While undertaking a mentorship with French script consultant and editor Mary Stephen, Alena Lodkina will develop the first draft for the feature film PETROL.

Alena will also attend leading avant-garde theatre and contemporary performance art venues as part of relevant research for this project. In this interview, Alena discusses her project PETROL and the role of collaboration in filmmaking.

How would you describe your current artistic practice?

I am a filmmaker developing several short and long projects and experimenting with fiction and documentary. Currently, I’m focusing on writing a new feature film PETROL.

What led you to apply for a Cultural Trust grant?

I have known that The Ian Potter Cultural Trust supports artists from diverse disciplines to take up international development opportunities and consider this a unique opportunity for Australian artists. I was lucky to be accepted into the Cité des Arts Paris residency programme and am so lucky to have the support of The Cultural Trust.

You are planning to collaborate with other artists in France. What is the role of collaboration in your artistic practice?

Film is a collaborative medium and I think a film director is a sort of funnel for the collective consciousness of people who come together to make a film. In an early stage of a project though, collaboration is a bit more mercurial; unexpected things and experiences can inform the ideas in a script. It’s exciting to have a chance to live in a vibrant residency environment where I can learn and receive feedback and exchange ideas with international artists in various disciplines.

What do you envisage for the next stage in your career?

I hope to make another feature film! And that there’ll be people to enjoy it. To keep experimenting, learning and finding ways to speak to my audiences clearly, to surprise. And hopefully to have fun in the process.