Filmmaker Nikola Kostić followed the creative process and the performances of the open-air production Blind Spot – Rotterdam over an extended period of time. He captured the various setbacks and victories in the making of this challenging location performance. The result is a penetrating, vulnerable and at times funny look behind the scenes. The documentary shows that dancers, like all other people, are not only physically fit winners, but also losers.
Vluchtval is a documentary by Laura Stek about being uprooted and what happens to mind and body when you lose purchase on solid ground. Jelena has collaborated on the choreography of the film.
90 year old poet Jana Beranova lives in a cosily crammed upstairs apartment in Rotterdam. It’s her ‘safe nest,’ as she herself calls it, from where she creates her own world with words.
25 year old freerunner Abdallah Marega lives in Paris and is enlisted in the French military. He spends almost all of his off-duty hours outside. He soars across roofs, glides off of handrails and rolls over bridges. It’s a way of life.
A poet in Rotterdam and a freerunner in Paris. One lives primarily at home, in her own head – the other outside, in motion. There is a 65 year age-gap between them and yet they share a strong connection: both of them know what it’s like to be uprooted, and they channel this feeling into art. One with the body, the other with words.
Vluchtval weaves Abdallah and Jana’s life stories together through the media of poetry and parkour. The film shows the ultimate consequences of being uprooted, but also how one can regain control and, by trial and error – falling and getting back up again – land safely on firm ground.
Jelena collaborated with Golden Calf winner Eefje Blankevoort (2021, Shadow Games) and director Sanne Rovers (Crazy Days, De spelende mens) on a short film about commemoration in times of war. The powerful short film shows the painful tension between collective remembrance and multi-voiced history.
Together with camera man Gregor Meerman and seven striking Amsterdammers from 13 to 94 years old, they made a choreography from stillness to movement that captures the importance of collective remembrance and shows the fallible human being on his path.
The film was broadcast on NPO and AT5, and screened at several Amsterdam film houses, including Pathé Tuschinski, leading up to and on 4 and 5 May 2022.
A short movie made by Jelena Kostić with director / cameraman Vladan Janković and editor Marjan Rubeša
Wavering heels, a reaching hand, warped glances and a silent scream… With in the background just a constant pulse we watch three people in a high, cold space. You feel like a scientist who studies insects in a glass cage. Or rather an observer of the human species?
In a mysterious tangle of encountering and release we can solely interpret what moves these people from our own experience. A one-way mirror.
This film was created in 2014
choreography & concept – Jelena Kostić in collaboration with the dancers – Miryam Garcia Mariblanca, Ann-Christin Zimmermann & Blazej Jasinski director and camera – Vladan Janković video editor – Marjan Rubeša
Those who lead do so alone.
In the short dance film INTERLUDE a female protagonist goes through a lonely battle to fulfill her mission. She struggles with herself and dances for acceptance. In a large space this woman in power moves from bold to brittle, from strong to delicate. She passes those who shut her out and those who admire her in a search to dare to be vulnerable and soft.
Jelena Kostic and film director Harrie Verbeek first collaborated on this dance film INTERLUDE, with dancer Judit Ruiz Onandi in a leading role.
directed by – Harrie Verbeek choreography – Jelena Kostić production – Monne Tuinhout performance by – Judit Ruiz Onandi, Blazej Jasinski, Marleen van Uden, Marieke Monquil, Lili Kok, Helena Araujo, Julie Querre director of photography – Marc de Meijer editing – Sander Kuipers grading & compositing – The Compound music & sound design – Tom Sikkers crew – Thomas Falk, Lou Cope, Elisabeth Kinn Svensson, Bilja Grgur, Maaike van Zijl, Jasmijn Krol, Alina Stefan, Eline van Gils, Ko de Kok, Alexander Colson, Dester van Nunen, Grip Enterprises, Kaspar Burghard, Jasper Leeman, Niels van der Kraan, Niels Zonnenberg, Emmanuel Tenenbaum, Liza Wolters, Leon van Egmond, Yola Parie, Floortje van der Graaf, Eric Maas, Nikola Kostić, Anna Alexandre publicity – DansBrabant, Dirk Verhoeven graphic design artwork – Anouk Stoffels
Interlude is a production of Stichting Kostić in coproduction with Branded Cinema & DansBrabant.
