SPECIAL SCREENING – Taisia Igumentseva: “My greatest inspiration comes from reality, people, situations”

Taisia Igumentseva © FDC / GT

One year after receiving the Cinéfondation First Prize for her short student film, Doroga Na (The Road To ), Taisia Igumentseva returns to Cannes with a Special Screening of her first feature film Otdat Konci (Bite the Dust ): a tragi-comedy that takes place in a small village of ten inhabitants, where each villager prepares for the end of the world in his or her own way. An interview with the 24-year old Russian director.

You were here last year with a student film. How did you manage to make a feature film so quickly?

This is the normal time frame in Russia. When you have funding from the Ministry of Culture, you have to submit a copy of your film one year later. I received the funding in August, and the film was finished in May.

Does the Ministry of Culture finance the whole budget?
Yes. It is 1 million dollars for films by an auteur. For commercial films, there is another source of funding, Goskino, and that is more like 2 million dollars.


Your producer says he regrets that there are so few comedies in Russia. What do you think about that?
It’s mostly that there are so few good films. The problem in Russia is that people try to copy the American production system. But we need to make our own film industry.


Photo from the film © RR

You didn’t sign the script for The Road To, or for Bite the Dust. What is your connection to the writing?
I had the idea for the story and the characters and I wrote several scenes, but it was a script writer, Alexandra Golovina, who developed the screenplays for The Road To and for Bite the Dust.

Which films or directors have inspired you?
My greatest inspiration comes from reality, people, situations. Films are just images that run.

What made you want to make films?
It is difficult to answer that question. Let’s just say that in life, I have a hard time expressing my emotions. Film is a way for me to communicate feelings.

What is your next film about?
A tragi-comedy about body-building, called Spare Tire (буй), that I am writing with another screenwriter, Juliana Koshkina. We are trying to finish it for the next commission from the Ministry of Culture, next August.


Interview by Béatrice de Mondenard

Sunday 19 May / Salle du Soixantième / 4:30 pm


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