Crew

Maia Martiniak

production manager, script and director


“To realize and accept that there indeed is violence at birth was probably the hardest part of making this film. I keep being amazed when I see that we have accepted a part of the violence as a part of our lives, and we do not find it awkward anymore if someone manipulates, disrespects, and restricts personal freedom. How could we do that? The coming of a new life in the world should be the most beautiful moment of a child and the mother, to be experienced in intimacy and safety. We should strive to ensure that this process is not unnecessarily disturbed by unauthorized medical interventions, to ensure the support of the woman at birth and the continuity of her birthing process. We should constantly strive to maintain humanity in the act of providing healthcare, as it is empathy and thinking that makes us unique and differentiates us from other beings on this Earth.”
The coming of a new life in the world should be the most beautiful moment of a child and the mother.
Maia Martiniak (Ing. Mgr. art. Mária Martiniaková, born in 1977, Slovakia) is a director and a production manager of documentary films, television programming, events, and commercials. She holds an Industry Engineer degree from the Technical University of Košice (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2001) and a Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (Director of Documentary Filmmaking, 2016). She holds the Grand Prize from film festival AGROFILM NITRA 2016 (Slovakia) and Best documentary from SUNLIGHT International Film Festival, Berlin 2017 (Germany) for the film GREEN TRANSITIONS.
In her documentaries, she focuses primarily on environmental issues, development cooperation and the issue of respect for the rights of children and women; TRADING WITH FEAR (vaccination of children, Academy of Performing Arts 2012), ZUNA (home births, Academy of Performing Arts 2012), HELP AFRICA – PYCO FOR UGANDA (work of UNICEF in Uganda, TV JOJ 2013), GREEN TRANSITIONS (work of People in Peril in Kenya, People in peril, Mediapulz & RTVS 2015), MORNING OF BUTTERFLIES (spontaneous abortions, Academy of Performing Arts 2016), UNSEEN (birth trauma, ARINA , Mediapulz & RTVS 2020).

Silvia Panáková

producer


"I was intrigued by the topic of trauma after delivery the moment the director approached me. The production of the film included various emotional and realization phases that we tried to overcome together to find the best solutions. The film UNSEEN opens up several themes and lets viewers make their own opinion by observing events. I believe that after watching the film, every single viewer will think about that if a person's attitude to others changes, life will be better and more beautiful for many."
I believe that after watching the film, every single viewer will think about that if a person's attitude to others changes, life will be better and more beautiful for many.
Mgr. art. Silvia Panáková graduated in production and management from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava in 2003. She also studied film production at Community College in Sydney, Australia. Silvia is a member of the European Film Academy, Slovak Film and Television Academy, ACE (Ateliér de Cinéma Europeén), and European film promotion. In 2010, she was awarded the International Young Screen Entrepreneur, organized by the British Council in Slovakia, and in 2015 she was awarded Heart in the Palm by the Ferdinand Martinengo Society “For bringing Slovakia and Australia closer together through the world of film.”
In addition to film production, she has been organizing the Czech and Slovak Film Festival in Australia since 2014. The production company ARINA was founded in 2004 and it produced or co-produced films such as JAN PALACH (Film Critics Award for the Best Film of 2018), BACKSTAGE, FAIR PLAY, LYRICIST, IN YOUR DREAMS, THE BLUE TIGER, THE PRAGUE ORGY, JIŘÍ SUCHÝ - TACKLING LIFE WITH EASE, TIME OF GRIMACES, and many other.  More about films at www.arinafilm.sk

Ingrid Mayerová

film dramaturgy


“When a dentist does a lousy job or the surgery on your meniscus goes wrong, you defend yourself, appeal, write complaints and suggestions to investigate the misconduct of medical staff. And what about poor childbirth? What about the profound trauma that a woman goes through during childbirth, and then can't get rid of it for years? Childbirth is a unique event in a woman's life. It is part of her lifelong continuum. It is inseparable from what was in her life before and from what will follow. Childbirth is every time unique and unrepeatable in the experience of the two key actors: the mother and the child. It is an intense manifestation of the power of nature and human nature that leaves a deep lifelong impression in the woman. Is a birthing woman a patient that needs to go to the hospital? Is a child's coming to world a diagnosis? Are infusions, analgesia, surgery a necessary part of childbirth? Maia Martiniak is intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually deeply connected with the feminine world. She asks questions and seeks answers to the great mystery of birth. Because “The division of the drop of God's consciousness into the male and female principles and the endless desire of both these parts for union are the cause of life.”
Childbirth is every time unique and unrepeatable in the experience of the two key actors: the mother and the child.

