"Touching and Beautiful"
Genre: Short / Drama
Release Year: 2007
Duration: 10 minutes
Directed by: Gabriela Ilijeska
Screenplay by: Gabriela Ilijeska
Produced by: Gabriela Ilijeska, Zora Ilijeska, Sonja Ilijeska
Leading Roles: Joana Popovska, Mara Busletich
Set in a dilapidated village of Macedonia, Voda follows the melancholic loneliness of an elderly woman Mara, whose family is forced to travel abroad in search of a better life. Mara longs for the company of her grandchildren and is haunted by the memory of them. Old pictures and postcards, hung on the walls of her house, are the only indication that once she led a full and happy life.
Mara spends her time visiting her husband’s grave and praying in church for her family to come back soon. On a stormy day in the village, she receives word from her loved ones. Everything changes that day.
The films of Gabriela Ilijeska are starkly visual stories that unfold the brutal and magical world of human experience. Dreams and memories are prevailing themes in her work.
Gabriela was born and raised in Ohrid, Macedonia. At an early age she developed a strong interest in the visual arts. In the search for the appropriate medium to further express herself, she found and embraced filmmaking.
In 2003 Gabriela enrolled at the School of Visual Arts in NYC to pursue studies Film and Video. After four years of study she completed 7 short films, 2 music videos and earned her BFA.
In 2007 she entered the school's Telling Tales Multi-Media Competition with her short film Strings and won 1st Place. In addition, Gabriela's thesis film Voda was nominated for Outstanding Film Award and Outstanding Cinematography Award at the SVA's Dusty Film Festival.
In Feb. 2008 Voda won the Director’s Choice Award for Best Foreign Language Short Film at Sedona International Film Festival, and in Aug. 2008 this film won The Grand Prize at "The Rimini Meeting“ International Film Festival in Italy.
Gabriela continues to pursue her passion for filmmaking. She is currently developing a feature length screenplay and working on her next short film.