© 2019  by Nika Belianina

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Marching in 2018

January 22, 2018

 

2017 was a lot about the skies as I tested its limits and the stars which I tried to reach while making the film called "Moon Cycles". I've logged camera gear through Peruvian jungle, Andean mountain range, Atacama desert and Bolivian salt flats. I learned how to skin a buffalo and to smoke a pipe on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and judged an international cross-section of visual artists. I created works in two artist residencies and taught film to the younger generations.

I also experienced gear breakdowns, broken promises, language and cultural barriers, failed collaborations, nearly broke my neck in a Death Valley and attempted to shoot the darkest skies on a full Moon night... At some point I was ready to give up. Surrendering to patience and accepting my fate seemed the only option. 

Yet I've encountered incredible individuals along the way, who made me believe that I am on the right path, both personally and creatively. Kindness of these strangers and their good deeds is what I take away from 2017. 

 

 

NIGHT SKIES
It was a privilege to get a filming permit for two of the most productive observatories in the world - La Silla and Paranal, part of European Southern Observatories. But the entry was granted during the brightest full Moon nights. I stood in awe watching the Moon colour giant structures of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) into bright orange and silver, as women astronomers shared their stories with me. This shoot was a part of the "Moon Cycles" documentary production. 

 

 

BLACKFEET tribe is one of the very few of the total 567 North American tribes that was not fought by American troops and who still owns their original land. They are called the Real people (Piikuni) and they came from the stars. And their women shared their wisdom for my doc "Moon Cycles". It was humbling to be invited to live with the Holy people and film on their ceremonial grounds. Three weeks in Montana, dare I say it - changed my life. I saw my first Northern Lights, learned how to build a tipi, gave some lectures and skinned a buffalo. And encountered kindness of many strangers, as they introduced me to their strong community and opened their hearts for me. I wish you all to have such reliable people in your lives, like them. It was an honour to be called their daughter on my last day.

 

 

JUDGING PANEL 
It was an honour to judge both young upcoming Tamil filmmakers in Toronto, and an international cross-section of visual artists for the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in USA. A special treat was to actually spend creative time with some of them at the residency in Wyoming. Four years ago I visited this special place and inherited a love for astro-photography. This time I got a second chance to practice it. Here, on the photo - writer Alexander Lumans.

 

 

 

MOON CYCLES
"Moon Cycles"  is a poetic documentary on what it means to be a (childless) woman in different parts of our planet. The film is divided into fours by the elements, directions, seasons and ages. It is a deeply personal project that touches the topics of taboo and social stigma. For me it is the hardest film I've set to do so far. Currently I am assembling acquired footage, transcribing interviews and am seeking additional funding, while researching next chapters. Please feel free to contact me if you want to know more.

 

I look forward to see what 2018 has in store. For one, there will be some changes to this website and definitely more new works! I've got a new photoseries brewing as well as a new script. 

 

Thank you for being on my site and reading this!

 

Yours truly,

Nika B.

 

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