Filmmaking is a passion for Ivan Ramin Radnik, the Humber graduate recognized by Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival for his film The Land of Nod.
“The film took that darkness that was forming up inside of me and brought it out. So in a way, filmmaking is like therapy for me,” said Radnik.
The Land of Nod, which won a runner-up position in the live action category in the Canadian Festival, is made by Humber students: Radnik along with producer Bec Taggart, writer Natalia Medvedeva and cinematographer Julian Zakrzewski.
After his movie was screened on January 14th at Bell TIFF Lightbox, Radnik is smiling humbly and already working on a feature film script.
With parents who’d stay up to watch the Oscars, Radnik was exposed to films at a young age. Starting out with home videos, he liked the idea of filming and would readily shoot documentaries or videos at school.
He says he tackled the dark material of Land of Nod, inspired by true events involving a murder in Russia, because he was facing his own demons.
“I was questioning my career path. So in the story, Nicholas (son of the murderer) was struggling with who he is. I guess that’s what made me connect with the character.
“I had so many images in my head and different ways of tackling the script. I think that’s what intrigued me about the story… it was so well written.”
With Medvedeva’s visually compelling final script and a team that Radnik says he would love to work with again, the film was originally made as a final project for Humber’s Film and Television Production program. It later got selected as one of the student short films for the national film festival.
“My mentality is ‘no matter what I do, make it the best’,” says Radnik. “It wasn’t my goal to participate in the festival. The day I found out that the movie had been selected, I was working as a locations PA (production assistant) for a TV show. It was at the start of a 16-hour day, so I was pretty happy at work.”
Produce Taggart say of Radnik that he’s “fairly assured. He knows what he sees and he’s very collaborative. He’s also very open to feedback and with him everything is a team effort.”
While Radnik’s next script is still in the initial stages, he is also in talks with Taggart about working together and a message on his phone informs him that Medvedeva wants to discuss a new script.