Posted: 25.08.2022 14:36:00

Cinema of the young

The Youth Film Studio started working under Belarusfilm. We learned who and how can get there and what ideas will definitely be in demand.

New, debut, young, future — such words are heard these days within the walls of Belarusfilm. Since August, a new structural subdivision has been created here: the Youth Film Studio, also known as Smolk@. Director General of the Belarusfilm National Film Studio Vladimir Karachevsky has ambitious plans for it. Including the breaking of stereotypes. Cinema of the young is not a movie with a negligible budget. This is a new look at both genres and quality. “The studio should become a laboratory in which ideas will accumulate. We give young people the opportunity to express themselves. After all, if we do not take care of youth, someone else will take care of it,” Vladimir Karachevsky, as we can see, is very resolute.
Vladimir Karachevsky
Director General notes, “The idea of creating a youth film studio under Belarusfilm is certainly not new. For three decades of independence of our country, the film studio has already passed this stage. So, Belarusfilm hosted master classes, lectures, and internships with the assistance of the Academy of Arts in the early 2000s. Young directors were given the opportunity to make their own films, often experimental ones. Then everything disappeared imperceptibly... 
But it is necessary to work with young people: such a condition is dictated by life. Therefore, the organisation of a full-fledged Youth Film Studio is not know-how, but the revival of traditions.”
In addition to the actual creation of films, the emphasis will be on learning and transferring knowledge. There will be, among other things, educational courses — primarily for the most scarce professions in the film industry. Vladimir Karachevsky does not hide: there really is a problem, “Unfortunately, the second string of the film crews is practically not prepared. These are administrators, props, make-up artists. We do not have enough people who can organise the filming process, work with directors, directors, cameramen... Therefore, there is a preliminary agreement on organising courses of a similar profile on the basis of the film studio. Now we are preparing the premises and classrooms.”
Yelena Turova, a well-known director, poet and teacher, became the artistic director of the studio. She is also a person who is always ready to help young talents to open up. 
Yelena Turova
“When the decision on the appointment was made, it was important for us that the head of the studio should be a person who wants to transfer knowledge and experience. There are professionals who are afraid of competition and leave scorched earth in their wake. Yelena Viktorovna is a generous person, she knows how to give and help,” comments Vladimir Karachevsky.
Yelena Turova sees the goal of the studio not only in practical training in the basics of filmmaking, but also in the opportunity to speak with the audience in the language of youth.
“We will look for personnel throughout the country, not only in Minsk. It does not have to be students of creative universities. We are looking for people who have imagination, energy, potential and desire to work for the development and prestige of Belarusian cinema. We are already accepting applications. But I emphasise: we will not take everyone who wants to, otherwise we will drown. We will hold a competition, an interview, perhaps a review of projects ... Yes, we are open to everyone. But we will not allow graphomania in cinema,” adds the director.
So far, short films are in priority — purely from a practical point of view. But, if there are worthy ideas for a feature film, they, of course, will also be considered.
Kirill Khaletsky
Yelena Turova lists, “There are also plans to create a sitcom, commercials, possibly audio books and radio shows. Work can be very different. The main thing is to get a product that will be in demand.”
Loyal fans of the Minsk International Film Festival Listapad will surely remember the young director Kirill Khaletsky from his last year’s film Road, which participated in the ‘Cinema of the Young’ competition. This year, Kirill was assigned to the studio — he will no longer make an educational film, but the first big movie. He has 2 years for this purpose. 
“The main idea: family, comedy, summer. I wish the whole family could come to the film. As for the genre, I think people are missing quality comedies. Enough of the negative, let’s add the positive,” Kirill shares his plans. 
Vladimir Karachevsky, in turn, is convinced that a person should not be left in a state of hopelessness, “The task of cinema is to bring bright emotions, inspire, delight. As the director of a film studio, I am fascinated by the direction of youth cinema. There are no stamps, conventions. The main thing is the desire, resources, potential, prospects. There is funding aimed at creating youth projects. In the end, it’s just interesting when young people speak the language of cinema with the same young people.”

Among the immediate plans of the Smolk@ studio is a film dedicated to the anniversary of the Belarusian Union of Cinematographers, in the creation of which students of the Academy of Arts will take part. The film will be directed by Kirill Khaletsky.

By Yuliana Leonovich
Photos by Aleksey Stolyarov