Film director and artist Saodat Ismailova divides her time between Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Paris, France. Her film, Aral: Fishing in an Invisible Sea, won the prize for best documentary film at the Turin Film Festival in 2004. In 2013, Ismailova showed her first video-installation piece Zukhra at the Venice Biennale. Her first full-length film 40 Days of Silence about the life of four generations of Tajik women premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014 and received wide international recognition.
During her residency, Ismailova reconstructed the history of the Central Asian colonizer Alexander the Great, working with contemporary toponymy and landscapes. The project included a series of interviews, photographs and documentation using scientific and poetic texts.