1. Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?

My project is a thesis short fiction film. It was completed in 2021. The film is based on a true story which deeply reminds the life story of Job (Old Testament, Bible). The protagonist of the film is an honest Ukrainian judge who must pass a fair verdict in the case of a murderous pedophile, for which he later suffers the terrible consequences of his righteous decision.

The Righteous One is a modern interpretation of the book of Job, which raises the age-old question: "where is God when I suffer so much for being honest and righteous?" My film also adds an outline of what one does when total evil happens to him: will he break down and give up, or eventually he will make his way till the end? Unfortunately, this is what my beloved Ukraine is facing at the moment.

2. What are your ambitions with your project?

The ambition is most modest - to win an Oscar. Ha-ha. Yes, I understand that this is unthinkable, but since my first year I haven't seen the point of filming something that won't be of interest to the viewer. That's on the one side. On the other hand, I clearly understand that The Righteous One is my only project that speaks for me as a director. It is my name card at the moment.

3. Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?

The shooting was really difficult, but also very cool. It is important to mention that most of the shooting days were spent during the lockdown, when almost everything was closed and no public transport was allowed. But the movie turned out to be a success. And all thanks to my space crew, who came to love the project as if it was their own. All thanks to RTBoys (Ilya Murashkovskyi, Anton Vitryanskyi, Oleh Sokruta), my co-director Anastasia Lohinova, the amazing cameraman Vladislav Penkov, production designer Maksym Kochnev and producer Vasily Shereshevsky that this film turned out the way it did. First of all because they were all my friends and professionals – The Righteous One won 16 victories at various film festivals.

The most awesome thing about the shooting was the incredible dedication of absolutely everyone! From the high-class actors (Oleksandr Pecheritsa, Serhiy Kalantay, Mishiko Kobaliya) to the simplest helper - everyone worked absolutely for free and with such dedication that I had no right to let them down. I was pleasantly surprised that Supreme Court and local Baptist Church allowed us to use their buildings absolutely free of charge.

4. For what group of spectators is your film targeted?

Let me put it as simply as possible: for the average viewer who loves the detective and criminal genre.

5. Why should distributors buy your film?

1 - The Righteous One is incredible movie. It's just incredible.
2 - The film is relevant. The story of a Ukrainian judge who faces challenge, which in fact, many people face. He is to make a choice between living only for himself, for the sake of his private individualistic benefits, or living for something greater which will have an eternal value.
3 - The project already has won recognition and a name.

6. How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?

I think the most important thing in my film is the relevance of the main character. A man who in spite of terrible trials and horror, does not do what he wants, but what is necessary and what is right. He endures to the end what he started. Honestly. Righteously. With dignity. I think it is the lack of such people in our society that leads to corruption, permissiveness, lawlessness and immorality. A hero is always needed. I believe that even the smallest person can become the biggest hero. The character of my film is dark, raw, dynamic and edgy. This is done in order to unfold in 20 minutes the story that unfolds over two hours. But, more importantly, the ending is very sad, but with a good hint of future and hope. The triumph of good over evil takes place, but not loudly, not pathetically; on the contrary: quietly and with bitter trepidation.

7. Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?

It was an accident. I wanted to be a screenwriter. Before I went to KYIV NATIONAL I. K. KARPENKO-KARY THEATRE, CINEMA AND TELEVISION UNIVERSITY, I decided to attend a preparatory course, but somehow by chance it happened that I came to the master who was giving a regisseur course. I found it interesting, so I stayed. I understand that most of the answers to such questions are along the lines of: I've had a passion for film since childhood, or I had a dream to be a regisseur, and so on... no, that's not how it was for me. I just had desire to tell stories. And it doesn't matter how, through film or the music I write.

8. Who is your role model?

My acting teacher Vitaliy Vladimirovich Savchuk was and still is a role model. A brilliant actor and teacher. A highly spiritual and extremely sincere person. He taught me how to work with actors, which gave me the opportunity to work with truly great and brilliant actors, who are already well-known, have the title of Honored and National Artist of Ukraine, a lot of awards and accomplishments in theater and film. It was my teacher who deeply inspired me to love the art, a thirst for truth in art and a search for true spiritual values, both in life and in art.

9. Which movies are your favorites? Why?

Three movie histories. The Passion of the Christ, Schindler's List and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are all united by the titanic work of the director, actors and crew. Absolute magnitudes of dedication, the will to art, the truth of living. Each of these works blew up the information field and grabbed attention for years to come. I am impressed by art and professionalism as they are not meaningless. Professionalism is not for professionalism and art is not for art's sake, but for something greater, something meaningful and higher. Such things always remain in history and in the hearts of people for many generations. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Mozart's Requiem are proof of that.

10. Where do you look for inspiration for your films?

I can't tell you where I'm looking for inspiration. At some point during the work, something just clicks, and I suddenly see the whole picture on a scale that allows me to see everything. But the motivation to work comes from watching movies or plays, listening to music and reading. After some events and incidents, of course, I want to write a script and make a movie right away!

11. Which topics interest you the most?

Its complicated, not solved, not popular. At the same time, the theme should always be simple to understand and clear for everyone. Close to the viewer. The Bible, in my opinion, contains all the possible conflicts and themes, which is why the Bible remains relevant. And yes, it is the film adaptation of the Bible that I do in a sense, because Job is an Old Testament story and the parable of the prodigal son (a short film that I made in my second year) is from the New Testament. My next project is a modern interpretation of Cain and Abel. Before the war I managed to shoot a promo teaser.

12. What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
At the moment this is my graduation film The Righteous One, which has already won 16 international film festivals in Ukraine, Italy, USA, Turkey, Paris and a number of other countries.

13. What do you consider most important about filming?
Team. The team! And the script! And catering, of course.

14. Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
The best technique is the one which is affordable and excellent in performance.

15. How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
There is an expression "like earth," which means disagreement and a slightly negative evaluation of the driving factors. It seems to me that modern cinema lacks the excitement and risk that it had in the early noughties. There is little experimentation in big cinema. A lot of banality and boredom. However, as always, there are exceptions.

6. What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film
critics, friends and family)
Absolutely different. Equally negative reactions and positive reactions. That's good, I think, because it doesn't leave you indifferent. I didn't criticize my mother because she doesn't like scary movies. Ukrainian magazine Kino-Theater wrote a review of my movie. It says, quote, "In depicting the dark side, world cinema heightens the tension, often relishing scenes of violence, and thus imposes the idea that the struggle against evil is futile. The film The Righteous One counteracts this. It is precisely this message--a belief in the triumph of goodness--that modern cinema lacks. The Righteous One shows a way out: when a person does a good deed, seeks justice, God will help. In this way, the work of the young filmmaker offers a way out of the trap into which the cinema has driven itself, producing a flood of evil." I think that if a professional film critic wrote such a thing and the average viewer says the same thing, then my intention has succeeded.

7. Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
No. I didn't have a chance to attend those film festivals in countries where my film was shown.

8. What are your future plans in filmmaking carriere?
When the war in Ukraine will ends by Ukraine's victory. If I'm alive. I'll keep making movies and in 10 years I'll be on the list of Oscar nominees, and in another year I'll win an Oscar!