Cinderella-like Tale ‘Rift in the Ice’ Looks at How Ice-skaters Are ‘Sexualized and Objectified’

In her sophomore feature, contemporary fairytale “Rift in the Ice,” Serbian director Maja Miloš revisits the underbelly of Serbian society and explores women’s integrity and sexuality in the harsh reality of contemporary Serbia. The film is a co-production between Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Netherlands and Montenegro, and features in the works-in-progress section of Cinelink, the Sarajevo Film Festival’s industry program. It is hoping to woo partners and funds for completion.

Miloš explains that “Rift in the Ice” is a Cinderella story set in Serbia in the period following the Balkans War, and posits the idea that when a young woman embraces her sexuality she becomes a kind of princess. “It is also a hero’s journey going from the lowest ranks of society to the highest.“

The ice in the title refers to the background of the protagonist, an ice skater. “I wanted her to be in sports because the treatment of the body in sports is very specific. It’s about control, about the muscles. I chose ice-skating because there is a predominant vision that it’s very gracious, very feminine and imposes a princess-like model on the ice-skater. I wanted to see girls with that kind of treatment of their body put in different situations where she is sexualized and objectified,” Miloš tells Variety.

“Rift in the Ice” has been in development for a decade, due to a prolonged research period, a complicated funding process, COVID, and Miloš becoming a mother. The film is almost completed and Miloš is close to the final cut. The director and her producer, Jelena Mitrović, from prominent Serbian production outlet Baš Čelik, are looking for funds to complete the visual effects of the film. “We have face swapping for the main actress because she is not a professional ice-skater, so we needed a double. We also have the beautiful dreams that Maja wrote,” Mitrović says.

The producers are Mitrović and Srdan Golubović for Baš Čelik (Serbia), Jožko Rutar for SPOK Films (Slovenia), Danijel Hočevar for Vertigo (Slovenia), Boris T. Matić and Lana Matić for Propeler Film (Croatia), Ines Vasiljević for Nightswim (Italy), Denis Vaslin for Volya Films (Netherlands) and Ivan Bakrač for Quadrifolium Films (Montenegro) with funds from Film Center Serbia, CE Media, Slovenian Film Center, Viba Film, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Italian Minstry for Culture (Mibact), Netherlands Film Fund, Montenegro Film Center and Eurimages.

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