Interview with Filmmaker Uliana Burykina (ILLUSION)

ILLUSION was the winner of BEST MUSIC & BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the January 2020 Drama Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Uliana Burykina: It was my third year studying in University, so as everybody I had to create a film for my final exams. That was the strongest motivation haha 🙂 But after we started to transform the story into script all I was thinking about was how strongly I want to convey the main idea to young people – women and even men my age – who facing the problem of making choice what will they do: build the career or be a family-guy? In my opinion you always have to be honest to yourself no matter what others expect from you. If you want to make a family, so do it. If you want to be a professional – it’s ok. But don’t listen to anybody who tells you can’t get it both. Each is difficult, just remember what you really want and don’t lose yourself.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took almost one year. We started in January 2018 and finished in September.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

What a difficult question…”spellbinding” and “emotional”, I guess

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The only serious obstacle was to finish all CG in time. We were out of time, out of hands… our producer and me went more and more crazy every day. So we finished everything just around in a week before the premiere.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking
about your film in the feedback video?

It was very pleasant to hear people from other continent just talking about our film! And after — a bit hard to understand everything they say, but we did it finally 🙂 It was a great experience, and we are proud we were awarded by such honest men and women.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I was inspired by Delpozo fashion short “Winter eclipse”, Andrew Thomas Huang’s “Interstice” and my own thoughts about human masks. In mystic ways they became a story about young woman who got lost in her personas – model and mother.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Ohhh… “High heels” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”, I think this two.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I like FilmFreeway platform. It was my first time I submitted a film so it’s cool that someone created such an easy and understandable way to do this.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Elvis Presley – Return to sender and Stevie Nicks – Rhiannon
I never can choose one, you know 🙂

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Yes, our crew is in the middle of creating a new short film. It’s going to be experimental, based on real stories and very provocative especially for our country.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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