Interview with director Kateryna Tiuruna

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

To be honest, in the beginning film industry was for me as a tool for gaining attention, I wanted to be popular. But in 28 I understood that I’m interested in people and their life stories. Now filmmaking for me is becoming something more important than just bragging.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

I have two degrees: in literature and in accounting. They are completely not related to filmmaking. Once my boss said: “listen, you shouldn’t do directing, it’s just not for you”. After that conversation I started to believe that this is the only field where I should evolve my skills. Now he says: “how good that 8 years ago you haven’t listened to me and never stopped”

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

Speaking about my film “I’m here”, I was very close to abandon it just before applying to festivals. And here my boyfriend helped me, he believed in this project and inspired my to continue. Now I’m really happy that this project is screening on festivals.

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

The most important lesson – don’t be afraid to ask people for a help. Even if you don’t have money to pay them, don’t be shy, tell them what an awesome project you have and how you believe in it. I was truly amazed how many professionals agreed to help me for free with my project “I’m here”.

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?

Many people worked for free on this project. And the biggest compromise for me was time. Guys worked only when they had free time, and because of this we had to wait, wait a lot. At some point of time I thought we won’t be able to finish it. But after couple of months we finished it. Bottom line: project will be finished eventually, just need to wait a bit 🙂

  • What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?

I completely changed actors crew just 10 days before shooting. Initially we had only one character with his own story. At the end we got a dozen of unique characters, which made this film such a cool.

  • You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong.

I adore people who work with me. I hope this is mutual 🙂 My secret is treat everyone equally, doesn’t matter what job is he doing. Every member of every department is a star, and he is as cool as producer or cameraman.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

Film festivals are the coolest legal drug for filmmakers. Every win is encouraging you to shoot something else. When I speak to my team about our wins, the smiles and emojis they send me back in messengers is the most amazing feeling which you can experience here and now.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

The most important thing is to make sure your film is understood by people. If it answers at least one question of only one viewer – it’s win. And doesn’t matter whether you shot classic movie or arthouse.