The Lightest Darkness
Diana Galimzyanova is a writer and director based in Moscow, Russia. Her four award-winning short films were accepted to more than thirty five festivals in thirteen countries. We have conducted an interview with her about her latest projects.
How long did you take to film and produce "Imaginary Fiend"?
Not so long, I've spent more time writing the script, like two-three month for a short script, it’s the usual amount of time for me. Although a couple of months ago I participated in the Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge of Stranger With My Face Film Festival and wrote a 7-page script for 48 hours. That was an amazing experience, really unique for me. As for Imaginary Fiend, it was only two days of filming and a month of pre-production. I usually do the detailed preparations, the short list, schedules and all so it could be filmed in a short period of time for a shoestring budget.
Which one of your four award-winning short films is the most challenging piece?
It was February 28, my first narrative short. I wasn’t sure, whether it's going to turn out well. And I didn’t want to become one of those people who tell everyone about their amazing scripts and then mess up. Luckily it was the best scenario possible, the short has been accepted to 19 festivals and still is on festival circuit after almost two years
What is your personal secret to craft compelling female characters? Do they hold a 'voice' of yours?
I tend to write introverted female characters because I’m an introvert, and they hold my voice, but I’m also trying to write the characters who are opposite to me. I don’t approach female and male characters differently, I just write people and try to make them more three-dimensional. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I failed. I usually fail when I try to write a people person, but end up with a caricature.
What inspires you to make this kind of short films other than the lack thereof?
With my short films, I wanted to experiment and do the thing my way without thinking about the audience. So my shorts are the kind of shorts some people like and other people say wtf that boring where’s the story. My three shorts together called The Social Isolation trilogy, and the thing was that the next short is way less traditionally narrative that the previous, so the last one is borderline video art, a monolog. That was an interesting experience, but with The Lightest Darkness I’m thinking about the audience, I want to communicate with them, I want a dialogue.
How do you personally feel about being the first ever female Director of a Russian film noir with reverse chronlogy?
I feel a lot of responsibility. Film noir has such a legacy. And so much depth. Despite what some people think, dark lighting, femme fatales, detectives and blinded are not the essence of noir. Like here’s a The Hitch-Hiker for example that lacks any of these tropes, but still is a classic noir. Because film noir is about the point of view and the way you see the world. I want to insert perception that into my film to make it feel authentic because I want to make a real film noir not the superficial copy. There's going to be femme fatales, blinds, and detective there as well thou.
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