Russia’s 'The Road to ...' by Taisia Igumentseva has won the top award at the 15th Cinefondation Awards for student short films in Cannes.
The film tells the story of a young sales assistant who works in an unusual gadget shop. His everyday life is dull and monotonous, but when the night falls, he goes out and swears and shouts as loud as he can.
We expected the panel of judges to like the movie but were surprised to see them that excited, says Taisia Igumentseva.
"The film is very intimate. It’s about freedom, loneliness, love, and about traditional medicine. I am at a loss as to whom I should thank for my success. The jury was so enthusiastic about the film and even thanked me for making such a sincere and witty movie".
The award was handed out by famous Belgian director Jean-Pierre Dardenne, which made it particularly special, says Taisia.
"Our film was judged by Dardenne, and we were very happy that he laughed when he watched it. The jury got everything right - they laughed and cried at the right moments. The European audience in general is very emotional".
Receiving recognition at Cannes is really important for any director. World cinema masters annually compete for the Golden Palm Tree. For a debutant, it opens doors to success. As for Igumentseva, she has finally received the recognition that she didn’t receive as a VGIK (Russia’s University of Cinematography) student, says director Alexei Uchitel taught Taisia.
"We even had quarrels when working on some projects but she has her principles and it’s very good. Taisia got a B in her finals and I was strongly against that, but I couldn't convince the graduation commission to change their minds. I think that they now regret it.
Her movie is of a genre that is rarely seen today – black humour. The film overflows with understated irony and has a good plot and a great cast".
The winners of the 65th Cannes Festival main award will be announced on May 27.