Prof. Mgr. Ingrid Mayer, ArtD. (1963) graduated from FAMU Prague (1987) and later from the Summer Academy of Cultural Management of the Council of Europe in Salzburg (1996). She specializes in dramaturgy of documentary films and is a teacher and head of the Studio of Documentary Film at the Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts. In 2014, she was appointed Professor in the Film Art and Multimedia field.


Bibliography:

Miklós Jancsó (monograph, Prague 1990), Dramaturgy of Non-fiction Audiovisual Production (textbook, Bratislava 2000), Basic Documentary School (compilation of proceedings, Bratislava 2001), Remains the Man Martin Slivka—co-editors R. Lužica and R. Urc (monograph, Bratislava 2009).

A selection from filmography:

Screenplay for the TV movie Machinko, co-author of the screenplay of the film Martin Slivka: Man Who Planted Trees, directing of the documentaries Interviews about the story, Nataša Bohumila Jolana, dramaturgy of many authorial, social, popular-educational, and educational documentary films. Author of a 12-part documentary series Women about Women, author of a documentary triptych Other Women, dramaturgist and author of stories for documentary series The Magical World of Animated Film, Slovak Cinema, For Mr. Teacher, The First, White Crows and Heroes Among Us, and My Emigrant, and feature documentaries Afghan Women Behind the Wheel, Graduates, Judge Me and Prove Me, I Passed The Border, Lyricist, When Land Is Looking for Its Heaven, The Bright Spot, and other in production.

Biba Bohinská

script dramaturgy


“It is important to talk about things that are still not ʻtalked aboutʼ in our society. Postpartum trauma, the behaviour of hospital staff who tend to forget that women in labour are healthy women and not patients, the lack of dignity of some “proven” birthing practices, and the inability to listen to the motherʼs body are still a taboo subject in our society. So are many other topics related to femininity, natural processes fundamental for life, and a natural return to female instincts. We try so hard to be civilized that we cease to be natural and connected to the nature. I am glad I could participate in the making of Unseen, a film that is trying to name some of these topics and show that things can be done differently. We do not aim at offending anyone or condemning procedures that are correct. However, sometimes it is a good idea to go back to your own nature and trust the human body to be wiser than all the brains and wise heads of the world.”
I am glad I could participate in the making of Unseen, a film that is trying to name some of these topics and show that things can be done differently.
Biba Bohinská is the main author of the successful and award-winning series of RTVS: SECRET LIVES and SECRET LIVES 2. The series won the Igric Prize for screenplay and the main prize at the Pilsen Film Festival in the series production category and received an OTO nomination.
Biba Bohinská is also a co-author of the series THE NEST, which is currently breaking the audience records at Radio and Television Slovakia. As the main screenwriter, she worked on three seasons of the popular series THE NURSES and RED BAND SOCIETY for TV Markíza, and is a co-author of the popular series DADDIES. She was a screenwriter for many film projects, including PIARGY, BACKSTAGE, 8 HEADS OF MADNESS, LITTLE FURIOUS ROBINSON, UNSEEN, and others. She has also written three books: THE WOMAN IN ORIGINAL VERSION, SECRET LIVES 1 and SECRET LIVES 2.

Zuzana Krišková

consultant


“I have been with the topic of trauma from childbirth for several years now and I often had to explain that this topic really deserves attention. I witnessed how the existence of trauma was denied and ridiculed, and women were being ashamed of their feelings and guilt induced. When I was watching UNSEEN, I had chills. Maia Martiniak managed to come close to the causes of the trauma and show its destructive power on the lives of women. We can see the contrast between the care that aims to “process” a woman quickly and the care that fully respects a woman as a unique being; we have the opportunity to see childbirth as a wonderful and empowering experience of the birth of a new family. Maia was able to capture both the fragility and the strength of women that is present in women regardless of how many injuries they carry.”
Maia Martiniak managed to come close to the causes of the trauma and show its destructive power on the lives of women.
Ing. Zuzana Krišková, PhD., completed her engineering studies in 2006 and her PhD studies in 2011 at the Faculty of Economic Informatics of the University of Economics in Bratislava. She has been intensively studying the areas related to pregnancy and childbirth since 2008. This interest also resulted in the founding of the civic association Ženské kruhy (Women's Circles), of which she is a co-founder and the chairman since 2015.
She participates in its community, advocacy, research, and publication activities. She completed several seminars on trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder after delivery. She led several workshops and lectures focused on rude and non-respectful treatment of women at childbirth from 2013 to 2016. Since 2014, she has been working as a consultant in several Slovak and foreign research projects focused on various aspects of childbirth care. She is the co-author of the publication Women – Mothers – Bodies: Women’s Human Rights in Obstetric Care in Healthcare Facilities in Slovakia, issued in 2015 by NGO Občan, demokracia a zodpovednosť (Citizen, Democracy and Accountability) in cooperation with association Ženské kruhy (Women's Circles).

