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Portland is home to a strong Bosnian community and many are former refugees who made home here after the Balkan War in 1990’s. In the animated documentary film Pour the Water as I Leave, which is currently in production in Portland, they tell their story, many for the first time. Experience the filmmaking process in the first installation of a series which invites viewers to walk inside this film-in-progress. The exhibition features behind the scenes photography by Simone Fischer, hand drawn animation cels and animated excerpts from the film by Daniela Repas, the Bosnian born and Portland based director, animator and creator of Pour the Water as I Leave. Produced by Shrine13 and Six Billion Suns Productions, and hosted by Sator Projects. The exhibition is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.


by Daniela Repas Director, Animator, Writer Pour the Water as I Leave


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Pour the Water as I Leave is an animated, narrative/documentary hybrid feature film. The film will be constructed out of thousands of hand drawn animation cels, currently ranging to 900 drawings. Here, you can view a selection of animation cels, key frames and landscape drawings used as scene background. 

Key Frame : In animation and filmmaking, a key frame is a drawing or shot that defines the starting and ending points of a smooth transition. 

Animation Cel : a cel, short for celluloid, is a  sheet on which objects are drawn or painted for traditional, hand-drawn animation.

My stories have always been rooted in my Bosnian heritage. This one dances between personal and shared, between fictional and factual and it captures my fascination with rhythms that occur when these collide. To survive a war requires as much luck as it does imagination. Pour the Water as I Leave is my homage to all the moments that lingered between both. Knowing that the narrative required both fiction and fact to become complete, I brought in animation as a medium, dancers as protagonists and real people as the foundation. Through this dichotomy of artistic expression, conceptual abstraction and prose I was able to approach Balkan culture with appropriate complexity in storytelling.


The artistic vision for this project fluctuates between aesthetics of cinema, animation and drawing. This overlap allows the narrative to flex and move between what is real and what is imagined. The animation style is a combination of rotoscoping technique and drawing frame by frame animation. The source material for all the visual elements is filmed as live action and then translated into animation. The presence of the artist’s hand is achieved through the finesse of the line and mark making."


Daniela Repas Director, Animator, Writer Pour the Water as I Leave


by Simone Fisher Still Photographer Pour the Water as I Leave


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“As a woman of Balkan (Croatian) descent, this project is extremely personal to me on the base level of connecting to stories from the region of my ancestry to culturally enrich myself and art practice through a film collaboration. As the Still Photographer and Art Director of the Dance Production for the film Pour the Water as I Leave, I love the idea of documenting the making of the film to bring back and share with our Portland arts community. This collaborative photo exhibition and art installation showcases behind-the-scenes photographs I took on location during the narrative production with dance company Whim W’Him Seattle Contemporary Dance and lead dancers Kylie Shea and Karl Watson, pictured above. I am also photographing the films interviewees, including people who are part of the Bosnian community here in Portland, during the interview production. We aim to make space and celebrate Balkan and other refugee communities within the Portland area as a way of healing and resilience through art and storytelling. The exhibition is intended to spark new conversations about concepts of home, displacements, equity, and war and its consequences. Today’s global audience is actively pursuing solutions to these issues, and by offering an insight into the Bosnian experience, we intend to expose the often forgotten aspects of displaced communities.”

Simone Fisher Still Photographer Pour the Water as I Leave

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