forgotten ritual_short film_mirjam hlastan



7 seconds in. 11 seconds out. Breath in, breath out. The electricity is turned on and we hear the sound of an operating system starting up. The smart phone is connected to the laptop, a cup of milk is filled. The computer is dust free, charged and ready. Ritual completed. The searching for “Fulfillment” starts. BREATH feels ignored by HUMAN’S favorite electronic tool and starts to complain about HUMAN’s priorities. Remembering all it’s capabilities, BREATH reaches out to HUMAN for the last time... 



In the modern world of multitasking, technology is not just an incredible tool helping us in our busy lives but seems to have become an unmissable member of our families. The presence of screens is the most popular focus in our daily lives. Tablets, TV, smartphones, laptops, desktops, iPods... we have never been more connected to the world around us. But what if we are not connected to the most important person we need to be?
I chose to film in color with a completely black and white environment, costumes and props. The clinical set up creates focus on the main subject without distractions. It achieves a clean and linear feel to express the mechanical behavior of a HUMAN, who is using technology as the only tool to connect to other humans. BREATH is visually portrayed through the red balloon, a colorful dress as well as with kinetic typography representing movement and limited freedom. The sound represents an equal balance to the image and expresses the most popular and used tools via computer - typing emails and comments, sharing, Skype, email coming in, Facebook chat, Viber & WhatsApp notification messages to name a few.  

To remind the current me, my future self and everyone else who forgot, or never knew to begin with, about the basic human task… breathing.


It’s a great-looking meditation on (dis)connectedness of modern society, Mirjam. Loved the minimalistic visual design and graphics. A very fresh and stylised approach to a very current issue. Keep doing what you are doing.
— Jure Matjažič / Film & Commercials director
I was fortunate enough to have met Mirjam Hlastan, this super talented director, and amazing person, in Sarajevo Film Festival in 2008. Good fate, and great luck has brought us together as film students in a same dorm room, and very soon we engaged in a beautiful friendship... Little did I know then, in August of 2008, I’ ve just met an artistic genius that is Mirjam. I had the privilege to follow her work over the years, and in my humble opinion, I would say that Forgotten ritual is the crown of her film career so far ( we can’t wait for the next film, Mirjam!). This great short film combines every artistic element that Mirjam unites so expertly: exceptional art design, beautiful storytelling, profound work with the actress, poetic symbolism, and strong, contemporary thematic motifs. In Forgotten ritual- Mirjam creates a world of her own, but still- every single one of us can relate to it, and feel it’s powerful, but subtle message. It’s an extraordinary film about ( lack of) communication, alienation, solitude, privacy, society, media, social networking, and most of all- our private, and most intimate selves. I highly recommend this film for all of the reasons mentioned above. But mostly I’d recommend it because it is an authentic, and beautifully designed cinematic poem about our modern world. Please, don’t miss your chance to see it! With love and friendship towards Mirjam, and great respect for this great production team for creating this most original gem of art. :))
— Sara Hribar / Film director







Berlin based post-production company, took care of the color correction.

Adam Matschulat Aguiar

Sound design
Final mix

onion films

Berlin based documentary film production, supported us with filming equipment.

Designed our poster and press material.



Nadja Gimaletdinow

Chris Smallfield

Christopher Hegenberg

Klaus Siemoneit

Ulrike Siemoneit



Berlin based charming loft studio for photo and video productions, served as our location.



  • shot with 3 cameras: Canon EOS 5D MARK II and EF 24-105MM F4L lens + APPLE BLACKBOOK 2008 + IPHONE 5S

  • using daylight on MAY 2014

  • transportation with VW "THE TANK" LUPO in Berlin, Germany




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