Michal Babinec

cinematographer


“Before shooting the film UNSEEN, I knew almost nothing about the trauma of childbirth. But I was intrigued by the topic, and as part of the preparation for the film and the filming itself, I understood how important it is for women to have a good experience of childbirth, how much it can affect women themselves, as well as their relationship with their child, partner, and other people. In addition, I became a father during the shooting and the knowledge and experience of the film helped me be a better support for my partner during her pregnancy and childbirth. ”
I became a father during the shooting and the knowledge and experience of the film helped me be a better support for my partner during her pregnancy and childbirth.
Michal Babinec is a Slovak cinematographer shooting narrative, documentary, music video and commercial projects. He studied cinematography at ECAM film school in Madrid. Selected projects include short films NINA (Best Cinematography at Alcine 2015), VACIO and CORAZON (Best Cinematography at L'Alfas de Pi 2017 and 2018), FLORA (Best Cinematography at Semana de Cine de Medina del Campo 2019), feature documentary WHEN WE WERE WILD (Best Documentary Feature at Alcances 2017), and experimental feature EUROPA. His commercial work includes projects for brands such as Volkswagen, Samsung, Mastercard, Lidl, MAPFRE, and many more.
In 2018 he was selected for Berlinale Talents Camera Studio and for the Talent Demo showcase at the festival of cinematography Camerimage. His work on Heroes of today was shortlisted in the Film Craft: Cinematography category at Cannes Lions 2019. He is a part of BRBR film collective and resides in Madrid.

Tomáš Kobza

sound & cinematographer


“I was one of the few first men who openly admitted assisting their wife in a home birth in Slovakia. In the intimacy and safety of our home, I held our son Oskar in my arms when he was born and handed him to my wife. Thanks to the home environment, we were undisturbed until the next morning when the paediatrician arrived. For me, it was the most powerful life experience that I would wish every man to have. Thanks to this experience, I fully understood my status as a father and it deepened my love for my family. A documentary on birth trauma was an opportunity for me to collect the experience of other women giving birth in hospital and compare that with my own experience. I feel that obstetrics in Slovakia needs to change, as childbirth is not a disease but rather a physiological process when a child is born into this world. This should take place in a kind and safe environment.”
I was one of the few first men who openly admitted assisting their wife in a home birth in Slovakia.
Tomáš Kobza (1979, Bratislava), after graduating from high school, began working as a production assistant for the independent film company TRIGON PRODUCTION. Working for this company allowed him to obtain deeper knowledge on audio-visual work and to specify his creative focus. After almost ten years, he switched to freelancing and engages in television shows, TV series, and documentaries as a sound assistant and cameraman.
He was part of the crew of films such as VELVET TERRORISTS (directed by P. Kerekes), CONSTRUCTING SLOVAKIA (directed by B. Beňová), FETISHES OF SOCIALISM (RTVS, collective), MY FATHER GULAG (directed by F. Palonder), GEN.sk (RTVS, collective), HEAVEN, HELL, EARTH (directed by L. Siváková), YURI DOJC (directed by K. Kraus), THE MOON INSIDE YOU (directed by D. Fabiánová), and others.

Mária Hirgelová

editor


“When I met Maia, the topic of childbirth was a huge unknown to me. During the long hours in the editing room, when I was watching the images of childbirth over and over again, I was able to feel even through the monitor what a miracle the birth of a child is. Unfortunately, our material also included a lot of unnecessary physical and psychological pain – and that affected me deeply. Childbirth concerns all of us – whether we have given birth or not – because each of us was born by our mother, and many mothers still have traumas related to birth. And that's something I would like to help change through this film.”
Childbirth concerns all of us – whether we have given birth or not.
Mária Hirgelová (1993, Bratislava) obtained her master’s degree in editing at the Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava in 2018. Several of the short films she has edited were screened at local and international film festivals and venues, i.e. THIS IS NOT A GAME, AION, and LEAVING THIS COUNTRY. UNSEEN is her premiere as a feature documentary.

