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Summary of press conferences held on September 2

On September 2, 2022, press conferences dedicated to the films within the short-film competition program were hosted within the 44th Moscow International Film Festival.

The press conferences were attended by the director of the film "Holy-Water" Santosh Singh, the director of the film "Double Planet Theory" Savely Osadchy, the director of the film "Breeze" Hamidreza Ghasemi and the actor Abdolreza Parsa, the actress of the film "Music on Your Feet" Carla Rondeau, the directors of the film "Weight" Amitai Hayoun and Roni Weiner, the director of the film "1⁄4 Ante Meridiem" Alex Noppel, the director of the film "Biting Sands" Anna Golenko, the director of the film "The Stain" Alvaro Lopez Alba, the director of the film "The Green Field" Tynystan Temirjan Uulu, the director of the film "A" Tatiana Zhukova, and the actor of the film "Ice Cream. Ice Cream" Igor Obradovic.

In "Holy Water", the 13-year-old Fagnu cannot imagine a world without his grandfather. When his grandfather falls ill, Fagnu, despite his grandmother's warnings, ventures on a hard journey to find holy water. A rumor has it that to get it, one must reach a place between the earthly and mythical worlds, protected by the spirits of the Himalayas.

Santosh Singh: "I live in the north of India, on the border between India and Tibet. I shot a part of the film with my own money, which I had saved while working for a production company. Our second director, Mukund Narayan, also made his contribution. We also used crowdfunding, and the pandemic helped us: people saved money on travel and could invest in our film. We sent the finished material to our famous post-production company, which even won an Oscar. They liked the material so much that they did the sound design of the picture for free. It proves that if you believe in your idea, people will surely support it".

In "Double Planet Theory", the 16-year-old Gerasim lives with a family of nomad artistes. He is forced to travel with his parents in a wheelhouse across the country. Gerasim has the unique family task to promote his parents' fire shows: he stands as a living statue with a sign, inviting people to the show and with that earning money for the family. Gerasim is silent but very observant, and his biggest dream is to find a real house to stay in. The girl Lyopa, whose voice he has been hearing in his head for a long time, turns up suddenly and makes Gerasim step out of character and break his usual rhythm of life.

Savely Osadchy: "This is my third-year term assignment. I made film entirely with my own hands without external sponsorship or production. I used the money I have been saving on breakfasts for my whole life".

The film "Breeze" tells the story of an Iranian who grew up in Europe and returns to his homeland after the death of his parents. But Iran is not like what he had imagined and what his parents had told him. There is a conflict with the harsh reality and a desire to go back, to a cozy life, where everything is obvious and understandable. It so happens that the character meets a prostitute, who, totally unexpectedly, helps him see a different homeland – tender and passionate.

Hamidreza Ghasemi: "I am a VGIK student, but VGIK did not support me. The whole money to shoot the film was mine. I'm not a budget-financed student, and the college has no budget for a foreigner, so my main sponsor is my father. When I came to study, I didn't know a word in Russian. But I knew there was an excellent film school in Russia, where Tarkovsky and Mikhail Romm studied – they are gods for me, I'd say. We watched their films in Iran. And it's a great honor for me to walk in the places where these masters walked".

The main character of the film "Music on Your Feet" Carla tries to convince herself that all her friends will stay with her until old age. But strange developments make her face the truth: her friends disappear for real.

Carla Rondeau: "We gathered the money for this film from crowdfunding. Also, the director Sophie da Costa contributed her own money to the film".

In the film "Weight", in a big squabble with his friends and family, Duvi decides to leave. Near the kibbutz, he hails the first car he sees, an ice cream truck. Erez, a Druze, is sitting at the wheel. Together they drive through the Golan Heights. This encounter with the past will become a reflection of Duvi's current mood.

Amitai Hayoun: "The idea for the film came from a short story my friend Roni wrote. After some changes, it transformed into a script about our growing up and coming of age experience. And how we were growing up, having returned from the army. To make a film together, you must have the same mindset. And I think we did it. After we made the film, we're still friends".

