Continuing the round of interviews with the finalists of Interforum short film pitching session, meet Masha Kondakova from Kiev. She arrived to the forum with her pitch called ‘Call up‘. She graduated from The Ukrainian National University of Theatre, Cinema and TV, and ever since she has been workin as an actress, and an assistant director in several commercials, short films and features. Her short film Lystopad screened in 36 international film festivals, including Locarno and Clermont Ferrand.

Masha Kondakova

Masha Kondakova

How did it feel when you got selected into the forum?
Everything jumped inside of me and the heart was bitten like a crazy…and next mind was that I have to write a script alone that I ever did before.

How would you describe ‘Call up’ in a few sentences? What’s the story about?
The story about desperate Mother who wants to protect her son against the war.
In this family drama I want to show the conflict between the generations of the post Soviet Union and the 90’s. The war is already in every family, inside of every person.

Why is this film important to you?
There is unofficial war in my Motherland (Ukraine) and I want to understand what is wrong. How some people could be so involved in the difficult process of the transformation that happened in the country and some one just keep thinking about himself and continue doing corrupted things.

What do you think makes a good pitch? Have you created a visual moodboard or added some music, maybe shot a pitch trailer?
I don’t know, it is my first time that I participate at the international pitch. While I did some researches I recorded that, so I was ready to present a mood board and even some video. But this pitch is concentrated on the story. So, it is about you and what moves you to tell this story.

What do you expect from the forum?
Help in writing. Developing the script. And I got it from the tutors and our group members (That are amazing!). And be honest, I wanted so much to come back to Berlin at Interfilm Festival since last year where my first short film “Lystopad” was screened in the program focus on Ukraine.

How is the situation of short film in Ukraine? Do you have a fund or an organisation there that supports first-feature filmmakers?
Right now the situation is quit difficult because of the events on the East of the country. We don’t have funds that specialized on the filmmaking as in Europe. But the are two structures that supports the filmmakers: Ukrainian State Film Agency and Dovzhenko Film Studio. Also there is a pitch at Odessa International Film Festival where you can apply with your first feature project. I could come to the forum only because Goethe-Institut Ukraine supported me.