Sandra Urbančíková

music


“Creating music for an entire film has always been my dream, so I am very grateful for this opportunity with a film whose theme concerns me and touches me as a woman and mother. I myself gave birth at home, it was a water birth, and so I saw birth at the maternity ward for the first time only in the film Unseen. I find it very sad that nowadays my country is spending more money on the life of statesmen, instead of investing money in a place where new people come into the world, where the smallest ones experience their first contact with the world. This place is so cramped, uncomfortable, full of time pressure that affects children, delivering women, and their families. I hope this film will help open the eyes of our country. I hope that people will feel through the screen how important the first minutes of life are for both the child and the mother, that they will see the possibilities offered by other countries, countries that are not so different in many other areas. I am keeping my fingers crossed for all of us.”
I myself gave birth at home, it was a water birth, and so I saw birth at the maternity ward for the first time only in the film Unseen.
Sandra Urbančíková, also known as Eniesa, is a Slovak singer, musician, and songwriter. On stage, you will usually see her singing with a guitar; occasionally, she uses a santur or other instruments in different musical arrangements. In addition to her own pieces, she also writes music for theatre, dance and multi-genre performances as well as music for films. Her first two albums 333 To Nusein and DomoRaj were recorded in Bratislava. To work on the third album called Meet Blue Animal, she returned to her native Košice, where she worked with Pavol Jeňo (IMT Smile, Cha Bud!), a member of her band Eniesa & Le´Murs, at UnderGroove Studio. They have been cooperating for several years and since 2017 they have been performing together as a duo Eniesa & PJ´s lab. In 2017, they appeared on the solo album of Franta Černý of the band Čechomor, “Franta 2017”. 

Pavol Jeňo

musician


“As a person who loves life, I was strongly touched by the theme of this film. In todayʼs troubled times, our society keeps overlooking certain things. All sorts of political and existential issues are being addressed, while the fundamental rights of women, mothers, and carriers of life seem to continue to be a taboo. We try so hard to “have” that we cease to be - to be natural, kind, considerate, and caring for each other. I was very happy to participate in Unseen, a film that is trying to name some of these topics and to show other possible ways of doing things. I believe that in the near future, also this film will help make a change in the conditions of women in childbirth and improve the care they receive.”
I believe that in the near future, also this film will help make a change in the conditions of women in childbirth and improve the care they receive.
Pavol Jeňo (1983, Košice) is an active musician, composer, producer and arranger, teacher, and social rehabilitation instructor. He has been active on the Slovak music scene (IMT Smile, Eniesa, P. Lipa, Cha bud, and others) since 2000. In 2015, he founded his own recording studio PJʼs LAB, where he focuses on composing, producing, arranging, mixing, and mastering of audiovisual works with professionals as well as with emerging artists.

Samuel Škubla

sound designer


“The moment I was asked to collaborate on the sound postproduction of the film Unseen, I was intrigued. I knew that psychological well-being during pregnancy and childbirth was important, but I did not fully realise how much discomfort could occur in the hospital. Personally, I perceive very sensitively all disturbing sounds that are not “apparent” at first sight but still affect the psyche and mental health of a person. And that probably hit me the most in the film – to hear and see people's different attitudes in different facilities, hospitals, and countries. Unfortunately (or thank goodness) these differences were obvious before the sound postproduction and any stylisation whatsoever.”
That probably hit me the most in the film – to hear and see people's different attitudes in different facilities, hospitals, and countries.
Samuel Škubla graduated from sound composition at the Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava in 2019. In addition to collaborating on a number of short films and documentaries, he has worked on the sound component of several feature films, including CELLAR (I. Voloshin), BY A SHARP KNIFE (T. Kuhn), CASINO.SK (J. Sabol), and AMNESTIES (J. Karásek). His graduation film, KID (G. Valentovič), was premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF2019). In 2017, he won the Sound's Good Áčko Award for the best sound in a student film with the film CHINA (G. Valentovič), and he also collaborated on the filmTHE LINE (P. Bebjak), which won the Best Sound Award at the Sun in a Net festival in 2018.