals with the reality of the war and it shows that no matter who you are and what you are, we all suffer in one or another way, as we all become victims of war. 

"This however, didn't go very well with Albanians, as they see only themselves as victims and I was accused of being anti-Albanian. The press was just as much against the story with one newspaper claiming that I might have received funds from Serbia, and considered it as very damaging for Kosovo's cause for independence. Some Kosovar actors were so strongly against the story they didn't want to be part of the film. Still the Serbs thought this was a very biased Albanian film." 

To fund the film, Jimi had to mortgage his house. It was described by Francine Stock as a "persuasive and poignant drama, Kesulat takes you right to the heart of the bitter conflict in Kosovo. Carefully researched and shot in authentic locations, it evokes both the dramatic upheaval and the trauma that persists long after the news cameras move on"

Jimi only every wanted to depict the realities of war and never intended to take sides. He said it was "terrible" living in London, watching scenes of war unfold on TV.