«On The Edge» press conference report
On October 7, 2020, the press conference dedicated to the film «On The Edge» by director Eduard Bordukov took place. The picture is the closing film of the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival. The press conference participants were director Eduard Bordukov, producers Elena Glikman and Mikhail Degtyar, actresses Svetlana Khodchenkova and Sofya Ernst, actors Aleksey Barabash and Kirill Degtyar.
The film’s two main protagonists are Russia’s best saber fencers. Alexandra Pokrovskaya is famous, rich and happy. She is one step away from making history and winning the Olympic gold. However, 19-year-old Kira Yegorova, a small town girl, is in her way and conquers Moscow, winning almost every tournament. The two athletes begin to fight for supremacy both inside and outside of the arena.
«The main difference of our sports drama from others is surely the type of sport and female athletes as protagonists. Fencing is extremely difficult to film, the exact opposite of football we shot in our previous film «Box». All the emotions we see in football or basketball are hidden under a mask here, and our goal was to tell a spectacular and intriguing story,» Elena Glikman said.
Her colleague Mikhail Degtyar thanked the Russian Fencing Federation for supporting the film.
«I'm a saber master of sports of the USSR, and have always dreamt of making a film about this weapon. And the result is incredible. It’s the first film in the world about fencing. Of course it’s primarily about human relations, but fencing plays a huge role here,» Degtyar said.
Director and co-author of the script Eduard Bordukov said that the crew consciously steered clear of a classical biopic, despite the film being based on real events – a standoff of two Russian saber fencers, Yana Yegoryan and Sofya Velikaya, in the 2016 Olympic finals in Rio de Janeiro.
«Our story is different because we don't put emphasis on the opposition between Russia and the rest of the world. The story focuses on the standoff between the two characters, and in that sense it is psychological, not geopolitical,» Bordukov said.
Svetlana Khodchenkova and Stasya Miloslavskaya star as main characters in the film.
«We instantly hit it off with Stasya and sometimes it interfered with our acting, because we were pretty calm in the scenes where we were supposed to show animosity and hatred towards each other. The director even told us, «I’ll split you two up», because we would joke all the time. Sometimes I realize that it is easier for acting partners when there is tension or mental stumbling blocks that they need to step over. But our friendship saved us,» Khodchenkova said.
Before the filming, the actresses worked with professional saber fencers and Khodchenkova admits that the training was hard. However, it turned out that one of the actresses, Sofya Ernst, used to fence professionally.
«Since wrapping up my career as an athlete, I've been missing it a lot. The coolest and the most vivid feelings are those connected with sports because they are about pure emotion. So the training wasn't difficult for me, I used to fence with epee, not with saber, but it was great to come back to the fencing strip, to hear the blades clink,» Sofya Ernst said.