Prizes scattered in May

Belarusfilm screens at Cannes Film Festival for first time, jointly funded with European partners

By Tatiana Pastukhovskaya

In the Fog — shot jointly by Belarusfilm National Film Studio and European film companies — is to vie for the Palme d’Or of Cannes Film Festival this year. Based on a work by outstanding Belarusian writer Vasil Bykov, the international cinema project attracted funding from MA.JA.DE Fiction (Germany), Russia’s GP Group, Rija Films (Latvia), Lemming Film (the Netherlands), ZDF/ARTE (Germany) and the EURIMAGES Fund. Meanwhile, Match Factory owns the rights to global sales.

The historical drama was shot in just 28 days, featuring actors from Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic (nine languages in total). Directed by Sergey Loznitsa, the plot tells of a man who must make a choice in the face of unconscionable circumstances, in 1942 Nazi-occupied Belarus. Village railway worker Sushchenya is wrongly accused of being a collaborator, leading to two partisans arriving from the forest seeking revenge. He must then prove his innocence...

In the Fog is Mr. Loznitsa’s second feature film, having debuted at the Cannes Film Festival with My Happiness, in May 2010. The film was awarded for best directorship and received a prize from the Guild of Film Experts at the Kinotavr Festival. It was also awarded a Grand Prix and a FIPRESCI prize at Kiev’s Youth Forum, in addition to a Grand Prix at Minsk International Listapad Film Festival.

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