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Nikolay Dostal: ‘It was important to break the barrier between the so-called cinema for all and the elite cinema’.

The Monk and the Demon press conference report

The Monk and the Demon press conference report

A press conference dedicated to The Monk and the Demon, a film competing in the main programme of the 38th Moscow International Film Festival, took place on June 28, 2016. The film was presented by the director Nikolay Dostal, the producer Igor Tolstunov, the script-writer Yuri Arabov, and the actor Georgy Fetisov.

The director came up with the idea of the film, when Alexandr Skuratov’s Faust was released in 2011. Then Nikolay Dostal offered Yuri Arabov to work on the script. The text was born from the several folk tales.

Until 2015 the authors were failing to get funds for the production, but Igor Tolstunov, having found faith in the project, managed to raise necessary funds. ‘Not all the plans came to pass,’ said the director, ‘Instead of shooting in Jerusalem, as was planned initially, we did that in Crimea.’ The shootings also took place on the territory of Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve and Ferapontov Monastery.

The film has got the contemporary spirit thanks to the work of a young camera man Levan Kapanadze, who made the picture look lively and dynamic. The director told the audience that he would also want young people to watch the film. ‘It was very important for me to break the barrier between the so-called cinema for all and the elite cinema,’ said Nikolay Dostal.

The leading actor Georgy Fetisov confined that it was his first time ever to act in a film. Working in a film set required new skills from him, and the very role of the Demon made him discover new facets of the actor’s art.

To make the story look more realistic the director consulted the men of cloth. ‘Some high church clergymen have already watched the film,’ said Nikolay Dostal, ‘And we have not received any criticism from them so far.’

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