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Interview: Love, life and thinking outside the box with Maja Borg
"We are technically well informed, but we are not wise" – Jacque Fresco
This year's Edinburgh International Film Festival will hold the World Premiere of Future My Love, Maja Borg's debut feature. For Swedish director Borg, the hosting of such an event in Scotland's capital is extremely significant. She has spent the past few years living in this country, and in that time she studied in Edinburgh.
"It's brilliant. It feels like completing a full cycle,” Maja explains. “I first came to Scotland to learn English and work bar jobs to finance my first documentary. After making that film I started Edinburgh College of Art, made friends for life and fell in love.”
It was love that played an influential role in sending Maja on a journey that eventually resulted in this documentary. In 2007 she created Ottica Zero, a short film which followed her then partner Nadya Cazan, an Italian actress who rejected the opportunity to star in films, instead choosing to search for a new way of living.
Her search ultimately lead the two of them to Jacque Fresco, a futurist living in Florida. He dedicates his life to The Venus Project, with the help of artist Roxanne Meadows. The project explores a new society, one based on human and environmental concern.
Ottica Zero is a powerful documentary in its own right, but Maja realised at the time that her work was unfinished.
“It was very clear for me when making Ottica Zero that I would not be able to fully portray such a vast and holistic social design concept as The Venus Project, so I knew my work with them would not end with that film.”
This resulted in five more years of work, culminating in Future My Love.
“It's about our ability to change both our society and ourselves in times of crises,” Maja says, explaining the film.
“It focuses on economy as a human relationship and explores the life work of Jacque Fresco, The Venus Project and their design of an alternative economic system.”
Maja Borg and Tilda Swinton at the EIFF
The recent wave of anti-capitalist demonstrations around the globe make the timing of this film almost impeccable, and Maja believes the ideas presented by Fresco could provide a solution to many of the current problems in the world.
“That is what Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows are all about; an alternative, not just to capitalism but to the monetary system in itself.”
The film is already gaining recognition, and has been nominated for the Michael Powell Award at this year's festival. The award is making a return to the event after being absent last year, and for the first time has documentary films competing alongside dramas.
“Well I think it's great, especially that the genre division is broken down this year,” Maja explains. “My work has always been somewhere between documentary and fiction. For me genre and style is secondary to the subject, so it's always nice when other people are also thinking outside these boxes.”
Thinking outside of the box is also something that Maja would ask of her audience.
“My hope is that people will get to share the same brilliant perspectives on the world as I have when making this film. Being allowed to enter Fresco's projections of the future has enabled me to look at our present society in a new way. It has made me lighter and less cynical about the world.
“For the emotional strand of the film, I hope people will recognise themselves and through them find a direct entry point to the material and make the film their own.”
If you are open to new ideas, or simply want to experience some of Maja's emotional journey for yourself, then don't miss your chance to see Future My Love at this year's film festival.
Future My Love will be showing at Cineworld on Friday 29th June at 20.30.