5Q's w/Alexander Kurilov "In Exile" Director

SUNDAY | BLOCK O | 2:30 |
In Exile (11 min) dir: Alexander Kurilov


#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 280 characters?

We tackle a serious issue in a new way. Most importantly the film is made to give hope and inspire. So if you need an injections of positive energy, and we all do, please see our film

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

The film speaks about the children who are left behind by migrant workers. It's a serious issue in Moldova and the region. But we've learned it's also a problem that's present worldwide. And that's what we wanted to make - an international film. There is no dialogue. So it flows the same for people of all backgrounds and ethnicities.

IN EXILE_Poster A2_c_1200.jpg

#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

Well my Dad wanted me to become a programmer, so that I could move to Canada. That's sort of been the blueprint for many Moldovans of my generation. So he bought me my first computer, so I could learn to code. I ended up spending countless sleepless nights downloading scripts to movies I loved and learning how to properly write and format a story. This is all via painfully slow dial-up, by the way. I remember reading one of the final drafts for "Armageddon" which I liked more than the actual movie and it was then and there that I decided that I should be the one making the films as well as writing them. I was 13. On a gloomier note I was and still am living in what's been constantly rated Europe's poorest country and the glory of the former soviet cinema days is long, long gone. We don't have a film industry as such anymore. So, we had to make our own opportunities. As many in the film business do, I went into advertising to stay afloat, be able to pay the rent and practice the craft. And after 8 years of developing various film ideas we decided to finally bite the bullet and make "In Exile". We wanted to make an animated film so it took some planning and careful consideration of theme and structure to make sure we could pull it of. I wrote the script in 2010 and it took me six year to get it done. the first 4 years were spent looking for the money and the latter 2-2.5 years actually making the film. Just 3 people worked on the film, 3 self-taught people at that. And we're chuffed to have been able to finish the film. We feel it's an achievement in itself. It has screened at over 55 festivals on 4 continents in 18 countries. So, I suppose that's not too bad for a small film, made in a country no one's ever heard of.

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

Several actually. First of all, no one cares. And one needs to know this off the bat. No matter how important, or touching or universally human you think your story is,no matter how much you believe that the world needs it, nobody really cares and it's a struggle to get anything made. You have to believe in it and fight for it.
Secondly, and most importantly perhaps, I've learned that making the film is only half the job. After years of struggle and countless sleepless months of the hardest work you've ever done you feel like you've made it, you've stepped through the looking glass and came out on the other side a winner. And having a finished film, I think, is an achievement. But the real battle begins once it's completed - the battle for an audience. And again, just like before - no one cares. And I just wish I would have been a little better prepared for that.


#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

We've almost finished a new animated short, which is a pilot for a series we'd like to make. It's very short format, comedy for online entitled Cedric's Car. We're developing a 2019 feature documentary about Moldova, called "Seasons" which we hope will put the country on the global map as a point of interest. Other than that looking to co-produce a narrative short film with a team in the US. It's a mystical thriller - one actor, one location, so not too expensive to make. Its set in the U.S. - a small town cop spends the night shift at the station and weird things start happening once a box is delivered at his door. Film's appropriately entitled "Night Shift". We didn't strain any muscles there. :)

Matthew NothelferComment