For the third consecutive year, an NYU Abu Dhabi student's work has been screened at the Zayed University Middle East Film Festival (ZUMEFF), now in its fourth year. Sophomore Nikolai Kozak's film, Saudade, was selected for the Narrative category at the Festival, which was held on the Zayed University campus on April 29.
Kozak shot Saudade during his freshman year as his final project for Sound, Image, and Story, an NYUAD course taught by Visiting Professor of Film and New Media Joanne Savio. Aesthetically captivating and conceptually intriguing, the two-minute film reflects on a childhood memory that has "manifested as a constant undertone" throughout Kozak's life.
"At a very young age I saw my father burning leaves in our backyard," said Kozak. "The wind pushed and pulled on the smoke — at one point, it covered my father completely. For a split moment, I thought I had lost him, I would never see him again. I speak of this moment, and how it has affected me in small ways ever since."
"When a film of this quality is made, it has a life beyond the classroom," said Savio, who expressed her joy in Kozak's accomplishment. "This is the third film from Sound, Image, and Story to be selected for the festival — I'm incredibly proud of the work our freshmen have created."
"It's a great feeling — it's a real testament to the strength of honesty in film, and of Professor Savio's ability to push this exploration," said Kozak.