When Frederik Nicolai, the producer of the documentary collection entitled Borderline started to develop the idea in 2017, questioning the meaning of borders and their impact on the construction of our identities, as well as their place in the historical context, he could not have imagined how relevant the topic would become by the time the films were released.

Borderline is a collection of six documentary films by seven (7) talented European filmmakers, delving into the daily reality of six lesser-known but very intriguing border regions across Europe. The films highlight how borders, which many people think of as simple lines on a map and seemingly invisible barriers, are in fact much more significant and complex when seen up close.

Six (6) quite distinct and at the same time very coherent films, which work both as a whole and as separate pieces, deal with a border on the periphery of Europe.

  • Tiha K. Gudac’s The Wire is set on the border between Croatia and Slovenia, where a razor wire has cut off a whole community;
  • Anna Savchenko’s Where the World Ends deals with a small border that has divided an entire village into Lithuanian and Belarusian territory;
  • Annabel Verbeke’s Four Seasons in a Day tells the story of the hidden border between Ireland and Northern Ireland;
  • Radji by the filmmaking duo Georg Götmark and John Erling Utsi depicts the difficulties of nomadic reindeer herding communities in Sweden and Norway, whose traditions know no national or political boundaries;
  • Vytautas Puidokas’ Before They Meet tells the story of two ornithological stations, one on each side of the border between Lithuania and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad;
  • Isabella Rinaldi’s Liberland explores the motives behind the creation of the eponymous state on a river island in the Danube separating Croatia and Serbia.

Each film focuses on the life stories of people for whom these borders have often meant radical changes in their daily lives (questioning the idea of identity and how it has been shaped throughout history).



From the very beginning, when we started working on the Impact Strategy, we were aware that such an ambitious project would also need ambitious goals. Although the films were shot in lesser-known and less populated locations, there are many similarities between the processes and issues that arise in these small environments and thousands of kilometers away.

This is what we wanted to convey – to draw attention to how complex, close, and temporally-related our societies are – and the border is the perfect arena to do this, offering an alternative voice and new critical insights on an often hectic, black-or-white debate.

We have set ourselves the following objectives:

  • raising awareness of unknown and important border issues on the European continent
  • raising awareness of specific issues and challenges at EU borders
  • connecting with audiences; building a critical, open, and progressive community; aiming at social and political changes that can lead to concrete local action for improvement of everyday life.

Our distribution activities are focused on informing through a web platform, audience development and engagement through social networks, and fostering further debate through online and live screenings.

THE WEB PLATFORM: a journey to the edges of Europe

We designed the web platform not just to work as a complement to the films, but also as a stand-alone medium. It acts as a digital map, bringing together all six (6) films under the same umbrella, with archived character stories and additional information related to the borders in question in addition to basic information about the films. The online platform works as an exploratory experience based on short stories and additional multimedia content such as video, audio, and photos.



Social media communication helped to raise awareness of the real situation at the EU borders among international audiences. In addition to materials from the films, first-hand information from local people (i.e. the people involved in the film, the directors, protagonists, etc.) was used. We also used social media to raise awareness and spread information before a film screening and festival tour, and to foster further communication and audience participation after the screenings. We communicated via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

We covered screenings at some of the best documentary film festivals in the world, such as Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada), Visions du Reel (Nyon, Switzerland), FipaDoc (Biarritz, France), Sydney Film Festival (Australia), Tromsø International Film Festival (Tromso, Norway), Dok Fest Muenchen (Germany), etc.



The next (upcoming) step in our strategy involves distributing the Borderline films to schools and libraries. In addition to its recent growing popularity (thanks to online streaming platforms), documentary film is a powerful educational tool with the capacity to engage like no other medium. Bringing Borderline‘s stories to future generations directly through educational institutions is a productive ground to engage with this target audience on the spot, as well as fostering a new conversation that could lead them to take action.

Interested in bringing Borderline’s stories to your educational institution? Contact us for more information.

Borderline is produced by Off World, an independent production company based in Brussels in co-production with VRT-Canvas (BE), Kinoteka (HR), Relation04 Media (NO), Inscript (LT), Filmfront Media & A Sami Kompania (SE), URGH! (SLO).

With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Screen Brussels / Brussels Capital Region, the Belgian Federal Government Tax Shelter, and the additional support of Creative Europe, the Norwegian Film Institute, the Swedish FilmInstitute, the Film Fond Nord, the Nordnorks Filmsenter, the International Sami Film Institute, the Croatian Audiovisual Center, and the Lithuanian Film Center.