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Wake Up on Mars

Dir. Dea Gjinovci / Switzerland, France / 2020 / 74’ / Polish premiere




Director: Dea Gjinovci
Screenplay: Dea Gjinovci
Cinematography: Dea Gjinovci
Editing: Catherine Birukoff
Sound: Quentin Coulon, Amélie Canini, Philippe Ciompi
Music: Gael Kyriakidis and Pavillon - Fabio Poujouly & Jeremy Calame
Producers: Britta Rindelaub, Jasmin Basic, Sophie Faudel, Dea Gjinovci, Heidi Fleisher
Production: Alva Film Production, Mélisande Films in co-production with: RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse in association with: Amok Films
World sales: CAT&Docs
Language: Albanian, Swedish



Furkan, the youngest member of a Roma family living in Sweden, attempts to come to terms with the mysterious illness of his two sisters. Ibadeta and Djeneta have been in a coma-like state for several years, victims of what has been named the  resignation syndrome. Traumatized by the thought of being sent back to Kosovo, their homeland, their minds and bodies have suddenly gone to sleep. In central Sweden, his family attempts to rebuild a normal life, but so far their asylum applications have been refused one after the other. Furkan tries to escape his reality by building his own spaceship to fulfil his dream: to go live on Mars and save his two sisters. “Wake Up on Mars” is a story of children trying to deal with the trauma inflicted on them by indifferent and cruel state bureaucracies.


Tribeca Festival, Visions du Réel, CPH:DOX, FIPADOC International Documentary Festival, DokuFest - International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Biografilm Festival (Special Mention: Best New Talent), Hainan International Film Festival, Underhill Fest, Human Rights Watch Film Festival


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Dea Gjinovci
Dea Gjinovci is a Swiss-Albanian director/producer with a background in Economics and Anthropology. She splits her time between Paris, London and Geneva. She is a 2019 Sundance Talent Forum alumna and 2019 Film Independent Fellow. Her award-winning documentary short “Sans le Kosovo” screened at several international festivals and won Best National Film at Dokufest. Her debut feature-length documentary “Wake Up on Mars” received support from the Sundance Film Institute and Ford Foundation JustFilms, and won the “Perspectives d’un doc” pitch award at Visions du Réel 2018. It has been selected as part of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In June 2018, Dea co-founded Amok Films with fellow filmmaker Antoine Goldet in Paris. Her work has been described as “a pure embodiment of human dignity” with a sense of “beauty, poetry, sensitivity and wonder”.




Red Stains
Red Stains
Red Stains
Red Stains
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