Yuri on the Phone

A tragic short comedy featuring Serbian film diva Rada Đuričin as a woman whose passion for Yuri Gagarin is still as strong as when it was first set aflame after Gagarin’s launch in 1961.

Creative team

Writer/directors: René Nuijens, Steve Korver
Producers: René Nuijens, Marko Nicolic

Filmmaker’s statement

By visiting and documenting the major settings of Yuri Gagarin’s bizarre and dramatic life we aim to capture the essence of both the man who is dead and the myth that is still very much alive.

This is our third tribute film to Yuri Gagarin and we are finishing number four at the moment. The films are all about people who admire Yuri Gagarin so much but they are mostly alone in their passion.

The animations and titles that are part of the movie are made by designer Celia Rosa and design studio ADDIKT. They combine old elements from the USSR space design time in the sixties with contemporary elements. They have a strong retro look which supports the time and feeling the woman in the film lived in.

The film is shot in Belgrade, Serbia where we found this amazing actress. She learned the text by heart in Russian and put so much of herself into the film.

We also published a photo booklet with a selection of 10 fascinating Gagarin monuments and souvenirs from the Soviet time. Some still have a heroic appearance, some are dilapidated, some are of great artistic values, some are quite kitsch. The booklet won the BLURB Award for self-publishing books and can still be ordered via Steve Korver’s website.

About René Nuijens

René Nuijens

René Nuijens grew up as the son of a pet-shop owner in a village near Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

He finished the Amsterdam Graphic School, studied photography at the Royal Art Academy in the Hague and has worked in New York.

Straight after finishing at the academy René started work as a pop photographer for magazines and making alternative music videos.

Now he works as a director and photographer on national and international commercial assignments and on personal projects like publishing art books, making short films on Yuri Gagarin and runs the Road to Gagarin Facebook page. René is based in the old town of Amsterdam.

About Steve Korver

Steve Korver

Steve Korver is an Amsterdam-based freelance writer/editor. After years of travel subsidised by carpentry and B-movie acting, he first came to Amsterdam in 1992 to reverse the journey his parents made as immigrants to Canada.

He settled down to become a freelance columnist, copywriter, editor/writer of guide books, and contributor to such publications as New York Times, Guardian, Time Out, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Conde Nast Traveller and The Globe & Mail covering such subjects as food/drink, sex/relationships, design/architecture, Yuri Gagarin, Serbian gangster kitsch and all things Amsterdam.

Between 2005 and 2009 Steve was the editor-in-chief of the alternative weekly Amsterdam Weekly for 175 issues and 14 European newspaper awards. Attracted to the idea of more varying deadlines, he returned to his freelancing roots in 2009.

For the past four years, he has been Googling ‘sex’ almost every morning as research for his weekly column ‘Sex in the Press’ for the award-winning global platform Love Matters.

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