Želimir Žilnik (b.1942, Yugoslavia) is an artist-filmmaker from Novi Sad, Serbia. In his highly prolific career, Žilnik has made over 50 feature and short films, which have been exhibited internationally at film festivals including Berlin, Toronto, Rotterdam, Moscow and Oberhausen. From the late 60s, his socially engaged films in former Yugoslavia earned him accolades, but also censorship in the 70s and the 90s for his unflinching criticism of the government apparatus. His power to observe and unleash compelling narratives out of the lives of ordinary people is the common thread throughout his work.
Recently, Žilnik has been the subject of major career film retrospectives at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2019; Cinemateca Argentina, 2018; Mar del Plata Int. Film Festival, 2017; Anthology Film Archive, New York & Harvard Film Archive, 2017; Ankara Int. Film Festival, 2016; DocLisboa, 2015; Arsenal, Berlin, 2015; Cinusp, Sao Paulo, 2014; Thessaloniki Int. Film Festival, 2014, etc.
Since 2010, his work has also been featured in programs of art galleries, museums and art institutes around the world (Documenta, Kassel; Venice Biennale; ICA London; MUseum MOderner Kunst Foundation Ludwig Vienna; Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City).
Throughout 2018/2019, Žilnik's films and video installations have been featured in programs of art institutions like The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, The Renaissance Society in Chicago, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Flaherty Seminar New York, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst in Oldenburg, Lentos Art Museum in Linz, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Berlin, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, etc.
Alongside his production work, Žilnik has been active in educational areas: since 1997 he has been a mentor and executive producer in many international workshops, in Europe and USA.
Photo: Vuk Vukmirovic.
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