Film Festival Quest Europe and the interview with Ivan Lopatin

28 Aug 2012

The producer and the head of the “Leevandia Entertainment” company Ivan Lopatin was invited as a jury member on the 8th International festival Quest Europe that took place in Poland from the 24th to the 27th of August.

Ivan shared the details of this trip in the interview.

- “Ivan, have you ever had to be a jury member before?”

- “No, it’s my first time.”

 - “How did it happen that you’d been invited to be a jury member?
- ”
Two years ago I had a chance to get acquainted with the organizers of  Quest Europe festival in Budapest, where a small but cozy film festival BuSho Film Festival took place.”

- "In the role of whom were you visiting the festival then?”
- “I represented the motion picture by Alexey Andrianov called “Bulkin’s Last Day”. Also, quite a rare situation happened on the festival in Budapest: our film won two main prizes, the main jury prize and the prize from the audience and students’ prize.  There I met the organizers of Quest Europe festival who suggested including “Bulkin’s Last Day” in their festival program. We were interested, submitted the film but couldn’t attend the event ourselves. After that the organizers of Quest Europe constantly kept in touch with us, they knew about our film products. This year they decided to invite me as a jury member, not as a participant.”

- “So, on Budapest’s festival you represented “Bulkin’s Last Day” as a producer as well?”
- “Not exactly. I represented it as a distributor. We signed a contract with the creators of the film for distributions in regions. When the crew couldn’t be present on some events to tell about the film it is important to have someone who is able to present it in a right way, to talk about the picture, to answer questions. Fortunately, I am well-acquainted with the film’s authors and was aware of all the details around it: where the shootings took place, what occupied the directors and etc. Alexey Andrianov, the director of the film “Bulkin’s Last Day” has made a feature length film “The Spy” by now. It is based on Boris Akunin’s novel and is made in a co-production with Nikita Mihalkov’s cinema company, TRITE studio. So now he’s a successful director. The film “Bulkin’s Last Day” appeared to be fruitful thanks to the efforts of its producer Kuzma Vostrikov who also started to direct. 

- “Did “Bulkin” won something on Quest Europe festival?”
- “No, it didn’t. But after all of these events we started to collaborate with Polish festival and the year after we submitted around 10 motion pictures as distributors. The main prize went to “Stones” by Eduard Tadevosyan, it was a huge step forward for the director. And starting with that victory his successful festival history has begun. So, the collaboration with Quest Europe was quite fruitful, annually we submit around 20 films. Last year it was 10, now it is 20. If we grow like this, two years after there will be our films only (laughs).
This year the festival went great. The main prize went to Lithuanian director Marius Ivashkevichus for his film “Our Father”. The distribution of this film also lays on our company’s shoulders but it was a coincidence. Despising the fact that me myself voted for that film, it allows nobody to stay indifferent, so the decision to award it with a grand-prize was solid. As the result, two years in a raw our pictures win the main prizes.

- “As far as I know not the only one film won the prize on Quest Europe festival this year?”
- “Yes, the second prize also went to our film “Ambitious”, it won in the “Special jury mention” category. I am a producer of that film, but, honestly, I couldn’t and didn’t vote for that film. All the jury members understood that so they said to me: “Ivan, don’t listen to us, we are going to discuss your film.” But I am not the director, so for me it was interesting and useful to hear their opinions.”

- “Who were your jury-colleagues?”
- “Quite a young and successful director Charles Michael Duke from London presented the UK, a photographer and a documentary director Jan-Paul Fundsalida came from Switzerland. The others were from Poland, a married couple Bogdan and Marilya Kalinowski – documentarians that became famous in Poland for their love to cinema, an actress Katarzhina Figura, an actor and a singer Marius Kilzhan and also a famous Polish actress Adriana Biedzinska, that is very much loved in her home country, she was the face of the festival.”

- “Which motion pictures, besides the mentioned ones, seemed interesting to you?”
- “The cinema program of the festival wasn’t too eventful, a bit more than 25 films only, four programs for 1.5 hours, so we also had time to go for a walk in Poland and discuss cinema.
The Spanish pleasantly surprised me. There were two films presented on the festival, very interesting, high-budget projects. Apparently, the films have been made before the crisis as now it’s frozen. We even joked that these guys spent all the money of the country on their films, so that’s why the crisis happened. One of the films won the special jury mention prize. I was also impressed by a creepy thriller “Monster” by a young Polish director Peter Ruzhko. He is a bit older than 20. The film won almost all the prizes for the best actors, best cameraman work. The director had to come to the stage so often that he didn’t even know what was more left to say.”
-“You said the film “Our Father” won a grand-prize of the festival. What was so remarkable about it?”
- Alongside with a hot-button topic (the film is based on the real events) each jury member marked the brilliant work of the cameraman and the director, a decent acting and even a soundtrack. Everything was astonishing. The film tells a story of a man, a father and a husband, who locked his entire family in the attic and no one knows about it. It’s a coincidence but after that film was released a lot of similar crimes were discovered in Lithuania.
If you’re interested we included the film in the Weekend short program that we make every Saturday and Sunday in the cinema theatre “Zvezda” at 17:00. It’s the screening of the best films from all over the world. This year, together with ART-kino we are making a program “The scariest thrillers”, where “Our Father” was included. We are making a timetable now and hope to make the screening in more than 20 cities across the country.”

- “A couple of words about the festival’s framing?”
- “All in all, Quest Europe was very interesting. The closing ceremony took place from the 24th to the 27th of August and before the final screening I’d been travelling across Poland with different screenings. The framing was impressive, the festival came on a limo and I also had a chance to ride. The cinema halls were occupied, everything was beautiful. The directors also made a small video about all of these trips.”

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