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The Art of Confession

The Art of Confession
The Art of Confession follows Serbian singer/composer Jelena Buca as she shares her story of surviving attempted sexual assault. Through a combination of narration and physical storytelling, Jelena takes us on a journey through her trauma and recovery, using her music to heal and encourage others to speak out.
Director Biography - Aleksandra Svonja
Aleksandra Svonja is a founder and CEO of production company Classica Nova. She is also a writer, director, and producer of TV shows Our Farmland (two seasons), Profession (four seasons), VET Heroes, Space on Earth, Let's talk about it with Nevena Buca. She also directed and produced three documentary films titled: Sing to Celebrate Life (2022) and Diary of a Tennis Player (2022), The Art of Confession (2023). She obtained a master’s degree from the prestigious Ivy League University College London (UCL) with outstanding grades. Prior to that, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science and Media Communications from Webster University. In 2022, Aleksandra completed a Film and TV Producing program at New York Film Academy (NYFA). She received more than 20 awards among which nine were received in 2022. Aleksandra is a member of The Association of Documentary Filmmakers of Serbia, Film Fatales and Association of Business Women in Serbia. She speaks Serbian, English, Spanish and Russian. Director Statement I created, directed, produced, and financed this film, The Art of Confession, because I wanted to offer my contribution to end violence against women. I realized that I could make "a platform" for women to talk freely but to also make their art visible through physical storytelling. This is what The Art of Confession stands for – women who speak about their experiences but also women who empathize, who stand up for other women and use their art to interpret other women’s stories. Art is supposed to free us, to empower us and give us space to express what we feel and how we perceive everyday life. For years, I have followed the news and annual reports in my country and abroad, noticing numbers and figures which seem to be more and more discouraging. While watching this film, I wanted the viewer to experience (see and hear) raw emotion, real pain, suffering but also encouragement to speak up, raise awareness and protect oneself and other victims/survivors. I wanted this film to feel very personal, as if you were in a room with the victim. Some of the challenges making this film included numerous interview cancellations by potential interlocutors which are/were, at the same time, victims of domestic abuse and violence. In the end, our protagonist turned out to be a well-known Serbian singer/writer/songwriter who survived an attempted rape 18 years ago. Today, she managed to not only talk about what happened to her, but she also composed original music for this film following her own sentiments. To create this film, I was inspired by strength of all women I spoke to in preproduction phase. To add to that, I continue to be inspired by thousands of courageous women across the world. This film will always be special to me because its every second is a world of feelings and emotion. In addition, it is an almost exclusively all-female project (female director, producer, editor, composer, choreographer, dancer, translator) which is my first experience of this kind, and it really was incredible. I plan to try to raise funds to make many more of these confessions in which confession of a victim will be depicted through some form of art – it could be painting, dance, music, etc. So I hope to either make a feature film or a number of short ones. Ratings