Karlovy Vary film festival East of the West competition The Hollow

By By Anna Franklin in Karlovy Vary
    Russian director Marina Razbezhkina is in Karlovy Vary for the international premier of her film Jar (The Hollow) which is in competition in the East of the West section of the festival this year.

    "I am staying for the whole festival because I have a chance to see such interesting films and it's so pleasant here," she said. "The audiences are so young, and this is our future, so it is very interesting for me to see their reactions."

    It took Razbezhkina four years to complete the 630,000 Euro budget production which was shot in a village in the Tver region of Russia. The film is based on early stories of Sergei Yesenin and revolves around life in the small Russian village where the women's isolation has led to almost mystical belief in the daily rituals of thier village life. The film which was produced by Lenfilm Studios (www.lenfilm.ru) was mostly financed by the Russian Ministry of Culture.

    Despite having won 16 international awards for her last feature The Harvest Time, which was released in 2004, Razbezhkina said it was still difficult to raise the money for The Hollow.

    "Without the Russian Ministry of Culture which has a policy of supporting art films it would be impossible to raise the money," she said. While Harvest Time which was distributed by Intercinema Agency (www.intercinema.ru) enjoyed healthy international art house sales, The Hollow has so far not managed to find an international distributor, so Razbezhkina is pinning her hopes on KVIFF.

    Razbezhkina started her career in documentaries, and The Hollow is her second feature, but she is already writing the scripts for her next two feature projects which will also revolve around village life. "It's too expensive to shoot in the city," she said," but it's also that people in villages are more open and more interesting."