Roni Weiner: "We made our debut films independently. Then we signed up for a university workshop, where they gave us some money for a film, which, however, was only enough to buy apples for the film crew. We filmed in the Golan Heights, which is near the Syrian border. It's hard to get there, and people live there in kibbutzes, such socialist collective farms. They had a canteen and they allowed us to use it, and they also let us sleep in their place. We also had an ice cream truck, just because it didn't work because of the pandemic, and they agreed that we took it with us to the shooting".

In "1⁄4 Ante Meridiem", Mabel (13 years old) is attracted to the boy Ambroz (10 years old), whose mother forbids him to play with her because "she is older than him". They play together in a forbidden place. Ambroz's innocence prevents him from understanding the dark secret of Mabel's life.

Alex Noppel: "The idea of the film came from the need to talk about the important topic of missing persons. More than 5,000 minors disappeared in Mexico last year alone. Initially, we wanted to show two sides: the beauty, including the charm of nature, and the dark side, the evil that is out there, although childhood is a beautiful time in life, in the film it is opposed to grief, disappearances, and violence. Our film is fully independent. The entire crew were friends who worked with me out of pure passion for cinema art".

The main character of the "Biting Sands" Vera broke up with her girlfriend and decided to try to have a relationship with a guy, and she has never dated a guy before. This decision scares her friend Ksyusha because it could harm Vera. The girls meet a guy on the beach, Vera decides that this might be a chance for her, but it doesn't work out.

Anna Golenko: "My screenwriter and I wrote several short-length films before this one, but they all were too expensive. So, in this film we set the goal to shoot cheap and with our own money – in one location and with few actors".

The characters of "The Stain" Adrian and Eva like each other, but neither of them dares to make the first step. On the day of their first much-anticipated private meeting, something went wrong and lies began spreading too fast, like a stain, getting rid of which is just no good.

Alvaro Lopez Alba: "During the pandemic almost nothing was filmed, there was no financing either, so I decided to do something small on my own. I like working with non-professional actors, which also made our job easier. When the film was already finished, we got funding from the town where the shooting took place. We also managed to find a production company and distributors who supported us. The main theme of the film is misunderstanding, on which I decided to focus during the hard period of adolescence, when people are sensitive about self-esteem, pride, shame. All this greatly affects the way kids communicate with each other".

The main character of the film "The Green Field" is a caring son, a responsible worker, a cheerful guy, and a dreamer who dreams of a green soccer field.

Tynystan Temirjan Uulu: "Like in many countries, we have big problems with financing, so most films are shot with own money. This spring I and the guys from Bishkek came together and launched an initiative on traveling to regions to capture the features and authentic setting, in which our people live. The main goal was to shoot with a minimum budget. We sent 18 directors to our first tour, and they made 1 or 2 films as a result. I shot this film during that tour".

In the film "A", Lena comes to the country to pack and move the stuff from the house she has sold. But her neighbor Igor intervenes with her plans: he is sitting on a tree day and night and screaming, which drives Lena crazy.

Tatiana Zhukova: "We had two workshops at the Higher Courses of Scriptwriters and Directors. Zanda Kakalia was part of the scriptwriting workshop, I read her text five years ago and fell in love with it. I tried to find a way to shoot it in Abkhazia as it was written for that region, but I could never find the money to do it. In the end, I found money in my family and moved the action to Tula region. And last autumn we shot the film, which makes me very happy".

In the film "Ice Cream. Ice Cream", the 30-year-old immigrant suddenly finds himself in a tricky situation. He lives in a place where everyone speaks a different language, and no one understands each other. When his wife asks him to buy ice cream, he gets into a mess of minor nonsense happenings and misfortunes.

Igor Obradovic: "I'm from Serbia and I've been living in Chicago for 20 years. In America, the government doesn't give money for cinema, so we just ventured and made a film about the life of immigrants, about the problems of misunderstanding in a foreign country. I think we made a universal story for everyone: when immigrants come to a foreign country, no one understands them, but in the end, it turns out that life is more or less the same for everyone, and eventually you can find a way for mutual understanding".