Around the deathbed of father Theo, several of his family members gather. The situation weighs heavily on them and puts a strain on their interactions. Will they manage to get closer together and support each other when it comes down to it?
In the new Branded Cinema production Naar Huis [Going Home], director Harrie Verbeek and choreographer Jelena Kostić, after their previous collaboration on Interlude, once again bring dormant emotions to the surface in a powerful and sensitive dance film.
Actors Huub Smit, Hans Dagelet, Liz Snoijink and Beaudil Elzenga and dancers Patricia van Deutekom, Kim-Jomi Fischer and Rowan van den Boomen portray the troubled family members. The combination of Jelena Kostić’s poetic dance language and Harrie Verbeek’s subtle, natural cinematography guarantees a poignant and moving ‘Brabantse Beauty’.
This film was made in 2018, and was awarded the Publieksprijs at the Zuidelijk Film Festival 2021
Director – Harrie Verbeek Choreography – Jelena Kostić Cast – Huub Smit, Liz Snoijink. Hans Dagelet, Patricia van Deutekom, Kim-Jomi Fischer, Beaudil Elzenga, Rowan van den Boom Production – Branded Cinema Co-production – Stichting Kostić, Veldkamp Produkties, Omroep Brabant Production design – Hans Borgman Costume design – Biljana Grgur Camera – Richard Spierings Sound – Jan Wouter Stam Music – Tom Sikkers Producer – Monne Tuinhout Light – Gerard Stam 1st assistant director – Ruut van der Beele Repetitor – Judit Ruiz Onandi Editing – Sander Kuipers Final editing from Omroep Brabant – Lout Donders
When a chance supermarket encounter unlocks untapped passion in an ordinary woman, her grey life quickly goes into sensory overload. ‘Your approval is not essential’ sheds a colourful, whimsical light on what happens when you let go of your inhibitions and – out of the blue – start embracing life’s quirky pleasures.
This film was made in 2016.
“Most successful is Your approval is not essential from the Serbian choreographer Jelena Kostic and the Belgian film director Leen Michiels – with high heels, rollerblades, a mountain of grapefruit and a naked cat in the lead. In twelve minutes we see what an encounter in the supermarket can do to a woman. Kostic constructed movements that combine despicable everydayness, maximum restraint and over-the-top action – a style characteristic of the choreographer. Philipp Schueller and Rens de Waal made a range of unorthodox outfits that add more and more color.”
– Het Parool
Choreography by – Jelena Kostic Director & writer – Leen Michiels Fashion by Schueller de Waal Art Direction by – Leen Michiels, Jelena Kostic, Schueller de Waal. Cast – Ulrika Kinn Svensson, Majon van der Schot Production – Yola Parie, Marie Klein
This film was created as part of Act! Cut! Play!, an initiative of FASHIONCLASH, Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond and MoMu – ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen. Fonds Podiumkunsten, Fonds 21 and the Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie
In trying to achieve something, sometimes you are your own biggest obstacle. In the short dance film My Own Worst Enemy, Jelena and film director Harrie Verbeek explore the psychological processes involved. Dancer Noëmi Wagner portrays the struggling protagonist in various symbolic situations.
After Interlude (2016) and the grand Going Home (2019), this is the third joint film project by Jelena and Harrie Verbeek.
A film by Jelena Kostić and Harrie Verbeek Director – Harrie Verbeek Choreography – Jelena Kostić Concept development & dramaturgy – Lou Cope Artistic advice & repetitor – Judit Ruiz Onandi Dancer – Noëmi Wagner Produced by – Stichting Kostić & Branded Cinema Production design – Hans Borgman Costume design – Biljana Grgur DoP – Richard Spierings Camera – Johannes van Beeck Gaffer – Paul Roelofse Sound – Jan Wouter Stam Art director – Tim Tubée & Hans Borgman Music – Tom Sikkers Editing & VFX – Frans Suijs & Roy Berendsen Color grading – Frans Suijs Director of animation – Matty Jorissen Production – Monne Tuinhout