''It seems to me the festival with the name ‘Muslim’ has reached deadlock''

A report from an online conference with Ildar Yagafarov, head of the Tatarstan Union of Cinematographers

''It seems to me the festival with the name ‘Muslim’ has reached deadlock'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

Film director, chairman of the Tatarstan Union of Cinematographers Ildar Yagafarov visited an online conference in Realnoe Vremya's editorial. The questions readers of the newspaper sent were about the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival, distribution of Yagafarov's philosophic film Baigal, the work of the Tatarstan Union of Cinematographers and many other topics. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

''The festival has reached deadlock''

One of the readers of Realnoe Vremya asked Ildar Yagafarov to share his opinion about the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival, if he liked the format or something needed to change.

''The festival for us is a miracle, we show our works to the whole world, our youth show off at this festival, it's not that easy to go to big international festivals in other cities. We've been seeing its development for 14 years. We have a multicultural city with tourists, and the festival with the name ''Muslim'' has reached deadlock,'' the director shared.

In Ildar Yagafarov's opinion, a film is a secular event, films are different, the best films sometimes don't comply with Muslims canons. ''It would be good for us if we could make a film festival where big companies, famous directors could come,'' Ildar Yagafarov supposes.

In Ildar Yagafarov's opinion, a film is a secular event, films are different, the best films sometimes don't comply with Muslims canons

The chairman of the Tatarstan Union of Cinematographers thinks the Muslim film festival could operate and develop in Bolgar – in the religious and tourist centre. The Muslim film festival could be quite organic in this place. And the international film festival in Kazan could be called a Turkic world festival, Golden Kazan, named after Syuyumbike.

Yagafarov thinks they could know the opinion of citizens of Kazan and choose the name of the festival. By the way, it would additionally attract the audience to the hall. ''Our film festival would be priceless if we create a powerful film festival, invest money in it, invest money in the main prizes,'' Ildar Yagafarov concluded.

Baigal to reach the spectator

The premiere of Ildar Yagafarov's Baigal took place in Kazan several months ago. And this project was presented at the previous film festival. Baigal caused great interest of the spectators. Unfortunately, it wasn't on the programme of the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in September. Many readers asked: ''What's the reason?''

''We agreed with the directorate of our film festival first that Baigal was visiting other festivals at the moment. We were at Kinoshock at that time. But we hope Baigal will take part in the competition next year. In addition, Mullah competed this year, so we decided we needed to respect each other and we shouldn't push each other,'' Ildar Yagafarov told.

He denied messages of some media that Baigal wasn't chosen, this is why it wasn't on the programme. Far from it, and we will see Baigal at the next film festival.

We will take it to festivals first and then release, and an advertising campaign will be needed, which sometimes costs a half of a film's budget

''If a film succeeds, it must visit film festivals for 1-1,5 years because if it's released, it won't be accepted at festivals. We will take it to festivals first and then release, and an advertising campaign will be needed, which sometimes costs half of a film's budget. We were in Mendeleyevsk three days ago. I thought for some reason a rural spectator wouldn't accept us. But the hall was full, and this topic touched them for some reason, the topic of an ordinary person,'' the director told.

'Our Union is very needed!'

The work of the Tatarstan Union of Cinematographers also interested readers. What does the union do? Does it solve real problems? ''Today we have 54 members of the Tatarstan Union of Cinematographers. Our members did a lot for cinema of Tatarstan, especially in documentaries. They shot the chronicle we're using now. The Union of Cinematographers is an organisation that protects their rights, and this is very important. Today you stay aside if you don't make money. And many cinematographers are veterans, old people, and they need support. We try to financially support them together with the Russian Union of Cinematographers. People with health problems, family problems sometimes get up to 200,000 a year,'' Ildar Yagafarov explained.

The Union of Cinematographers does a big social job, but, in Ildar Yagafarov's opinion, it's needed reformation because the organisation can't have a social function. The Union needs to start shooting serious films. A good film is the main quality of a cinematographer. This year, all the films that have shown off were shot by members of the Tatarstan Union of Cinematographers.

By Tatiana Mamayeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Tatarstan