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Another Update:- Congrats to Ms. Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva yet again. They won the Oscar Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.
About Me page on Elena Andreicheva's website:
I am a Kiev-born British filmmaker and journalist working in TV documentary production and development since 2006. I studied Physics at university and Science Journalism at masters level, getting my first taste of research assisting on Nick Rosen's book "How to Live Off Grid".
Since then, I have worked with many major UK production companies on a wide variety of content. With a wealth of experience working with government institutions, NGOs and contributors worldwide, my specialism is tackling big issues through relatable stories and great access.
The most important aspect of my work, and my motivation, is a genuine desire to find out what it’s like to live the lives of the people who populate my films. Paired with a thorough practical knowledge of documentary filmmaking and an understanding of the visual power of the medium, I aim to make films that fuse powerful journalism with great heart.
1. How did you celebrate the New Year/ New decade?
I always celebrate New Year with my family in Ukraine, which is where I’m from and where my folks still live. We all have a glass of something bubbly as we listen to the President’s speech at midnight, and then eat lots of pickles and some traditional food. Sometimes there’s karaoke. We didn’t do anything special for the new decade though as I have a little kid and was in bed fairly early!
2. What drew you to produce this documentary short film?
I was very excited about having the chance to visit Afghanistan and to try to really capture girls’ experiences there – after everything you hear about it being one of the worst place to be born a girl. I thought that this was such a cool way to tease out some unexpected moments for the audience, through skateboarding. I jumped at the chance to do it.
3. What challenges did you face while producing the documentary short?
There were difficulties of course in filming in Afghanistan and at times it felt quite limited, what we could do. We couldn't move as freely as we wanted, or just hop out for some GVs / B-roll. But for me, one of the biggest challenges was making a short over a few years, in the end - it was a huge challenge to keep the momentum going, to keep schedules aligned, to keep our contributors in Kabul engaged. It felt like a bit of a marathon.
4. what is your favorite moment in the documentary short and why?
My favourite moment is when one of the girls we’ve seen struggle with writing Daddy at the board finally nails it. I get goosebumps every time! I know skateboarding is the reason people will take notice of the film, but it’s the education element I found really touching – what it means to these girls to be able to spell Mommy or Daddy, or their own name.
5. If you had to describe Carol Dysinger using three words, they would be?
Refreshing. Knowledgeable. No-nonsense.
6. After producing the documentary short, how has this experience affected your life personally?
In the past, I have been able to switch off fairly easily from projects I’m working on – but with this film, it was constantly sort of ‘on’. That required lots of endurance, as I said, but it also forced me to draw clearer lines between work and my personal life. And this conflict was very much amplified because I had a baby in 2018.
7. Congratulations on the BAFTA and Oscar nomination for your documentary short. What a way to start off the new decade! My question is…. Where were you when you discovered that the BAFTA nominated your documentary short?
I was in Bangkok Airport, en route from Ukraine to New Zealand to visit my partner’s family. I had had a hellish sleepless flight so obviously that really cheered me up!
8. Where were you when you discovered that Oscars nominated your documentary short?
For the Oscar announcement, we decided to all gather on Skype – me in New Zealand (it was the middle of the night, 3am), Carol and Molly Thompson (EP) in New York, and the folks at Grain Media in London. We even recorded the chat – it’s hilarious.
9. Who are you excited to meet or see at the BAFTA and Oscars ceremony?
I’d love to meet Greta Gerwig – just because. And Waad Al-Kateab who made ‘For Sama’ – there are so many things I would want to talk to her about.
10. If you win the award, are you going to have a speech prepared or are you going to wing it?
I have a bad – or good? – habit of playing out future events in my head, sort of like a daydream. I’ve thought about the possibility and what I might say or do, but I haven’t got a coherent speech or anything. I think I’m a little too supersticious to do one, in the end.
11. What has been the best compliment you heard about the documentary short?
A few new friends I made through moms’ groups said to me how touched they were by the film. These aren’t people in the industry and I love it when a film really connects to people in that way. One of them told me after a screening that she had to go home straight away as she was so shaken by it.
12. How did you majored in Physics at university and a master’s in Science Journalist to becoming a producer? Could you explain your transition into film production?
Yes, it’s a bit of a weird one. About half way through my Physics degree, I wrote an essay about quantum mechanics and realised that I’m a lot more passionate about writing and communicating ideas rather than solving them. So I decided to try out science journalism and loved it. The history and philosophy of science in particular. After the course, I got an opportunity to intern with a doc producer and then got a job as a researcher for a BBC series about developing world health. That’s where I caught the socio-politico documentary bug.
13. If you could sit down with any three people in the world and have a chat with them, who would they be and why?
That’s hard… I’d love to meet Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama – women who’ve been under intense scrutiny but who all seem to have a good sense of humour.
14. If a self-published author is seeking a producer, how would one get you or any experience producer to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling short film/ feature film?
My door is always open for people to approach me with ideas, but I suppose it would have to be something I am interested in – so worth doing a background check on what I’ve done in the past. I deal with character-driven documentaries which are mainly not based on books, so it might be that a producer better-versed in that world would be a more natural choice.
15. If you could produce a film-adaptation of any novel/novella/short story, which one would you like to do?
That’s hard to answer for a non-fiction filmmaker – I’ve been reading a lot of children’s books lately so maybe something folksy… I find those old folk tales very creepy and atmospheric and ripe for exploring, for both kids and adults.
17. Which film do you predict would win the Oscars for Best Picture?
I have a feeling it might be “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”…
18. Last question, what is something you always wanted to try but afraid to do?
At the moment, it’s less fear and more lack of time… Probably something on the extreme sports front, like helicopter skiing. Yes, that would be it. I have that image from one of the James Bond movies and it looks like a lot of fun while being utterly terrifying.
Like I stated earlier, both Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva won the BAFTA awards. Huge congrats to them. Next will be the Oscars. All the best to them as well for that ceremony. I hope you all check out their documentary short and see why It won the award in the first place: www.sling.com , AETN.com and VOD. Take care my fellow readers and thank you for stopping by here. Tweet or like this post if you will.
IMPORTANT:- Click the link (name) to read the interview I had with the director (Carol Dysinger) of Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone(if You're a Girl)