Chicago Filmmakers Join New Travel TV Project
February 7, 2020 by Amanda Elliott
Film has become more comforting than entertaining. Our screens are window frames and galleries to the world.
Do you ever notice that you want to turn on the TV, but don’t really want to watch it? Questar Entertainment is working with Chicago filmmakers to tap into this new way we’re using our screens.
Ksenia Ivanova, director of the new short film JACK AND ANNA, is spearheading this new travel project called Ambience TV. Ksenia interned for Questar Entertainment while her film was in festivals, and was recently promoted to the Director and Producer of Original Content.
“We cover life as it is,” Ksenia describes Ambience TV, “Nowadays people use TV in the background when they are home - some have kitten slideshows on while they are working or cooking or have friends at their place. This is the direction we are going.”
So far, Ksenia and other filmmakers like Gregory Dixon, who directed the award-winning film OLYMPIA, have shot in several cities around the world, and multiple locations in Chicago and the Midwest in 4K resolution.
Questar Entertainment recently launched a travel streaming app through their division, GoTraveler. Ambience TV looks at travel content in a new light, what the New Yorker calls “Slow TV.” A prime example would be the wood burning fireplace, the yule log.
“Our content has an educational moment. It’s a chance for them to travel within the different cities and different cultures. We give them an opportunity to show how people live. I think it’s one of the most interesting parts.”
Meet Ksenia Ivanova
Ksenia originally started film in Russia, where she attended a famous film school in Moscow, The Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, and went on to work in Russian TV for several years. When she was accepted into Columbia’s film program, she shares, “From the beginning I was really excited about Chicago, as a child I watched so many movies set in Chicago, like HOME ALONE and THE FUGITIVE. The Chicago film community is unique, there are many talented filmmakers and artists, and I am really happy that I got a chance to keep developing my career here, and so far being successful.”
Ksenia worked as a location assistant on CHICAGO MED for NBC. She has directed eight short films and is continuing on the film festival circuit. This Valentine’s Day, JACK AND ANNA, a period piece about two women who were hiding their same sex marriage in America in the 1900’s, will screen at The Dam Short Film Festival, the largest film festival in Nevada. The film will then head to the Garden State Film Festival in New Jersey in March.
JACK AND ANNA recently won the Best Global Short: Beyond the Rainbow Award at the 2019 SCAD Savannah Film Festival. It was also an Official Selection at the 28th St. Louis International Festival in the Oscar® Qualifying Category.
Here is the new trailer for JACK AND ANNA:
Amanda Elliott covers the TV and Film scene for Screen Magazine. She works alongside independent filmmakers as the Marketing Manager for Questar Entertainment, a film and TV production and distribution company, and its subsidiaries, GoTraveler and Cow Lamp Films.