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PRODUCTION Lithuania / Ukraine / France

Mantas Kvedaravičius wraps up shooting on his new film


- Just a few days ago, the Lithuanian filmmaker wrapped up the principal shooting for his new opus, with the working title STÁSIS, in Athens

Mantas Kvedaravičius wraps up shooting on his new film
On the set of STÁSIS

Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius is known for his documentary essays Barzakh (2011) and Mariupolis [+see also:
film review
interview: Mantas Kvedaravicius
film profile
(2016), which premiered — and received awards — at major film festivals such as the Berlinale, the Busan International Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival and Nyon’s Visions du Réel. His new film, with the working title STÁSIS, delves into the underworlds of former imperial cities, Athens, Istanbul and Odessa. Life in a Sudanese café, a century-old antique shop, and a brothel comes into focus through the visual exploration of Kvedaravičius, who combines documentary research with unconventional narrative structures (he holds a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge) to speak gently of love and death in their most extreme forms.

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This multi-layered film project involved a fittingly varied crew: the script concept was devised by a scholar of gender studies, Dr Eirini Avramapoulou; the story was developed by the Athenian writer Evangelos Koutsourakis; principal photography was by Ukrainian cinematographer Viacheslav Tsvietkov, who has previously collaborated with Kvedaravičius on Mariupolis; while some of the footage was shot by the lead actor, Mehdi Mohammed, Greek cinematographer Yorgos Michelis and Kvedaravičius himself.

The main cast — Rita Burkovska and Hanna Bilobrova from Ukraine, Mehdi Mohammed from Sudan and Garip Oezdem from Turkey — play out their own experiences through invented characters. Shooting locations, mostly real, were adapted for the film by Jurij Grigorovic (Lithuania). The score will be composed by Ukrainian Anton Baibakov, working with Ukrainian “ethnic chaos” band DakhaBrakha. 

STÁSIS is a Lithuanian-Ukrainian-French co-production with budget of €1.14 million. The main production company is Lithuania’s Studio Uljana Kim (Uljana Kim), working with Ukraine’s ESSE Production House (Vitaliy Sheremetiev and Natalia Libet) and France’s Rouge International (Nadia Turincev and Julie Gayet) as well as Kvedaravičius’ own production company, Extimacy Films. It should also be noted that both Studio Uljana Kim and Rouge International were co-producers on Kvedaravičius’ Mariupolis. STÁSIS has already received financial support from the Lithuanian Film Centre and the Ukrainian State Film Agency. Its general release is planned for 2018.

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