MĀRA RAVINS is a writer, director and creative producer. A story teller. She has worked professionally for over 25 years in the film industry, on low and high budget productions, starting out as an art director for independent Canadian films, such as Blood & Donuts.
A recipient of numerous grants from the Canada, Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils, Danish and Canadian National Film Boards, her films have played at international festivals garnering critical acclaim. She is the first Canadian/ Latvian to receive full production funding from the Open Society Institute for her feature docu-drama Matin Dans Une Forêt de Pins. She has served as a jury member on arts councils and remains an avid cinephile. Mara continues to work with celluloid photography, a passion cultivated for over 30 years.
ARTIST'S STATEMENT: In all my work I have sought to discover some form of truth and beauty as an answer to the questions: What do we value? Where does one find happiness, a sense of self and belonging? Where is the potential for genuine connection with others and the world through accepting our weaknesses, fears, moral and emotional disarray outside of the confines of judging ourselves, our actions and others as good or evil, right or wrong. No matter how desperate, lonely and isolated one may feel, some form of grace will always enter, if one allows for that, as hope, beauty or love.
My work continues to explore these themes, with an emphasis on redemption within exile in the feature screenplay Siberian Story. My current project adapting Karin Fossum’s brilliant crime novel Den Onde Viljen to screen, explores morality and accountability after a late night foolish decision causes the death of a young immigrant.
With specific regard to the medium of film, I have always been interested in the aesthetics of visual language, focusing on the textures, colours, spatial design, lighting and sound within each setting, environment and landscape, attentive to the finest details in their potential to create a more evocative, seductive, metaphorical, associative possibility for the viewer to experience a story through the medium of cinema. This allows me to explore the relationship between place and the emotional rendering, foreshadowing and development of a character's inner emotional world.
I remain deeply inspired by the works of Antonioni, Techine, Kurosawa, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Kim Ki Duk, Andrea Arnold, to name a few of my favourite film artists.