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Veronika Lišková‘s documentary „The Visitors“ (2023) immerses viewers in the unique setting of Svalbard, as anthropologist Zdenka Sokolícková and her family relocate to Longyearbyen, Norway. The film, shot over two years, delves into Sokolícková’s study on the impact of climate change on the local community, revealing unexpected social tensions and anxieties.
Lišková, with a background in social anthropology, was personally connected to the narrative. Having known Zdenka from their student days, Lišková received an email seeking advice on a camera for Zdenka’s two-year research project in Svalbard. Intrigued by the story, Lišková decided to document Zdenka’s journey, capturing the nuances of life in the Arctic.
The documentary unfolds as Zdenka, armed with a prestigious grant, explores the effects of globalization on Longyearbyen’s residents. Interviews conducted in multiple languages showcase the community’s diversity and transience, bringing to light the intricate tapestry of identities amid a changing town.
Svalbard, known for its dramatic landscapes and wildlife, boasts a population of 2,504 as of January 2023. Dominated by coal mining, tourism, and research, the region takes pride in its Sustainable Destination label. However, ongoing challenges like climate change, pollution, and the ban on cats due to their impact on local wildlife present complex issues.
Veronika Lišková, born in Prague in 1982, brings a wealth of experience to her filmmaking journey. A graduate in cultural studies and screenwriting, she debuted with „Daniel’s World,“ which premiered at the Berlinale Festival in 2015. Lišková’s involvement in documentary training programs and media markets reflects her commitment to fostering talent within the industry.
„Festivals and Awards“:
- One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival – Best Czech Film