For more videos visit Duska's film portfolio 

 

Featuring excerpts from films and videos by Duska Zagorac

 

Clips from LA APERTURA and SALT GRAIN by Duška Zagorac

 

Daniel is about to get it all: the girl, the dream, the way out of his poor Buenos Aires neighbourhood. There is only one problem. He has to betray his best friend.

director's notes

La Apertura was inspired by a group of young tango dancers I befriended some years ago in Buenos Aires. For them, tango was a passion, raison d’être, but also a way out of their poverty. I was also intrigued by the mystical concept of the tanguero. Tanguero does not only mean a tango dancer. It goes far beyond the steps and technical ability and may be described as a state of soul. There is passion, seduction, romanticism in a tango soul but there is also a great deal of nostalgia, suffering and regret for innocence lost. As the film progresses, it becomes more subjective and dark. One of the first images I had in my mind was an old painting I once saw of a man playing bandaneon. At his feet were serpents wallowing in mud and crawling up his legs, suggesting the treacherous character of tango. As Daniel surrenders his soul to passion, he also becomes treacherous and this dual act becomes his initiation into the tango soul.

awards

Nominated for the Silver LIon for the Best Short Film Venice Film Festival

Best of the Festival Audience Award Zinebi Festival of Documentary and Short Film

official selection (selected festivals):

Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival Cinequest Film Festival Seagate Foyle Film Festival DIBA Film Festival Seattle Film Festival Arcipelago Film Festival River Film Festival Aye Aye Film Festival Silhouette Film Festival Ismailia International Film Festival Cinefilia Tanguera Cagliari, Sitges, Moscow, Madrid, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Jordan 

distribution: Future Shorts, Channel 4

 

After 15 years of exile in London, director Duska Zagorac returns to Bosnia to find a sizeable Chinese community settled in her homeland. Like a mirror image of Bosnia’s past population, the new inhabitants are struggling to define their identity. Combining first person narrative and observational documentary, PATRIA is an intimate portrait of people and the city suspended in time; between war and peace, socialism and capitalism, paradox and tradition.

director’s notes

I started off by making a film about the Chinese in Bosnia but in the process realized I was also making a film about the Bosnians in exile. At the same time, I found myself a mere observer of the new Bosnia, a society I no longer belonged to. So PATRIA MIA became a letter to my lost country.

“A very funny and likeable documentary” “Terrific Characters” Wendy Ide, The Times

“No documentary this year beguiled me more than this revelatory and quietly lyrical portrait of the sizeable Chinese population living in Bosnia.“ Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph

"The Best of 2008 - 50 critics, 150 films” International critics selection, Sight and Sound, BFI

awards

Le donne raccontano Best Documentary, Sguardi Altrove Film Festival, Milan

festivals and screenings (selection)

Sheffield Doc/Fest Sarajevo Film Festival European Independent Film Festival One World Film Festival Let's SEE FF, Vienna Tribeca BFF Chicago BFF Balkan Days New York (best Balkan films of the past 10 years) Tisch, NYU

Distribution: Jane Balfour Services

 

After her daughter’s funeral Mary brings Peter, her estranged husband, and Sam, their budding screenwriter son, together over lunch in their North London home. But as the ghosts of the past are slowly revealed, the family is pushed to the edge.

director's notes

Salt Grain follows the story of a dysfunctional family in its last throes, unable to cope with a tragedy. We are observing the explosion of a time bomb and its immediate aftermath, but this family has been in a dark tunnel for many years. I was particularly interested in looking at three characters whose good intentions have a toxic effect on each other. In some brief moments we see them engaged in family dynamics, but in others as three lonely strangers desperate to escape their grief.

awards

Best international Contemporary Movie Score Garden State Film Festival, USA

 

Director Duska Zagorac, Bosnian war refugee settled in London, returns to Bosnia to meet Chin, a young Chinese woman who emigrated to Bosnia with her parents in order to find a better life. Chin is fast becoming a local celebrity with her renditions of popular folk songs while Duska tries to come to grips with her past.

Documentary report for Al Jazeera International “Witness” strand

 

Director Duska Zagorac, Bosnian war refugee settled in London, returns to Bosnia to meet Chin, a young Chinese woman who emigrated to Bosnia with her parents in order to find a better life. Chin is fast becoming a local celebrity with her renditions of popular folk songs while Duska tries to come to grips with her past.

Documentary report for Al Jazeera International “Witness” strand