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Wake Up On Mars

Fall Grants 2019

Dea Gjinovci / Feature Documentary / Switzerland, France, Qatar / 2020 / 74 min / Original Language: Albanian, Swedish / Interests: Creative Documentary


Furkan, the youngest member of a Roma family living in Sweden, attempts to come to terms with the mysterious illness of his two sisters. Ibadeta and Djeneta have been in a coma-like state for several years, victims of what has been named the “resignation syndrome.” Traumatized by the thought of being sent back to Kosovo, their homeland, their minds and bodies have suddenly gone to sleep. In central Sweden, his family attempts to rebuild a normal life, but so far, their asylum applications have been refused one after the other. Furkan tries to escape his reality by building his own spaceship to fulfil his dream: to go live on Mars and save his two sisters. At the core of this film lies this one question: “What happens to human beings, and in particular children, when all hope is gone?”


Dea Gjinovci
Dea Gjinovci
Sophie Faudel, Britta Rindelaub, Jasmin Basic, Heidi Fleisher, Dea Gjinovci
Production Company
Mélisande Films

About the Director

Dea Gjinovci is a Swiss-Albanian director/producer with a background in Economics and Anthropology; she splits her time between Paris, London and Geneva. She is a 2019 Sundance Talent Forum alum and 2019 Film Independent Fellow. Her award-winning documentary short ‘Sans le Kosovo’ screened at several international festivals and won Best National Film at Dokufest International Film. Her debut feature-length documentary ‘Wake Up on Mars’ received support from the Sundance Film Institute and Ford Foundation JustFilms, and won the “Perspectives d’un doc” pitch award at Visions du Réel 2018. It has been selected as part of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In June 2018, she co-founded Amok Films with fellow filmmaker Antoine Goldet in Paris. Her work has been described as “a pure embodiment of human dignity” with a sense of “beauty, poetry, sensitivity and wonder”.

Awards and Festival History


Visions du Reel 2020 (WP – online edition)


  • Main Contact

    Dea Gjinovci

    Astrae Productions

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