Synopsis: A freelance photographer in New York City, suddenly finds himself under a bleak confinement of his own mind while the entire city falls under a physical lockdown. His work prospects wean prompting him to grapple with a new psychological reality. Isolated he roams the deserted streets in the night his mind becomes increasingly restless. But as the time passes by, a strong sensation of being followed by a mysterious stranger creeps inside, while the empty city continues to draw him in. An unknown shadow embraces him in the dark night, reasserting some comfort that he is not alone as he attempts to get closer to it. Over time, his past and present photography oscillate between fantasy and reality surrendering him into the asylum of his own mind.
Arselajda Buraku (Support)
“Artsanity” is a short suspense film which sprang from dwelling on the growing uncertainty during early stages of Covid-19 pandemic.
I was thinking of how to keep my mind clear and strong and I decided to photograph the metamorphosis of NYC almost every night, starting at midnight, as part of my own artistic salvation.
As a New Yorker I’ve always been comfortable with this city and its people, but this time my experience was different. During that time, standing on the empty streets of a silenced city, I sensed that there was an enormous shift and that the change was coming.
At the beginning, I felt scared, vulnerable and haunted, being on my own on the lonely, dark streets but then, night after night, the city acquired a magical dimension – I almost adopted the city like an urban orphan, with its own wounds and suppressed pulsation.
I was in deep pain and the streets’ quietness started to pull me in. I wanted to talk to these giant, solid buildings to hear their stories. I gradually started to feel at ease. After several weeks of endlessly cruising the city’s desolate streets in the night, I was convinced that I would like to somehow transfer this unique inner experience into a visual form.
Those same thoughts were growing on me every night until I shared my experience with my co-writer. “Artsanity” film was born.
Aleksandar Kostic is a genre-blending film director, cinematographer, writer, and producer based in New York City. His visionary films often draw upon close collaboration with diverse artists and performers, such as Joan La Barbara and Morton Subotnick. His distinctive cinematography style has been praised by the New York Times, LA Times, and Hollywood Reporter, for the film Allure. Aleksandar’s work also includes documentaries showcasing Secretary-General of the U.N., Javier Perez de Cuellar, and former owner CBGB’s, Hilly Kristal. Aleksander’s award-winning work has been screened internationally at the PÖFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Museum of the Moving Image with Queens World Film Festival, MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin, Anthology archive NYC, Big Apple Film Festival, and others. His current project, the feature film “Capio,” is a sci-fi drama that also offers a sharp social commentary on the impact of the unprecedented infiltration of technology into our daily lives.