“Pharmakon”is set in a new built, ghost town resembling, outskirt of Tirana, in the eve of an upcoming building market crash. Branko, a young man of 25, has recently returned to his hometown, from his studies in the United States, as his mother struck by an incurable disease has passed away. Branko’s life is controlled by his father, Dr. Sokrat, as he works for him in his pharmacy, a façade to cover dubious activities of the prescription drugs business in which Dr. Sokrat is involved. One of Branko’s main duties is to find appropriate apartment houses, for his father to invest his money in. It is a job he does reluctantly, like any other job. Branko leads a lonely life, until he finds interest in Sara, a nurse in his father’s hospital.
Born in Tirana, Albania on 14 December 1976, Joni Shanaj has a BSc. in Social- Anthropology at Lund University, and studied filmmaking in Skurups Folkhögskola, Sweden. "Pharmakon" is his debut film.