Screening will be followed by a conversation with Želimir Žilnik. FREE SAIC student tickets will be released Tuesday, October 3rd.

Saturday, October 7, 1:00 p.m. | For more than 50 years, renowned Serbian director Želimir Žilnik has produced a body of trailblazing and politically committed films. A key member of Yugoslavia’s rebellious Black Wave film movement of the 1960s and a pioneer of docufiction, Žilnik’s perspective was shaped by atrocity at the hands of Nazis, Yugoslavia’s turbulent history and dissolution, and periods of exile. Over the years, he has used his camera to explore the experiences of outsiders of all kinds, depicting complicated social and political realities from a distinctly human perspective. 

Join us for three programs that cover the range of his career, including his essential early SHORT FILMS (Thursday, October 5, 6:00 p.m.), mid-career feature MARBLE ASS (1995) (Friday, October 6, 6:00 p.m.), and recent award-winner, LOGBOOK SERBISTAN (2015).

Over the last two decades, Žilnik has produced a startlingly original body of work on the struggles of undocumented immigrants and refugees. In the award-winning LOGBOOK SERBISTAN, he casts Middle Eastern and African refugees fleeing war and poverty as versions of themselves in stories based on their experiences seeking asylum. Most hope to reach the European Union (EU), yet, as borders close, find themselves stuck in overwhelmed refugee centers in Serbia, which is itself excluded from the EU. Harrowing and humorous, Žilnik’s film is a masterful human drama and incisive portrait of border politics.

Presented in partnership with the The Center for Eastern European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) School of Literatures, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics and UIC’s School of Art and Art History.

About the artist

Želimir Žilnik is an artist-filmmaker from Novi Sad, Serbia. He has made more than 50 feature and short films which have been exhibited internationally. Žilnik has been the subject of major career film retrospectives at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2019; Cinemateca Argentina, 2018; Mar del Plata International Film Festival, 2017; Anthology Film Archive, New York, and Harvard Film Archive, 2017; Ankara International Film Festival, 2016; Doclisboa, 2015; Arsenal, Berlin, 2015; CINUSP, São Paulo, 2014; Thessaloniki International Film Festival, 2014; and more. His work has also been featured at Documenta, Kassel; Venice Biennale; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien; Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg’ Lentos Art Museum, Linz; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Deutsches Historisches Museum and Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome; among others.

Related Events: ŽELIMIR ŽILNIK: SHORT FILMS (Thursday, October 5, 6:00 p.m.) and MARBLE ASS (Friday, October 6, 6:00 p.m.)


This event will have real-time captions (CART). For other accessibility requests, please visit or contact

SAIC Student Tickets

All CATE programs are free for SAIC students. Unless otherwise noted, SAIC student tickets are released five days prior to showtime. Tickets must be picked up in person from the Gene Siskel Film Center box office. A student ID is required.

Member Series Pass: Attend the series at a discounted rate - exclusively for Film Center members. The pass provides access to all eight screenings, with artists in conversation, for a special $40 rate. 

Purchase your pass today