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Life of Ivanna (2021)


Ivanna is a young woman who belongs to the indigenous people "Nenet" from the Russian Arctic.

Motivated by the deteriorating living conditions in the tundra and climate change, she wants a fresh start. She leaves the traditional lifestyle of Nenet's reindeer herding and emigrates to the city with her five children.

An intimate depiction of a woman and her feelings in a violent transition of life.

Ivanna, a 26-year-old mother of five children, is living in the Arctic region in northwest Siberia.  She lives a traditional nomadic life, driving her herd of reindeer at the tundra as her family did for centuries. But due to the environmental side effects of climate change most of her reindeers are dying and she knows that she will soon be ruined and forced to make a dramatic decision.

Her husband, Gena, has already left the family. He moved to the city, hoping to find a job as an oil worker in the Russian oil fields but didn’t succeed and spends his time drinking and fighting.

Ivanna is willing to give her marriage a last chance. She will give up her traditional life, leave the tundra, move to the city, and get a job at Gazprom. But time has changed, Gena became violent and alcoholic and Ivanna realizes that the civilized city life is not what she expected.

But there is no way back, Ivanna will have to take life into her own hands and secure a future for her and her five children.

The film follows Ivanna and her family closely for four years through her dramatic life-changes, from the harsh life at the tundra to the modern life in the Siberian city of Norilsk.


CPH:DOX 2021

(April 21 - May 2)

In main competition Program:



(April 29 to May 9)

World Showcase Program


goEast 2021

DOK.fest München 2021


Watch our trailer (TBA)

Format & Length

Feature Documentary.

  • Format & Length: HD 52/80 min available

  • Director: Renato Borrayo Serrano

  • Written by: Daria Sidorova, Renato Borrayo Serrano

  • Main Producer: Vladislav Ketkovich - Ethnofund

  • Co-Producers: Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas - Ten Thousand Images, Pertti Veialainen - Illume Oy, Marianna Kaat - Baltic Film Production

  • Cinematography: Daria Sidorova, Renato Borrayo Serrano

  • Editor: Inge-Lise Langfeldt, Renato Borrayo Serrano

  • Additional Editors: Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas, Phil Jandaly

  • Music: Timo Steiner

  • Sound Design: Israel Banuelos

  • Financed by: Renato Borrayo Serrano, Ethnofund, Marina Razbezhkina, Viken Filmsenter, Fritt ord Foundation, Estonian Film Institute, Eesti Kultuurkapital, Norwegian Film institute

  • Distributor: Cat & Docs

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"The jaw drops when watching this poetic film Life of Ivanna about a strong woman with a desolate life".

Politiken, April 30th, 2021

"A Stark, Striking Portrait of a Tough Tundra Nomad"

Variety, April 28th, 2021

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"Serrano’s film follows the adage that the best way to learn about people in general is to look at one person very carefully. Because the deeper you look inside one individual, the more of the outside world, and of all people, and all of life you’ll find reflected. For life is so much bigger on the inside."

Business Doc Europe, April 25th, 2021


"Life of Ivanna is one of those rare films which combines an extremely charismatic lead with beautifully artistic direction."

Backseat Mafia, April 24th, 2021

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