The Croatian photographer Vladimira Spindler (41) makes her film debut with the rawly emotional short documentary Mom, Why Are You Crying?, which draws directly on her own life and her battle with depression, she tells us.

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“A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with depression. For the last twenty years I’d been working as a photographer, but at some point I realized I was not finding a good way to express myself through photographs anymore. That’s when I turned to documentary. It gathers all creative aspects of my being that I have dealt with through the years: the movement of a dancer, the eye of a painter and a musician’s ability to find harmony in what is disharmonious.

“My psychiatrist considered it risky for me to document everyday life with the purpose of putting it in a film. She thought it might help me, but there was also a chance of it complicating the treatment and putting me in a worse state than I was before. In the end, luckily, it helped me get better, even though it wasn’t easy revealing my demons on screen. By that I’m not talking about my children, but that I surrendered myself completely to the definition of a documentary.

“All the experience of my life, mixed with the warm and productive atmosphere at the Restart school of documentary movie making, culminated in my final work Mom, Why Are You Crying? Because of this whole process, during which my mentor Oliver Sertić was irreplaceable, I’ve found a whole new set of passions. Screenplays, filming, editing and finally… documentaries.”