Yes, it’s been a while since my last post…But a lot has also happened.
It’s been an incredibly busy year, busy with post-production and finishing of my first feature-length film, which is now finally complete and touring the festivals. I’ll quickly summarize the happenings since the film’s completion to make up for the lost time and lack of updates. Hopefully, this is somewhat entertaining.
The film was part of the State of Europe section at the festival along with films like Gianfranco Rossi’s brilliant Sacro Gra and Kaveh Bakhtiari’s L’escale. Other gems at the festival included Ilya Khrzhanovsky's 4, Ben Russell and Ben River’s Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (premiering at ND/NF), Ester Martin Bergsmark’s Something Must Break which won the Tiger, Roberto Minervini’s Stop The Pounding Heart (ND/NF), Riad Sattouf’s Jacky Au Royaume des Filles and Vimukthi Jayasundara's The Forsaken Land.
The programming at IFFR is daring and creative… each film had it’s own unique voice and approach and I found the festival as a whole incredibly inspiring.
I joined filmmakers Xiaolu Guo and Thomas Bellinck, as well as Rutger Wolfson on a panel to talk about the State of Europe, spoke to FRED Film Radio on a podcast about the film and came home to NY to find a lovely review of Evaporating Borders by The Hollywood Reporter in which Clarence Tsui calls the film “Thoughtful and lyrical…Radivojevic’s film is a valiant call for a new way of thinking”.
In Rotterdam, we found out the film would have a US premiere at SXSW Film Festival. The film premiered to a full house and received rave reviews.
Film Threat wrote, possibly the best review one could have hoped for, humbling… “Aesthetically, I’ve never seen such magnificent cinematography in a documentary…Equally impressive is Radivojevic’s skill in driving her message home…Evaporating Borders is a must-see movie and its filmmaker is a highly sensitive rarity, with the great ability to open our eyes and change the world.”
Austin Chronicle described the film as “poetic, stream-of-consciousness narration enhances the beautiful visual essay; its structure – five chapters – serves to efficiently organize a complicated story of shifting borders and cultural paradigms" and Cineuropa wrote “through its five chapters full of gentle, honest and simple images, Radivojevic’s story manages to transcend the most thoughtful, and even the most lyrical, aspect of a subject that does not usually have room to accommodate delicacy of any kind.”
The next festival that followed was Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. Other films in the program included Michael Obert’s beautiful Song From The Forest and Talal Derki’s Return to Homs, a powerful film.
The audiences in Thessaloniki asked brilliant questions and engaged with the film in the most interesting and intimate way. The kind of discussion that feels organic and productive and enriching. Analytical. A beautiful experience.
From Thessaloniki, the film went to Human Rights Watch London. The conversation there was just as engaging. The best part is that the people relate the story to their own surrounding, their own country and environment. They engage with it on a personal level. At least those who are vocal about it ::: Little Frances’ post summarizes it here.
While there BBC World News Invited us for a chat which was to air live.
I’m writing all this from Cyprus, where I spent a good portion of the past couple of years making the film. Next week the film will screen at Cyprus Film Days to a local audience. It will be emotional and conflicting and probably intense. We’re looking forward to the discussions.
All this to say, that I’m quite overwhelmed and incredibly grateful that the film has found a path and is being well received. It’s been quite special and I couldn’t ask for more. Policies are rarely changed because of documentary films, though I hope it will prove transformative for some.
The life of the film is still in its early stages, but i’m already itching to make, create and work on new projects.
An ivaasks short is long over due and coming soon.