Masterclass with Jessica Hausner: My New Film Will Explore the Question of Hope

On Thursday, August 17th, Austrian director, screenwriter, and producer Jessica Hausner conducted a masterclass at the Festival Center (Bosnian Cultural Center) as part of the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival programme. The masterclass was moderated by film critic Dana Linssen.

The event began with the promotion of the festival publication "Tribute to Jessica Hausner." In its 29th edition, the Sarajevo Film Festival paid tribute to Jessica Hausner and presented a selection of films by this esteemed filmmaker in the festival "Tribute to" programme.

Hausner reflected on her beginnings in the world of cinema. She revealed to the audience that as a young girl, she never anticipated that motion pictures would become her expressive medium, as she used to write short stories at that time. Her first encounter with a camera happened thanks to the father of her friend, who had film equipment and allowed her to adapt one of her stories into a film. She was captivated, as she stated, by the moment of stepping behind the camera, when what was previously just an idea comes to life on screen.

Throughout her creative journey, a particular challenge was finding role models. As she attests, Austria at that time wasn't a particularly inspiring ground, so she sought inspiration in foreign film traditions. She highlighted the figure of Maya Deren, a Ukrainian-American director, as particularly formative for her. She singled out Deren's film MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON (1943) as a thematic and stylistic paradigm that often resonates through her own films. She always had a greater affinity for experimental films over narrative ones, so Deren's surrealism was especially inspirational in that regard.

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