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CIRCLE 2019 Participants: Meet Anna Savchenko - "72 Hours"

Q: Please introduce yourself and your project briefly.

A: I am a Belarusian filmmaker currently based in Belgium working on my first feature documentary 72 hours.

Q: What was the biggest challenge in making this film?

A: Time. Time to wait for this film to be accomplished. But after all, this time is needed to master the film on all stages from pre to post-production.

Also being a director from Belarus makes it mission impossible to raise funds localy and rather difficult to raise european funds too.

Dealing with controversial socio-political subject also doesn't help.

Q: Can you compare your experience at CIRCLE with other similar platforms that you have been part of?

A: What makes CIRCLE special is a very warm and human approach, understanding of individual needs, features and potential of every film and its author. I didn't feel any imposed formating, but open space for dialog with tutors and fellow participants, there wasn't a vertical model like 'I am going to tell you how to make your film best', but, to the contrary, range of opinions, productive discussions, very good networking. I think it is important for us filmmakers to have space of trust and confidence to develop our films, rather then entering the market supressive game straight away, CIRCLE provides this space, which means a lot in finding your film and your language. I think it is an essential step, that is often overlooked in big industry events or even development workshop.

Q: What were the most important benefits from being part of CIRCLE project?

A: CIRCLE helped me reflect on strenghts and weaknesses of my film, it made us be more united as a team (producers and creative crew); in its turn it helped prepare better pitch and present the project on a new level. We also got EWA and DOK Leipzig prize, which is so essential at this phase support and visibilty. I think it also made us regain some confidence and push the film forward. And last, but not least, as I've mentioned before already, CIRCLE is a very empowering and warm network of film professionals and filmmakers, I feel happy to be a part of.

Q: What advice do you have for other (female) directors?

A: Be very open. Listen carefully to what others have to say about your films in progress, write it down, take your time, reflect on it. But also don't forget to listen carefully to yourselves, there is no one that knows your film better than you, though there are many people who can actually help a lot in crystallizing your best ideas and polishing your 'little darlings'. Being questioned is good exercise to establish solid connection with your film.

Share. Sharing knowledge, advice, resources is the way to surround yourself with community that will share back and support.

Filmmaking is a collective art form.

Q: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

A: The piano by Jane Campion. Because it stays limeless for me. Its from 1993, I watched it again recently and I love it.

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