Lightdox welcomes on board BODY by Petra Seliškar
We are thrilled to announce that we are joining award-winning Slovenian director and screenwriter Petra Seliškar and team to represent her sensitive and moving feature documentary BODY internationally! BODY will have its World Premiere at the 29th edition of Sarajevo Film Festival, part of the “Heart of Sarajevo” competition for Best Documentary, which presents and promotes the best and most recent documentary production of Southeast Europe and Southern Caucasus.
BODY is a poignant feature documentary by acclaimed director Petra Seliškar, spanning two decades of her close friend Urška’s extraordinary life, battling rare auto-immune diseases. The film blends intimate conversations, personal archives and creative visuals to explore the mysteries of the human body and the power of art and friendship to understand its essence. A tumultuous journey towards healing and self-acceptance.
Bojana Maric, Head of Sales and Acquisitions at Lightdox, comments: “Working with a patient and sensitive author like Petra Seliškar and her amazing team is a privilege, we are especially grateful to be entrusted with BODY, a film that took three decades of friendship and persistence to materialise. Petra’s latest feature documentary is a sensitive and intimate exploration of the extraordinary life and intricate inner world of a filmmaker’s friend Urška, who fights to resist a series of rare auto-immune diseases with her indomitable spirit. Autoimmune disorders now affect around 10% of the global population and we trust that Urška’s story will help bring more attention and awareness. We are delighted to World Premiere the film at Sarajevo Film Festival, the greatest showcase of film in the region, even more so as it sits on a symbolic halfway point, bridging the film’s main locations of Ljubljana and Lake Prespa in North Macedonia.”
A film that was created during the 20-year friendship between the author Petra Seliškar and the protagonist Urška Ristić, friends since their teenage days, when they filmed a lot for fun before Petra took up directing. Through a vast archive material, along with material recorded years later in Ljubljana and on Lake Prespa in North Macedonia, we meet Urška, a trained pianist and former model. A woman who has everything going for her, who, as she says, “enjoyed the game of life and tested the world” until the age of 28 when she was attacked by vasculitis – an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Recovering from it, Urška had to learn to speak, walk, get to know herself, recognize her surroundings and her daughter, accept, understand and love her body again, which seemed to her as if it wanted to destroy her. Just when life seemed to be the way it should be again, Urška was struck by a new illness, much more mysterious and insidious. With the support of her two daughters and husband and parents, with whom she has always had a complicated relationship, Urška struggles with physical and emotional ups and downs, but she never gives up. Despite all the challenges, her love for life is indomitable and inspiring. Urška accepts herself.
BODY is produced by Petra Seliškar for Petra Pan Film, co-produced with Tamara Babun from the Zagreb production company Wolfgang&Dolly and Sara Ferro from the Macedonian production company PPFP, with associate producer Victor Ede from the French-based Cinéphage Productions.
Co-producer Tamara Babun comments: “In 2007, as a student at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, together with my colleagues Una Radić and Luka Rukavin, I had the pleasure of being on the ZagrebDox Young Jury and presenting Petra Seliškar with the award for the film Grandmothers of the Revolution. We met then and didn’t see each other for several years, but I remained a big fan of her films. It really means a lot to me that I was able to participate in the work on this film and that its world premiere will be hosted by the Sarajevo Film Festival. I’m looking forward to seeing what the film’s first meeting with the audience will look like!”
Petra Seliškar (b. 1978 in Ljubljana) is a director, producer, lecturer and festival art director and programmer. She studied documentary directing at the Amsterdam Film Academy and holds an MA degree in Media Studies from the Sheffield Hallam University in UK. She made three feature length documentaries (The Grandmothers of Revolution, Mother Europe, My World Is Upside Down) and produced many more, all of which had extensive festival tours, won international awards and were sold to European broadcasters. Her company Petra Pan Film has produced and co-produced over 20 feature length documentaries and fiction and documentary series in the last 18 years, receiving numerous international awards.
BODY was developed with the support of the Slovenian Film Center, the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC), the North Macedonian Film Agency, Eurimages, Creative Europe – MEDIA and Région Sud – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.