Born in Lezhë, Brian Filipi made his first team debut with Ravenna in the 2008–09 season, being protagonist of the club’s successful season which almost ended in promotion to Serie B from Lega Pro Prima Divisione, despite the Albanian’s young age. Before his professional debut with Ravenna, Filipi had already played at youth international level with his native country of Albania, receiving his first call-up for the Under-19 team in 2007. He later became part of the Under-21 team as well.
On January 2009, following his impressive performances with Ravenna, he was optioned by Serie A club Palermo; however, in the 2009 summer transfer window Palermo decided not to acquire half of his registration rights, as already agreed with Ravenna, and Filipi stayed with the Emilia-Romagna club instead.
Filipi was part of Albania under-21 squad in the last three qualifying matches of 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. He made his debut on 20 August 2008 in the match against Greece, entering in the 55th minute as the match finished 1–1. He went on to make another appearance as substitute versus Azerbaijan, as Albania finished Group 1 at 4th position with 12 points.
Filipi continued to be part of under-21 side in the opening two matches of next qualifying campaign. He played as substitute in the opening matchday against Scotland as Albania lost 0–1 at Ruzhdi Bizhuta Stadium.