Valentin Vasyanovich: “Getting to Hollywood, you have to forget about your ambitions”

The main drawback then was that we did not have a premiere at any international film festival class “A". This time there is already a victory at the Venice film festival. Plus there is an American distributor of the picture. We didn't have that back then either. In fact, three years ago, we didn't have anything to make the shortlist. And now there is everything. In addition, we were contacted by one of the most famous PR agents-Tatiana Peterson, who previously collaborated with Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russian Director, Golden globe winner - ed.). After all, our film has already been selected in 1/16 for viewing by Golden globes experts. This greatly increased our chances of getting into the nomination. If “Atlantis” if it's on this shortlist, it will increase our chances of winning an Oscar. And I would like to add that Ukraine this time has a chance to be in two categories at once, since “The earth is blue like an orange” still has a chance to compete for the “Oscar” in the category “Best documentary".

— You have visited many European film festivals with Atlantis. Has the attitude in Europe to our problem changed over the years, or do people still not know anything about it?

— This is not their war, it is exclusively our problem, which we must solve ourselves. They either don't care, or just have a calm attitude - just like information. And I think that's normal. And the fact that we have the opportunity to remind, show the results of the war and frighten, I consider a good emotional lever with which we will be able to draw attention to our problem.

— According to the plot of your film, the territory of Donbass became uninhabitable after the war. Is such a Pyrrhic victory necessary?

— Victory is necessary in any case. And if you don't, you become a slave and still live on this scorched earth. Which is better? In any case, there is hope and a future in this film.

— Over the past few years, a picture nominated as “Best foreign film” has a chance to be also in the main categories - “Best film” and “Best Director”. From your point of view, what are the chances of Atlantis here?

— In order to get into these categories, the film must have a commercial rental in Los Angeles County. We have already negotiated this issue and are expected to sign a contract soon. So, theoretically, we have a chance to get into these two categories.

— When you make a new film, do you think about how to do better to get to the “Oscar” or win an award at the European film festival?

— No, it doesn't work that way. But after getting into the context, when you become part of the global film industry - go to international festivals and communicate with colleagues, some changes happen to you. Special calculations for victory, I don't, because the movie was filmed in the first place, for yourself. I need to be in harmony with the material I'm shooting.

— Producers and Directors often “bother” with the name of the picture, so that it is well remembered and falls on the ear. Is Atlantis your marketing calculation?

— This name appeared as soon as the script was written. But we were lucky, because it is always very difficult to come up with a good name for a picture. For example, we still have difficulties with the title of the next picture. Its working name is “Vidblisk”, in English - Reflection. The Ukrainian version sounds difficult, so I will still look for another name. I like the way it sounds in English.

— It often happens that Hollywood producers pay attention to foreign Directors after winning European film festivals. You already have a few wins, are you ready to switch from your original movie to an expensive attraction?

— After winning the festival, I spent a month in Los Angeles, where I was offered to go exactly the way you say. I received, as part of the prize, a grant from a Hollywood company for a trip, where I and several other Directors arranged several meetings with agents and various other representatives of the industry. This is how they looked at us - how we would respond to such offers. I realized that this is not my thing and I don't want it. What I don't like about this system is that you just become a cog in it. When you get there, you have to forget about all your ambitions as an artist. The producers will immediately start telling you what you should do and what to make a movie about. What's the point if I can shoot what I want in Ukraine? Why go somewhere on someone else's territory and shoot something that I'm not interested in. It will only bring money and nothing more.

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