Interview with Filmmaker Svetlana Cemin (SAINT CLAIR CEMIN, PSYCHE)

SAINT CLAIR CEMIN, PSYCHE was the winner of BEST FEATURE FILM at the January 2021 Experimental, Dance, Music Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

When I started the whole opus of 610Film, I wanted to show the process of creativity of various artists. I was working with seven artists at the same time during a period of almost five years. I wanted to work with an artist who used different modes of expression than the ones I had worked with previously (they were mostly performers, or painters and photographers). Saint Clair Cemin is a sculptor who is my partner of many years and whose work is well recognized around the world. I wanted to dig deeper into his working process, which also helped me discover my own artistic development.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

We began shooting in April 2015 in Brooklyn, NY at the artist’s studio and we finished shooting in February 2018 in the Amazon region in Brazil. The post-production started in June 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia, and the project was finished in February 2020.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Passionate Art.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

There were plenty: from finding the right locations, working in unpredictable circumstances, etc. The main obstacle was to find the strength to finish the project when I had to hire an entirely new crew in China due to unforeseen circumstances, just one year into the project.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I watched the video with my daughter Sara who appears in the film, here in Belgrade where I am currently working on a project, and with Saint Clair who is in New York. We were all overjoyed and grateful by the feedback that was given. We were so happy that people had understood the film at its core. I was deeply moved, to tell you the truth.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

The original idea came on a February morning in 2015 in his Brooklyn studio when Saint Clair spoke to me and a few other friends about a dream he had of making a marble boat. When he was sharing this idea, I realized that I wanted to document this process from the beginning to the end.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Casablanca.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I am truly impressed by how good of a platform FilmFreeway is. It worked perfectly for me since my film has received over 15 awards so far and numerous nominations.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Boys Don’t Cry by the Cure.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Yes, I would love to make a feature film which touches on the theme of immigration.

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