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Original story “Boyarskiy” by Daria Khomyakova

In Russia, as in many other countries, I believe it is quite difficult to break into the industry and the presence of a professional education almost does not affect anything. I received a diploma from VGIK with honors as a screenwriter, but after graduating from the university I was as far from the opportunity to make my own film as before entering. Can I say that it is more difficult for women to break through in the Russian industry than for men? I think that for people of both sexes without connections and money, the chances are approximately equal, but it is harder for women psychologically and physically to take out the difficult filming process. When you have little money for movies, the team is very small, you invest more personal energy and quickly burn out. For such tests, iron nerves and health are needed. Nevertheless, more and more women directors appear in Russia every year. I have been doing short films for a long time, organizing film screenings, and at the last event, almost the entire film program consisted of films made by women.

Once I decided that independent cinema would help me shorten the road to big cinema. One day we just started making our own movie with friends. First with your own camera, then by renting professional ones. Thus, we shot 8 short films, visited many film festivals, but our path to the industry was interrupted. It was necessary to find new inspiration and new horizons, and Ruslan took up this search, being far from Motherland.

It was interesting to return to the idea from which the film “Boyarsky” appeared in 2016. This story, like my other scripts, appeared out of a desire to break some pattern and look at something obvious with different eyes, bringing the situation to the point of absurdity. The prank has a rather simple dramaturgy, built on one attraction. One action + planned reactions. I wanted to break this canon and see what happens if the prank doesn’t work. I wanted to deceive all expectations, and in every scene this happens. At the end we broke the 4th wall, but you won’t see that in the American version. Conceptually, “Jackson” has developed into a more resonant project, as over time the topic of breaking boundaries by capturing everything on camera has become more acute. I like that the same actress played the main role in both films, it would be interesting after another 10 years to shoot a new version of Jackson with her and thus fix all the changes that have happened to us, our artists, the world and the story about the prankster Lena and weird dude.

Daria Khomyakova on the origin of the idea and production