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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fresh Blood On The Indie Circuit: Julia Loktev

Title: Julia Loktev

Stats: Born in 1969, St. Petersburg, Russia. Attended NYU and did her thesis on Moment Of Impact. Works and currently lives in New York City. Currently nominated for an Indpendent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

“The subway, a public space with no specific place. Buried beneath the urban grid, the subway is neither here nor there. It is the city in motion, the city becoming, the city on the run -- a constantly shifting no man's land, in a perpetual state of carrying the periphery towards the center and the center out towards the periphery. For 15-30 minutes at a time, passengers of completely different races, cultural backgrounds, economic classes and sexual orientations stand and sit next to each other, physically touching people they will never meet. In the city, public space becomes a transition rather than a destination. You don't go to a public space, you go through a public space..."

An excerpt from the mind of Julia Loktev, as well as the minds of all New Yorkers about the subway experience. Lotkev directed, written and produced Day Night Day Night. The film is nominated for Best First Feature from this rookie filmmaker and is the talk of everyone in the NY indie film community.

The film is about a 19 year old girl who prepares to become a suicide bomber in Times Square. She speaks with no accent, so that it is impossible to mark her ethnic background. It is never understood why she chooses to become a suicide bomber, she has already made before the story begins. It is not understood who she represents or what God she believes in. The film is inspired in part by a story in a Russian newspaper and playing off a history of Joan of Arc films.

Lotkev's film won at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and in 1998 she directed a documentary called Moment Of Impact that gave her the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Moment of Impact was documentary dealing with Lotkev's own family tragedy resulting in a car accident on April Fool's Day.

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