About the project

What made you go with this concept for FAIL?
I have been doing a lot of research on happiness and failure in different cultures. It was very interesting to see the vast differences on how we approach the two in different places in the world. In the US, usually we hear stories about people going through a lot of hardship, but never giving up, and finally succeeding. Here, failure is good as long as it ends with success. But it was very interesting to see that in different countries, failure is celebrated as is, without any expectations of a better ending. Looking at failure in that way, gives more freedom. The journey is more important than the destination. This idea was the starting point of my film. I was exploring the unknown, the grey area between failure and success.

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Your piece is so abstract…what was your thought process with this?
The creative process inspired me. As a creative director and photographer, I go through the process of idea development to final product (advertisements, photographs, films etc) daily. I never know when the best ideas will come. My subconscious works on a given creative problem when I am not aware of it. Ideas sometimes come in the middle of the night, or when I am on vacation, or when I am swimming or looking at the sky. But that is what makes this whole process so exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. So my film is about the search for the best idea, but it does not end with finding the best idea. The moment when I succeed and I exhale is very, very short. After the success, the process continues on a loop, forever. After one creative problem is solved, another one begins.

How does the idea of failure play into your role as a teacher? I mean, we are so hard-wired to push for success in school.
I urge my students to see failure as a positive thing. We cannot allow fear of failure to guide our lives. Failure is something we all deal with, and we all know it is scary. But we can change our own views of how we see failure and success. We can see it as a push to get better not something that will stop us.

I share my own stories of failure and success with my students and I think that helps as well. We are all human beings and we all need to understand that we are all dealing with similar problems. Nobody has all the answers. In a way, hearing about these experiences, pushes them to give themselves permission to try new things.

I always tell them to work hard and to face their fears. It is always better to try something new even if it does not work out, than to stay comfortable and to do
the things they have always done. If we never tried walking when we were little because we were falling, we never would have been be able to run today.

About the Filmmaker

Jasna Bogdanovska
Assistant professor of photography/Creative Director/Photographer
Instagram: @jasnalika


Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards raised the notion of failure to epic heights, coming in dead last in all three of his ski jumps at the 1988 Calgary Games.