Falcons on film

Unusual documentary shot in centre of Grodno, with Red Book falcons in leading roles

By Victor Terekhov

“The protagonists of the film are Belarus’ most famous falcons: Alena and Stefan, which nest close to the Bernardine Monastery in Grodno. St. Alena’s monument — which houses the nest — inspired the naming of the female bird, while her mate is named after King Stephen Bathory, who always loved Grodno,” explains the Head of APB-BirdLife Belarus’ Grodno branch, ornithologist Dmitry Vinchevsky.

The film is being shot by famous director and cameraman Igor Byshnev. “Such films are popular at home, and abroad — at festivals. We aim to create a high quality product detailing the history of this bird; we’ll feature scenes of knights hunting with falcons and will show how local residents treated falcons,” Mr. Byshnev tells us.

On leaving Grodno, the team will move to Belarus’ foremost ‘falcon’ city: Brest. They’ll then go to the Minsk suburb of Machulishchi, which boasts a population of this rare bird. Shooting will conclude in mid-June and, after a month of editing, the film will be screened.

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