Vani (Vasjan Lami) and Kaçi (Kastriot Çaushi) are childhood friends who are now filmmakers in their sixties. As the story opens, Vani, the director, and Kaçi, the cinematographer, learn that their latest production will become the first Albanian film to be screened at the Venice Film Festival. Although the festival has offered to fly them to Venice, they choose to drive instead. Vani, culturally conservative, is mourning the death of his beloved wife. He is particularly anxious to reach Venice because his daughter is a student there. Kaçi is more adventurous and, despite being married, is open to engaging with available women.
After crossing by ferry from Albania to Bari, Italy, the pair encounter two beautiful women dressed as nuns. They are pornographic actresses Irina (Alissa Huzar) and Lola (Natalia De Maria). Lola’s agent has arranged for her to audition for a film in Venice, and the four set off on a road trip together.
Along the way, the odd quartet meet a wide range of characters, while themselves clashing and bonding.
Although the story concentrates on Vani and Kaçi, it’s the side story of Irina that is more intriguing. While Lola is in full bloom in her profession, Irina is now 50 years old, and her invitations to appear in porno films are disappearing rapidly. Already, to earn a living, she has turned to phone sex, but even this field is closing for her. She contemplates what will come next in her life, and she finds Vani to be a comfortable confidante.
One aspect of Two Lions Heading to Venice that stands out is that it is a spectacular travelogue of the east coast of Italy. The Italian Ministry of Tourism could not ask for a more effective lure for foreigners to pursue their own road trip along the same route. The Italian government should reward director Jonid Jorgji and cinematographer Petros Antoniadis.