'Thawed Carp' press conference report

Vladimir Kott: «The film eventually gained a lot from having no state support»
On June 25, 2017, the press conference on the film 'Thawed Carp' by the Russian director Vladimir Kott took place. The film is in the main competition of the 39th Moscow International Film Festival. Director Vladimir Kott, scriptwriter Andrey Taratukhin, producer Nikita Vladimirov, co-producer Maria Averbakh participated in the press conference. 
«When I first read the script, I saw that many of its characters seemed to be taken out of other films, but it’s not very important to me, because other films and characters don’t have such cast [as ours]. This film isn’t for cinephiles, we didn’t choose a complicated cinematic language for it, we just wanted to tell a simple human story,» director Vladimir Kott noted. 
The film's script is based on a short novel by Andrey Taratukhin.  «I initially defined the genre as movie essay, understanding perfectly well that a film could grow out of it. The entire operation – working on the book and on the script – happened almost at the same time. The outstanding scriptwriter Dmitry Lanchikhin worked with me. Also, I’m very lucky to have met Nikita Vladimirov, a person of a new breed, so to say, he is only 24 years old. Unlike most producers I’ve worked with, he does real work, not just a lot of talking,» the scriptwriter said. 
Marina Neyolova, Alisa Freindlikh and Evgeny Mironov played the lead roles. «A strangest story happened with this script, really. Marina Mstislavovna [Neyolova] agreed right away, we were even afraid – it was so unexpected. We didn’t understand if she realized that she would have to look differently, that she would have to do a great deed in acting, that she would have to give up the image of the ethereal Neyolova [everyone knows], that she would have be an old woman,» Kott told the journalists. 
The director, together with the DOP Mikhail Agranovich, visited Alisa Freindlikh at her own home. «The first thing she offered was to smoke together. She was checking me out, testing if I'm adequate or not. In half an hour, we hit it off, cigarettes, we found the image for the movie, and understood that we would go towards an old granny, not the high-brow Alisa Brunovna [Freindlikh] from ‘Office Romance’,» the director said. 
The filming took place near Saint-Petersburg, in a working village Syasstroy. 
«There are real slums here, people are trying to renovate the buildings, put glass panes in, but nothing is produced there, people are just live their last years there. It’s a zero city,» Kott noted. The film's co-producer Maria Averbakh added that half of the film is the outdoor shooting in Syasstroy, and the other half was shot in a stage set, «built by a wonderful production designer Aleksandr Zagoskin. He did it in an amazing way – it doesn’t look like a set at all,» Averbakh said. 
'Thawed Carp' was created with the support of private funds only, without any state financial support. «This film was made – and for me, it’s already becoming like a certain quality mark – without the support of the Film Fund or the Ministry of Culture. We got three refusals. I think eventually the film has only gained, because we were tight on funds, and had to carefully think about how to shoot it. The actors agreed to get lower salaries, I wouldn’t name any exact sums of course, but let’s just say that Evgeny Vitalyevich [Mironov] doesn’t agree to such student-like things these days,» Kott said.  
According to the film's producer Nikita Vladimirov, they found sponsors when the film was partly shot, and the entire crew and cast were confirmed. 
«We didn’t intend the film to be commercial, we were just inspired by the story and wanted to make it. And those who helped us were also inspired. Cast and crew were an important part of it all,» Vladimirov underlined. 
'Thawed Carp' is expected to be released in Russia this fall.