Film of Student of St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television is in Berlin International Film Festival

5 March 2021

In March, one of the most significant film festivals in the world takes place - the Berlinale. This year, it is divided into two parts. Now the events are taking place online, but in June there is a hope to hold events for a wide audience offline. A full-length film from Russia, "The Fisherman's Daughter", directed by Uldus Bakhtiozina, was selected for the main competition programme. The selection committee of the Berlin International Film Festival got interested in this surreal story, based on Slavic tales and myths. The executive producer of the film is Maria Pavlova, a student of the Faculty of Screen Arts, Department of Film and Television Producing, St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television, group 3661.

Maria told us about the project and her experience. She also told where you could see the film in St. Petersburg:

Before the film "The Fisherman's Daughter", I had participated in the filming of student short films. Initially, "The Fisherman's Daughter" was meant to be a short film too, but during the pre-production, we realised that the story was developing and taking on new colours.

I got to the project thanks to an ad on Instagram. Uldus Bakhtiozina was looking for the 1 st AD, and after the meeting with her, I joined the team. As the filming progressed, my position began to touch on more and more aspects of the filming process, so now I am credited as an executive producer, a casting director, a location manager and even as an actress.

The pre-production stage took 3 months, the production took 6 months and the post-production took almost a year.

Photo: Alexey Kostromin

I got great experience. I faced complex challenges, from organising the team work of over 60 people to terrible weather conditions. Once I had to dig out snowdrifts alone one night and then cook the pike the following day. The most important experience for me was communication with people. It was necessary to communicate with very different people: by age, character, status and generation. I became more patient while dealing with them. Now I am not afraid to answer calls from unknown numbers or defend our common interests at the Ministry of Culture!

Of course, we were planning a festival promotion. "The Fisherman's Daughter" took part in the competition programme of the "Zerkalo" International Film Festival named after Andrei Tarkovsky.

We also sent the film to the Cannes Film Festival, although we knew that we did not quite fit in its concept and that we had very little chance there. But the Berlinale accepted us, and it was a pleasant surprise for everyone! We entered "Forum" selection program and were the only representatives of the Russian film industry. Since November 2020, the film has already been screened in many cities of Russia. In St. Petersburg, from March 5, you can see it in "Lendoc" cinema.

We congratulate Maria and the entire film crew!