First thing's first:
I don’t like to boast, but I have been known to write and direct films and documentaries… I’ve even won some awards long the way; you can view a selection of my films in their entirety in the viewing room, or obtain more info about them in the filmography section. Here, you’ll find my film reel and commercial reel.
More about... me.
Since you’re here now…. How about a heart-to-heart.
You know… My grandma passed away, just recently. The significant role she played in my life cannot be overstated: I spent the first 5 years of my existence living with her, thinking she was my mom.
You see, my mom and dad were busy working demanding jobs as recent immigrants to Canada, and didn’t have the time nor the resources to properly take care of me – so they flew me off to the “homeland,” where I could be afforded the luxury of having access to the space and care that would enable me to sprout as a young human being – under the watchful eye and graceful care of grandma. This isn’t a story that’s unique to me mind you: there are probably hundreds of thousands of second gen. immigrants who’ve experienced this in one way or another. (Do I see a documentary film in there somewhere?)
Scene from “Dr. Zack” – 2010
So moving along… We’d spend a majority of our time together, telling each other stories: and boy could she tell a story. Her tales fed my imagination, her vivid descriptions of magical worlds with colorful and unique characters (actually, now that I look back, she was merely describing Germany through the lens of a “Gastarbeiter” to me, but did I tell you she could tell a good story?) fueled my curiosity.
So quite naturally, I picked up and began telling some stories of my own.
One day, I sat her down (on that sofa they brought back with them when returning from Germany – again another story – to introduce her to my friends. Some spoke Japanese (I would, of course, translate for her), some Spanish, some gibberish. They all had a story however, filled with obstacles they overcame and difficulties they had to endure. And even if they were merely a figment of my imagination: to me, they were as real as night and day.
Scene from “Gematria” – 2014
Ever since, stories have helped fuel my enthusiasm for life, replenish my inquisitive nature, and satisfy an innate desire to keep occupied by working on something interesting, exciting, challenging, rewarding,…
So here's my dad's favorite question: what in the world do I really do?
When people ask me what i do… I say I tell stories… Stories that interest me, inspire me, call out to me and beg to be told… Regardless of the format or medium: if they trigger or move me, I tell them.
Latest news: what I'm currently up to...
Production of feature doc. underway
I’m excited to announce the production of my latest project: A feature documentary (grown out of the Open Heritage documentary series) on communities and urban heritage sites.
The documentary will tell the story of how communities found ways of repurposing buildings and sites in decay, and vitalizing their neighborhoods as a result. We’ll begin production in Bratislava, with the Old Market Hall (The Stara Trznica) being one of our major case studies. Read more on the site and view the short documentary here.
Being a Eutropian and XsentrikArts collaboration, I’m looking forward to telling the story of these historical sites, the communities surrounding them, as well as the individuals playing key roles in creating new models of regeneration. Stay tuned, and wish me luck!
Completed two short documentaries in collaboration with Wonderland
I’ve been busy collaborating with wonderland platform for European Architecture on a series of short documentary films (funded by the Austrian Federal Chancellery) . The documentary series explore unique and inspiring stories of Viennese artists and initiatives that promote sustainable living and change the way we interact with our built environments.
More will be produced within the year, but I’ve created two films so far: “Plastic Love” follows Plastic (recycling) artist Julian Jankovic, and “Es muss doch Gehen” tells the inspiring story of Treecycle: A Viennese collective creating ecologically and socially sustainable “street furniture” in the form of unique and transportable ecosystems.
To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed creating these, and working with some creative people who are striving to do some good.
Have a look, and let me know what you think!
Just presented best practices of innovative community activation
As you know, I follow and document community regenerated sites and socially inclusive initiatives, as well as sustainable tourism issues. So, naturally, I was invited by the “Design Matters” seminar series to do a presentation on innovative social activation, based on my experiences during the production of the Open Heritage documentary series (you can view the films below).
In fact, all the sites I visited had innovative models, but I focused on Stara Trznica (Bratislava), Largo Residencias (Lisbon) and Sarg Fabrik (Vienna) as three of the most impressive examples I came across while producing the series.
Have a look, the presentation is below, and let me know what you think!
Fresh out the oven: the Open Heritage documentary series
I spent the better half of 2019 traversing across Europe, visiting unique sites and initiatives utilizing urban spaces to transform communities, foster exchange and promote inclusiveness. These documentaries are a result of my visits. Created for the Open Heritage project, in collaboration with Eutropian and XsentrikArts, each highlights a unique case and site. This was a pleasure to create, I’m now working on an in-depth feature documentary film on the same subject.
Without further ado:
Here they are… the result of a full year’s work.
The Begegnungsorte Series
This one’s also a work in progress. We (as in XsentrikArts, or to be more precise, as in me and Bahanur Nasya) completed 6 films highlighting unique community initiatives and public spaces in Vienna. We’ve even created a website for the project: check it out here.
Partial funding by the Federal Chancellery of Austria allowed us to initiate this project in collaboration with XsentrikArts. We spent a considerable amount of time on location, researching the unique locations recommended to us by our curators, and documenting aspects that made them case studies. We’re hoping the work can promote the discourse on public spaces and community initiatives. Check out the documentaries in full, below.
Wait, there's more.
I dabble in and manage numerous projects at once: being preoccupied with so many undertakings at once isn’t easy, but it fits my ADD and allows me to create while holding onto my enthusiasm and keeping my concentration. Jumping between projects is actually even more productive for me.
So below are posts of the stories I’ve somehow begun telling, or have released out there into the world already.
And you betcha: I’m always up to MORE.