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Sonja

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A poetic portrayal of the story of the sightless artist Sona Zeliskova, who despite adverse fate found her life journey in art and ceramics

The film experiments with audio-visual components to recount Sona’s unique story. Combining a documentary, narrative and poetic approach, this short film attempts to depict the real-life story via poetic language. Director Maroš Milčík and Director of Photography Gašper Šnuder used special infrared technology, in order to achieve a surrealistic black-and-white visual. The unique picture thus emerged purely in-camera without the use of post-production.

By the end of 2016, I was looking for inspirational stories by craftsmen and artists from Slovakia to create a documentary series of short films. My friend told me a story about Sona, who immediately grabbed my heart. Our team has not managed to get funding to shoot the original documentary series, but I did not want Sona’s story to remain unspoken. After several interviews with Sona, I decided to shoot the story in a short form and in my own film language.

The visual approach was chosen and created during endless discussions between me and the
cameraman Gašper Šnuderl, at the end of which we came to the conclusion that we will shoot some parts of the film with special infrared technology.

Sona carries a one-of-a-kind story of a lifetime struggle, overcoming obstacles while flourishing her love for art. At the age of 13, she was diagnosed with diabetes. At 26, right by the birth of her son, she completely lost her sight. At age of 39, nevertheless, she has found her life purpose and passion for ceramics and became a successful artist. Today, Sona runs ceramics courses, lectures at conferences and has become a life inspiration for many others.

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