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Kuba Czekaj • Director

“From a child's perspective, everything is possible”


- VENICE 2015: The director of Baby Bump, Kuba Czekaj, presents a colourful depiction of the corporeal violence of growing up in the Biennale College section

Kuba Czekaj  • Director

Polish director Kuba Czekaj has made his debut with his feature Baby Bump [+see also:
film review
interview: Kuba Czekaj
film profile
, screened in the Biennale College section of the 72nd Venice Film Festival. Cineuropa sat down with the director of one of the film projects developed during the Biennale College – Cinema to talk about his experience.

Cineuropa: Baby Bump and many of your films to date are told from the perspective of a child. What draws you to stories about children?
Kuba Czekaj: From a child's perspective, everything is possible. So for me as a filmmaker, I feel very free. Free in cinema, in writing, in shooting. That is the first reason. The second reason is that I'm really interested in this time period, when everything is so new, and when that boundary between good things and bad things is very thin. The child is just learning, and it is a very delicate time when we are gaining an understanding of how to exist in a society. 

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What is it like working with such a young cast?
I think the most important thing is casting, finding the character, and you spend most of your time looking for the right person. And then once we knew who it was – in our case it was Kacper, the main star of our film – we had some two months of rehearsals and meetings. But the key was just to talk about each of the scenes, and also, I think the most important thing is the relationship between me, him and his parents. Because each of us needs to be able to trust each other. We made one deal together - that everything was possible in front of the camera. And they knew; they didn't stop whatever was happening.

How did you decide on the experimental style in which you tell the story?
When I had finished working on the script, I found a good approach to the movie: we wanted to make a film like a comic book, and it was also important to find some very childish things in the movie, like animation, and the colours pink and blue. And on the other hand, it was vital to have some really serious things in it: the subject of the body, of growing up, all those changes. I was just trying to mix these two radical things together in one idea. 

In which way has being part of the Biennale College helped you so far?
We have a lot of trust from their side. And it's also great that they gave us a lot of freedom, because it's our film. They supported us and they gave us the money, but we are responsible for this movie. So we could always ask them about everything, but I remember this moment when we had just finished the edit, and we knew, okay, now it's ours. Now we need to get ready to confront the viewers and the public. But it was an interesting process when we started working on the treatment; then we had the first version of the script, then another and another, and then we had a few rough cuts. We also asked the teachers what they thought, and they were really great. I think this programme is really fantastic for filmmakers, for people who have just made their first or second feature.

Do you think the fact that your second film has been shown at Venice will help you to finish off your first project, The Erlprince, which has not been screened yet?
I don't know. We just finished editing it. I think it will be finished by spring next year, but when exactly I don't know. I'm also curious about what this screening will provide us with. We will see after Venice.

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