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Elena Viklova is a Russian-born emerging filmmaker, who spent a significant part of her life in Switzerland and Austria, now residing in the United States. She is initially majored in Politics and is holding a Masters in Business Administration. She devoted 12 years to Strategic Management and Finance, where she reached the executive level in the biggest Central and Eastern European bank at a very early age.
Despite her busy corporate life, her family origin, which included painters, writers, and musicians, made her maintain Art as an essential form of communication and exploration of this world. Apart from being an art amateur since her childhood, she is also known as a supporter of emerging artists in her adult life.
After she met Gueorgui Pinkhassov, a member of the prestigious Magnum Photos Agency, who later became her mentor, she decided to devote more time to her artistic voice. Being focused on photography first, but then delving deeper into that community, she realized that a “decisive moment” of a still photograph is not enough for her. It led her to move from Vienna to Los Angeles – to pursue a master’s degree in filmmaking and encounter other creators to tell stories together.
“Dictionary” as a concept came to me while working on my previous short, “Through her glasses,” a film based on someone else’s love story, not mine. Meeting new people on that set and learning their perspectives made me revisit what love is.
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this question. Love definitions vary from being a mental sickness to being the only meaning of life, and none of these seem to fit. At least in my personal experience.
However, one particular concept from the Urdu culture got my attention. It says that love is a cycle that consists of seven stages, starting from attraction and ending with death, a symbolic death. These seven stages not only cover all major definitions you have ever heard but also unite them, stating that love is all of it.
To not ruin that unifying idea, I wanted to keep the story as universal as possible. That’s why you won’t hear characters’ names, details on their background, or even SEE the object of Her love. The only thing I kept as an homage to the culture this concept derives from is Her being a South Asian woman. Lines and images on screen come from my own experience that I keep as love notes letters or memories from my personal love life. But I wish my audience to decide for themselves which stage resonates with them the most and whether the resolution of that particular story is an end or a beginning.