AMPAS ’16: Julia Loktev

AMPAS ADDS WOMEN DIRECTORS: With our commitment to reviewing all new releases written and/or directed by women, FF2 Media now plays an important role in breaking down barriers. AMPAS invited 683 new members this year, 49 of whom are female directors. Who are they? What are their stories? We already know them, and we are here to tell you!

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Julia Loktev is a Russian-American film director and video artist. After moving from Leningrad, Soviet Union to the United States at an early age, Loktev graduated from McGill University and received her MFA in film from New York University.

Knowning she had been born in St. Petersburg, Loktev read Tom Bishell’s book of short stories God Lives in St. Petersburg decided to adapt the story “Expensive Trips Nowhere” into the film The Loneliest Planet. Instead of setting the story in Kazakhstan, she adapted it to be set in Georgia.  

Excerpt from FF2 Media review of The Loneliest Planet from October 25, 2012:

Most critical, however, is the central point of view, which Loktev has changed from male to female. While driving her characters to the drop off point for their hike, Loktev fixes her camera on the nape of Nica’s neck, and she buries it in the luxuriant hair gathered there—tendrils flying everywhere—as we ascend the mountain. There is very little dialogue; no voiceovers, or verbal explanations. We simply walk along with Nica, side-by-side, for long stretches of time, hearing what she hears and seeing what she sees, as if the camera has been lodged right inside her body.

I was frankly mesmerized by the hypnotic visuals, the subtle movements and gestures that slowly reveal interpersonal dynamics and point to individual destinies. Nica, Alex, and Dato walk and walk; facing the challenges of rocks and rivers, they climb higher and higher until something happens and they have to get back down. Well of course “something happens,” although I won’t be the one to tell you what. These three people are quite alone in the wild, and despite the quiet that surrounds them, the mountains of Georgia are filled with danger.

Read full review: http://www.womenarts.org/film-reviews/theloneliestplanet/

Read more about Julia Loktev: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Loktev

Photo Credit: IndieWire

Tags: AMPAS, Female Directors, FF2 Media, Julia Loktev, Make Oscar Gold, Stop Blue Oscar, The Loneliest Planet

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