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Sanja Zdjelar’s ‘Regret’ hits close to home

From left: Aida Vidan, Mila Stojanov, Sanja Zdjelar, Mariana Kugell, and Stan Kugell.
Jim Davis/Globe Staff
From left: Aida Vidan, Mila Stojanov, Sanja Zdjelar, Mariana Kugell, and Stan Kugell.

Local talent was in the spotlight last week as Sanja Zdjelar’s short film “Regret” premiered at the Boston International Film Festival. Shot in and around Brookline and Cambridge, the film tells the story of a couple from Bosnia-Herzegovina — played by Mara Radulovic and Timothy John Smith — who reconnect years later in Boston. “Regret” is a deeply personal project for Zdjelar, who emigrated from Sarajevo to the United States in 1991, shortly before the start of the Bosnian War that took a heavy toll on her friends and family back home. “I realized what I was feeling was survivor’s guilt, and I need to channel the energy from that into something,” said Zdjelar, who lives in Newton. “The project just kept evolving and it was very rewarding to work on.” A Bentley alum who received her master’s from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Zdjelar co-wrote and co-produced the film with her friend Aida Vidan, a lecturer in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Stars Radulovic and Smith also have ties to the Boston area: Radulovic received her MFA from Brandeis, cofounded the Michael Chekhov Actors Studio Boston, and taught acting at Emerson College. Smith is a Boston-based actor who’s performed at the Huntington Theatre and Lyric Stage Company, and has roles in the upcoming made-in-Massachusetts films “The Equalizer,” with Denzel Washington, and “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey Jr.

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