16 mm | color & sound | 2019 |11 min​.


An impressionistic journey following the filmmaker and her Bulgarian father as they travel to the Black Sea. DESERT ISLANDS drifts between personal and collective histories, images and sounds, glimpses and gestures that are as familiar as they are distant. A lonely spaceship, a childhood room, a cup of Turkish coffee. The film revisits relics of the past seeking to transform memories into new visions and a shared experience.


If one were on a desert island, what would one bring? What precisely would one choose? "There is no light."

cinematography, editing & sound design

Ralitsa Doncheva


sound mix

Mitchell Stafiej

Developed with assistance from Concordia University, SSHRC & FRQSC Canadian graduate fellowships.