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Director's Bio

Nika Jaksik

Nika Jaksik

Hometown: Toronto
Age: 32

Nika Jaksic is a Toronto-based filmmaker who is currently in her final year of the Film and Television Advanced Diploma Program at Humber College. In 2007, she produced the feature documentary film, Profile of a Winner (an official selection of LG Life's Good FilmFest) and has since worked on many short film projects. Refugee Dogs is the first film Nika has directed.

Name three of your interests (not film-related) and one pet peeve. 

I love to be creative in the kitchen and invent delicious meals. I collect gorgeous shoes. And I love dogs - I try to take my tiny dog Tito with me wherever I go. A big pet peeve of mine is a limp handshake.

What is your favourite movie?

I'd have to say that the film that often comes to mind is Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation. I love the fact that the film truly describes a very unique set of emotions and leaves the audience with a complete understanding of the situation.

When did you make your first film? What was it about?

My first film was about Team Canada's Participation in the MuayThai World Championship in Thailand. I was the producer of the film and had no clue what I was doing. Even with no formal training, we pulled through, learned a lot, got into a film festival and sold a lot of DVDs. The experience helped me decide to go to film school.

Sum up your film, Refugee Dogs, in a 5-word sentence. 

A soldier saves helpless dogs.

Which films or directors inspire you?

The film was inspired partially by a YouTube video that was posted by our main subject's cousin. Felicia Baird (the producer) and I couldn't stop crying when we saw it - that's what really got us passionate about making this film.

What's your motto as a filmmaker?

Never settle for less than perfect. You can't be too tired or too burnt out - you have to keep the momentum all the way until you reach your goals for the film.

What's your dream film project?

I've always wanted to make a documentary about life on the compounds of the fundamentalist Mormon church.

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