Interview with Filmmaker Stefania Marshalenko (REFLECTION)

REFLECTION, 14min., Ukraine, Drama
Directed by Stefania Marshalenko
Professional Photographer accidentally falls into the apartment of woman. He notices combination of her attractive appearance with her caring for children and understand what beauty is. Instead taking pictures of capricious star, he makes article about this woman – about Mother.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
Idea of make this film was inspired by my mother. Watching her, with what dedication and at the same time with ease and beauty she devotes her life to children, not elevating it to the scope of sacrifice or hard fate. It inspired and still inspires me!

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The idea of the film Reflection appeared quite a long time ago. It has been around 2 years before the shooting started. The whole process of making the film was short because we had a very, very small budget.

And here I have to thank to all actors and team who created this movie with me too. Everyone was great and really did incredible job for short time only with enthusiastic!

Also, when I wrote the script, I gave main role to Yevhen Nyshchuk (Ukrainian theater and cinema
actor, Merited Artist of Ukraine and a former Minister of Culture of Ukraine) at once. And it was really happiness when he agreed and took part in shootings giving his experience to our team of beginning
professionals. Many thanks to Mr. Nyshchuk for this!

By the way, along with the idea for this Reflection, I also came up other stories on the theme of the Mother, which I would have shot with great joy. And I hope it will happen sooner or later. They would have been filmed in a very different manner, but no less imbued with a deep respect for
Mothers who are true friends to their children and chose to devote time and life to their children.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Hymn to Mothers

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
It was on post-production. There was only sound editing remained to complete the film. But in February 2022, Russia started full-scale war in Ukraine. On February 23, there was an agreement with a sound engineer, and on February 24, early in the morning, the Ukrainians woke up from the sounds of explosions. Therefore, for me the task was to finish the film at all costs and present the film at film festivals, to the audience. Our film is not about violence, not about propaganda, and it is very important for me that people see how peace-loving Ukrainians are, that Ukrainians lived, loved, created films, made art

Moreover, in our team, people spoke both Ukrainian language and russian, and no one infringed upon anyone. But on the contrary – nobody pay any attention to who spoke what language, and everyone was focused on work, on making film.

So, many thanks to my Polish colleague, professional sound engineer — Jacek Hamela, who agreed to help us in this trouble and edited the sound for our film Reflection !

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
It is very touching for me! Firstly, because of the fact that the festival took care of and organized such video feedbacks with audience reviews. Especially for beginning directors, I think it is important to hear feedbacks. And secondly, when I started to listen what these reviews are about, I was pleasantly amazed that the comments are very accurate and correspond to the intent of the film.

I’m very grateful to Wild Sound Film Festival that being across ocean me and my team have this chance to know reactions of audience from our movie!

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I don’t remember when exactly I wanted to make film, maybe it was 12.. 14 years old. I always like to do several kind of art since childhood: draw portraits, paint with oil paints, make sculptures, I like music and play piano. I like reading books. So… I would love to combine all my art passions and knowledge in more than just one way. And all these kinds of art help me to tell stories on screen with movies.

For example, here is some of my work in link:

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Movies by Leonid Gaidai and by Eldar Ryazanov. Hundreds times! And of course, also I love to watch many movies of another world classic and modern directors. For example, movies by Godard, Fellini, Tarkovsky, Hitchkok, Kurosawa

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I think that the main task of festivals is to show the film to people. Like any kind of art, movie needs contact with people. Therefore, thanks again to your festival for the opportunity to show our film to the audience and especially for video feedbacks after the screening!

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It was good and pleasant experience. It is very convenient to create project of movie on FilmFreeway, give all details and information about our movie Reflection to send to Wild Sound Film Festival.

10. What is your favorite meal?
So many and different meals! And I would say that it depends more on how it was cooked. After all, sometimes even just bread, baked perfectly and so tasty, is better than any complex delicacy dish.

11. What is next for you? A new film?
Yes, new film! I really focus on make full-length movie. I have a lot of ideas, plots of different genres and senses for long movies. And I look for good, experienced producer who, like me, will be interested in making good movies for people.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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