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Tom Loewy

Tom Loewy

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Critically acclaimed director Julia Loktev tackled challenging subjects with uncompromising artistic choices with her first two feature films, the suspenseful "Day Night Day Night" (2006) and "The Loneliest Planet" (2011), which cemented her status as one of independent cinema's rising talents. Born Dec. 12, 1969 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, Loktev moved with her family to Colorado when she was nine years old. She later attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she began experimenting with audio art works as a DJ at the school's radio station. These projects led to working with film and video, as well as earning a master's degree from New York University's graduate film program. In 1998, she released "Moment of Impact," a documentary about the automobile accident that left her father with a severe brain injury. Loktev then worked on a series of multiple-screen video instillations, including the challenging "Rough House," about a physically abusive relationship between a man and woman. Her video instillations were shown at a number of prominent museums and galleries around the world, including the Tate Modern in London, the Brooklyn Museum in New York and Japan's Mito Art...

Critically acclaimed director Julia Loktev tackled challenging subjects with uncompromising artistic choices with her first two feature films, the suspenseful "Day Night Day Night" (2006) and "The Loneliest Planet" (2011), which cemented her status as one of independent cinema's rising talents. Born Dec. 12, 1969 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, Loktev moved with her family to Colorado when she was nine years old. She later attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she began experimenting with audio art works as a DJ at the school's radio station. These projects led to working with film and video, as well as earning a master's degree from New York University's graduate film program. In 1998, she released "Moment of Impact," a documentary about the automobile accident that left her father with a severe brain injury. Loktev then worked on a series of multiple-screen video instillations, including the challenging "Rough House," about a physically abusive relationship between a man and woman. Her video instillations were shown at a number of prominent museums and galleries around the world, including the Tate Modern in London, the Brooklyn Museum in New York and Japan's Mito Art Tower.

In 2006, Loktev produced her first dramatic feature, the harrowing "Day Night Day Night." An unsettling minimalist look at the final 48 hours in the life of a suicide bomber with plans to set off an explosive in Times Square, the film eschewed pat answers for the woman's motives, providing no religious or political background or even a name or ethnicity for the central character, which polarized critics and viewers who wanted a more traditional narrative for the story. "Day Night Day Night" went on to win the Youth Prize from the Directors Fortnight at Cannes in 2006, as well as the Someone to Watch Award from the Independent Spirit Awards. Her second film, "The Loneliest Planet" (2011), starred Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg as a couple traveling through the Eastern European country of Georgia whose relationship was put to the test by a sudden act of aggression. The feature captured the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 AFI Fest in Los Angeles before netting her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Director.

By Paul Gaita

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