Working on a short documentary called ‘Hajra’, which attempts to probe the life of a woman fleeing the atrocities committed during Bosnian civil war, Director Varun Sasindran is looking for a potential co-producer at one of the biggest movie extravaganza in the world Interview with varun Sasindran
What is your objective and what do you aim to achieve at Berlinale this
My next project is a short documentary that has been shortlisted for the Talents Short Form Station. This allows me to have a discussion with mentors from the global film fraternity and also to strengthen my network for possible collaborations. This year, I am particularly seeking a coproducer for my film.
What are the new projects?
I am working on a short documentary called ‘Hajra’, which will be shot in Bosnia. I have been muddling through the archive materials to know more about the subject. This year is mostly going to be spent in research on this subject matter.
Could you tell us a little bit more about your documentary film ‘Hajra’?
While recording a testimony for my last film, I came to know about Hajra Hadžic. While fleeing from Prijedor through the forest of Kozara, the military captured her along with other men and then detained them at Omarska. Going through the court’s proceedings on Hajra, I found her story incomplete and my attempt will be to bridge the gap between the testimonies and proceedings.
What made you do ‘Omarska,’film?
In the year 2015, I was studying at Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr’s film school which is in Sarajevo, Bosnia. That’s when I visited Srebrenica and I got to know more about the civil war in Bosnia.
I started reading more about its history and got to know about this infamous concentration camp called Omarska. I was very much interested in knowing more about this place. While doing my research, I found that the place had been acquired by an Arcelor Mittal company, and space where people were detained and tortured, was still being used as a factory and there was no memorial in place to remember the victims that were killed at Omarska. So, through my film which extensively uses archive materials and the testimony of survivors, I erected a virtual memorial using a 3D animation of the place.
What is your view on the changing face of cinema…Big Screen or Streaming?
I really like the idea of bringing people to one big hall, turn off the lights and make them forget about everything else for the next few hours. I am yet to catch up with streaming. But I feel streaming provides more opportunities of freedom to express for upcoming filmmakers like me.