Hello Dmitri Frolovi, it’s a pleasure to have you with us for this interview. Congratulations on your award at last season (Season 5) of the “Indie World Film Festival”.
Q: Your new movie is “The Birth of Music”; in a few words, what is it about?
A: The film is about the soul of the composer. About how, perhaps, sounds are born in his soul. From some unknown images, looks and gestures, elusive to an outsider observer. All this is solved in the allegorical form of experimental cinema.
Q: When did you plan to do this film ?
A: I conceived the film after I met the wonderful composer and man Sergei Alexandrovich Oskolkov. It happened at a festival named after him, in which, on the advice of a friend, he invited my film “Clowning” to take part. The festival and the people surrounding it and participating in it amazed me. There were wonderful artists, musicians, poets and actors. I must say that the festival “Sergei Oskolkov and his friends” takes place annually in St. Petersburg and the surrounding area at the beginning of each summer season at different venues and in different halls. It unites people of all arts. Music and its creators prevail there mainly, first of all. After the festival, a picnic is held in nature on the shore of the Baltic Sea, to which all participants and friends of the festival are invited. By the way, shooting at one of these picnics, cheerfully completes my film, being in fact, a documentary fixation of the event.
Q: What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
A: I got acquainted with filmmaking at the age of 10, when my father bought a movie camera! My romance has been going on ever since. All life is a school of learning! And formally, I graduated from the University of Film and Television.
Q: What can you tell us about your film work prior to this film?
A: In the 1980s, in the last years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, various groups and individual creators began to appear in the country, who opposed their vision of the world to the official line of state policy in the field of art. That’s when I started making my films. The “parallel cinema” movement appeared. The first informal film festivals. They opposed the official cinema not so much politically as aesthetically. I must say that the public’s interest in artistic movements at that time was incredibly high.
Q: Can you explain or tell us some of the important elements of this film that makes it interesting?
A: The film is interesting primarily because the composer Sergei Oskolkov himself starred in it. His music is also heard in the film.
Q: How big was your team and what were the cameras that you used?
A: I shot the film myself on the Soviet camera “Kinor 16 mm”. The team was small. Literally five people, not counting the filming at the picnic.
Q: Directors (and indeed actors) who inspire you and what are your favourite movies?
A: Unfortunately, Jean-Luc Godard has recently passed away. His film “On the Last Breath” is a classic of independent cinema and an example of shooting a film with a small budget. Besides him, of course, Bunuel, Eisenstein, Bauer, Kira Muratova, Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov, Maya Deren and many other classics of the original talented cinema.
Q: Where can people see your work?
A: My movie is absolutely available online. In any search query, you can find a path to it on the Internet. In order not to complicate the process, here is one of the links to it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChYBNp1i_cM
Q: What are your future projects?
A: I am finishing work on a film that reflects genetic memories of the Civil War in Russia. It all started with the First World War in 1914. And officially the Civil War ended at the end of 1922. This year marks the 100th anniversary of this event. As a result of this war, Lenin’s supporters won and the Soviet Union was formed. Surprisingly, parallels can be traced with our time, too.
Q: Thank you for this very inspiring interview, Dmitri Frolov. Here at the “Indie World Film Festival” we look forward to seeing and appreciating your new film productions!
A: I thank the festival for the appreciation of our work! Prizes were awarded to me and the film and the actors who starred in it! It is very pleasant and important for us! Further prosperity to your wonderful festival!