Short Film Competition participants press conference report (part 2)
On April 28, 2021, the press conference dedicated to the second part of the Short Film Competition of the 43rd Moscow International Film Festival took place. The press conference participants were director Inna Tsgoeva (Russian-Italian film «After Us»), Hungarian director Mark Beleznai («Agapé»), German director Jannis Alexander Kiefer («Good German Work»), Israeli director Shaylee Atary («Neurim») and producer Yahav Winner («Neurim»).
The main character of «After Us», Giuseppe, is an old fisherman. He spends every single day of his lonely life at sea and then goes to the market to sell the fish. Nothing ever changes or will ever change. His granddaughter Sofia comes to visit just for a few days. And after their short life together he returns back to the only thing he knows.
«This film is made on the brink of fiction and documentary film. We shot it in an Italian village, with real-life characters, tried to adapt to their lives to genuinely show the relations between two people and try to show their feelings — something they are emotional about, something that stands out in their everyday lives,» Tsgoeva said.
She added that the location shaped the film, for which Tsgoeva also acted as the DOP.
«This story isn't about me, it turned out very personal, but it looks as if I oversaw it. I was keen to explore the world of a nine-year-old girl, when she starts to become a teenager, when the first crisis happens. Also, I was interested in making a movie almost without words and attempt to tell the story differently. And it was the location that helped a lot,» the director said.
The film «Agapé» is also at an intersection of fiction and documentary cinema. It tells the story of a teenager filmbuff and a single woman in her forties who meet each other. Then they meet again and start to realize that they might have more in common, than meets the eye, and form an unlikely connection.
«There are a lot of personal details and events in the film, I used my clothes for the shooting, and chose the location near a cinema where I actually work as a projectionist. Of course, I wouldn't call this film entirely autobiographical, but it involves a few stories from my life as well as those told by my close ones and acquaintances,» Mark Beleznai said.
At the center of «Good German Work», are two craftspeople, Uli and Didi, who are working on a swastika in their workshop. Somewhere between a rural idyll and the monotony of country life, they wonder about the strange newcomers to their village.
«My film is an attempt to show the German history from another angle and to present an unusual viewpoint on it. I often make short, 3-minute films, trying to reflect the questions that I spend some time thinking about. In particular, in this film I reflected on the attitude we should have towards the most violent period in the history of our country. Two characters land in a very extraordinary situation and see the history of Holocaust from another standpoint,» Jannis Alexander Kiefer said.
The main character of «Neurim», Orr, is paralyzed after an injury. A strange awkward relationship develops between her and her new physiotherapist that brings new breezes of desire to her daily routine rehabilitation at her mother’s house.
«I spent a year and a half in rehabilitation after an injury, and that experience got me thinking very differently about a lot of things. I'm an adult self-dependent woman, but at the time, I had to get back to childhood, I always needed help. Also, I reconsidered my attitude towards my body, which is not only about sexuality, it’s my soul,» director Shaylee Atary said.
The film, just like the rehabilitation itself, wouldn't have been possible without Shaylee's husband — director and producer Yahav Winner.
«We were interested to show the events that happened in our life five years ago, when Shaylee was injured. We shot the film at my parents' place, in a kibbutz. And we were very satisfied with the result,» Winner concluded.