IDFA X De Balie: Danger Zone + Talk

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Vita Maria Drygas
Running time
Poland / UK
English / Arabic / Italian
Why would you travel to a war zone if you didn’t have to? Maybe because you need an adrenaline kick? Rick from the US couldn’t get into the military, so he came up with his own alternative. He set up a company, War Zone Tours, to organize trips to conflict areas.

Andrew Drury from the UK has been making similar trips for years. He travels around Somalia with AJ, a young man who seems barely aware of the life-threatening nature of the situations he’s voluntarily getting himself into. Eleonora from Los Angeles visits Afghanistan hoping for a “raw, real, and rough” experience—the opposite of what she has at home.

At first, war seems like an exciting game to her, a way to escape an empty life. But once she gets there, she talks about how scary she finds violence. Images of bloody attacks back up her stories. As viewers, we become travel companions with the dual role of voyeur and participant. A smart road film revealing what a luxury it is to know war as merely a spectacle.

After the film the audience is invited to join a longer conversation with Vita Drygas about her views on filming war-torn areas and Andrew Drury about his peculiar occupation, the motives behind it and his moral rationale.

About the speakers

Vita Maria Drygas is a photographer and director from Lithuania. She studied French language and literature at the University of Warsaw and film and television cinematography and photography at the Krzysztof Kieślowski Faculty of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia in Katowice. She worked as a cinematographer for documentaries, short fiction films and commercials. She directed the short documentary “Knife in the Wife” and the medium-length “Piano” which won the main prize in the Man in Danger Media Festival.

Eleonora Giuliani was born and raised in Rome and started traveling at a young age through Eastern Europe with her father shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. These early experiences fostered her interest in destinations that are viewed as unusual or dangerous. After obtaining a degree in foreign languages, she continued to travel and photograph areas of conflict with the desire to capture these unique and underrepresented people and places. 

Kamiran Sadoun is a news fixer and producer, from Syria, working with many journalists and film crews that filmed in this region. He is the winner of the 2020 Kurt Schork News Fixer Award in international journalism. 


Vita Maria DrygasDirector
Eleonora GiulianiDanger tourist
Kamiran SadounNews fixer and producer

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