Žanete Skarule (Latvia)

Žanete Skarule is a Riga-born filmmaker. Over the years she has worked in film production in New York and Los Angeles, where she also graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with an M.F.A. in Film Directing. Žanete works in different genres and techniques — fiction, documentary, experimental, and most recently virtual reality. Filmmakers like Jonas Mekas, regarded as the godfather of avant-garde cinema, have left a significant impact on her artistic practice. Žanete worked in Mekas’ New York-based studio until 2012, when she started her journey as a filmmaker. Her award-winning debut feature documentary, Flying Monks Temple (2017), continues to play at film festivals, whilst her most recent fiction short film, No Regrets, is soon to premiere at the Tampere Film Festival.

Zhenya [co-written with Tomas Vengris] In 1970s USSR, Zhenya, a young engineer, struggles with life in the wrong body, in a society that harshly punishes any deviance from traditional gender identity. She finds hope in an ambitious Latvian surgeon, Berzkalns, who considers performing a medically historic surgery on her, while putting both of their lives at risk.