Karen Gevorgyan: We Deserve More Serious and Intelligent Cinematograph
10 September 2018News
A retrospective program devoted to the films inspired by the works of Chingiz Aitmatov at the 14th Kazan Muslim Film Festival continued with the screening of Spotted Dog Running at the Edge of the Sea and the meeting with a Soviet, Armenian and Russian director and screenwriter, a member of the Union of Cinematographers of Armenia Karen Gevorgyan. The journalists and spectators discussed with him this film, the Kazan Muslim Film Festival and modern cinematograph.
"The Kazan Muslim Film Festival is absolutely current. There are people practicing Islam, there is a unique culture that needs a special cinematography. I would wish the festival, in particular, and the ethnic cinematograph, in general, the highest culture of execution. After all, this theme might be approached as something decorative, but it is necessary to consider it as a cultural foundation and wealth’ commented Gevorgyan.
The director told about the process of shooting the film: ‘Everything without any exceptions was shot on locations. There was a certain issue with the fog. According to weather reports, there are always hopeless fogs in May and June in Sakhalin. However, when we were working, there was no fog and we used special smoke machines’.
The film is dedicated to the life of the Nivkh people living on the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk. They are different in terms of their perception of the world. They treat nature in a special way, they perceive it as a mother and an absolute. The work was shot with interruptions within three years.
‘Now, the Nivkhs are ordinary people. They lost their distinguished lifestyle and habitat. Everything in the film was built up until the last nail, since the authentic culture had disappeared in the 1930-s’, said Karen Gevorgyan.
The director shared his memories of working with Chingiz Aitmatov: "When I just started the shootings, the author said that nothing will come of it. When everything was ready, the writer came to the screening with his family. In the end of the film, he gave me a hug and said that this is the best film adaptation of his works’.
According to Gevorgyan, the present day cinematograph is experiencing a certain crisis: ‘We deserve more serious and intelligent cinematograph. We are a quite interesting, but complicated country. At the same time, our cinema has its own limits: it does not focus much on 160 ethnic minority groups living in Russia, also it does not have much social films, even we are facing a variety of social issues every day’.
Spotted Dog Running at the Edge of the Sea has won the awards of the Kinotavr Festival, Moscow International Film Festival, San Remo and Valenciennes festivals.
The photo report of the event is available here