Private Project

Monk Arsenije

The intimate portrait of Monk Arsenie, once a Belgradian cult figure from the ’80s who has been living as a monk for the past 30 years, is engaged in restoring and creating a spiritual and cultural center in the Monastery of Ribnica, which had been destroyed by the Turks in the 19th century. Reminiscing on his complex past, Father Arsenie takes us into his daily activities as a monk: prayer, service, and culturing Orthodoxy come first. Yet, monk Arsenie is also a very talented painter, writer, and sculptor. As we listen to him answer questions on faith and finding love for God, we also discover his artistic creativity. Through Arsenie’s meditative and artistic process, his journey towards Orthodoxy and his complete dedication to spiritual life unravels, bringing us to back his years as a young man in New York. This intimate portrait of a modern and unconventional monk with a higher cause is accompanied by the unparalleled beauty of the landscapes that surround the Monastery of Ribnica.

  • Svetlana Cemin
    Saint Clair Cemin, Psyche
  • Svetlana Cemin
    Adam Fuss, A Landscape of Imagination
  • Svetlana Cemin
    Laura Kaplan, Love is All that Matters
  • Monk Arsenie
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Monah Arsenije
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Television
  • Runtime:
    51 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 19, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Serbia, United States
  • Language:
    English, Serbian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Svetlana Cemin

Svetlana Cemin is a writer, director, producer, and the founder of 610FILM, a Brooklyn-based art-house film production company. Her vision is to create experimental art films as well as documentaries and feature films that promote the work of artists and art in general. She was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and has been living and working on the New York-Paris route for many years. Prior to becoming an award-winning filmmaker, she worked as an internationally renowned fashion model and as an actress. Her recent director and producer credits include:
Saint Clair Cemin, Psyche (Winner Best Experimental FilmVenice Shorts 2020; Winner Best Documentary Toronto Short Film Channel Festival 2020; Winner Best Documentary Feature LAFA 2020; Winner Best Experimental Documentary at the New York Film Awards 2020; Winner Best Experimental ARFF Amsterdam 2020; Honorable Mention Hollywood New Directors 2020; Winner Best Documentary Montreal Independent Film Festival 2020; Winner Best Experimental Documentary Chicago Independent Film Festival 2020: Winner Best Experimental Documentary at the Vegas Movie Awards 2020; Winner Best Documentary at the New Wave Short Film Festival; Winner Best Documentary at the Washington Film Festival 2020; Winner Best Feature Documentary at the German United Film Festival 2020; Winner Best Documentary at the Tokyo International Short Film Festival; Winner Roma Short Film Festival Best Feature Documentary and Winner New York Tri-State International Film Festival.)
Father Arsenie (Official Selection Beldocs, 2020; Official Selection VIVA, 2020; Official Selection CYIFF 2020; Official Selection Bridges International Film Festival, 2020; Official Selection at the Kalakari Film Festival 2021) Adam Fuss, A Landscape of Imagination (Winner of Best Documentary and Audience Award at the Hollywood New Directors Film Festival 2018); (Official Selection at the March Film Festival Belgrade 2018)
BURN (Official Selection 2018 at the March Film Festival Belgrade 2018) Madeleine Hatz, A Royal Vagabond (Official Selection BANEFF 2019; Vienna Art Week, 2019)
Metamorphosis ( Media Library at the Visions du Réel,2019; Vienna Art Week, 2019); and Laura Kaplan, Love Is All That Matters (Winner of Best Experimental Short in BANFF Stockholm 2017; Winner Best Short Film LIFF 2017; Special Mention One-Reel- er Short Film Competition 2017).

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Director Statement

I dedicated this film to Monk Arsenie, a friend from my youth, someone who impressed me with his transformation from an avangarde artist to a spiritual leader of Serbia.