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Please introduce yourself as a Director.

Eva Lanska, a Film Director.

Why did you decide to become a Director and Producer?

I was engaged as a Producer only for a couple of years while living in Paris, where I used to produce music bands. It’s been 10 years since then, today I’m focusing solely on Directing. Films and literature have always been my biggest passion in life.

Reading still remains one of my main hobbies. While a student, I was writing a lot myself, and four of the novels I wrote were published.

Cinematography can connect the visual arts and literature, and create unlimited space for imagination which is undoubtedly

one of the most powerful tools mankind has. The cinematography helps me to express myself.

Give some more information about yourself and the films you have made so far, about your experience?

I used to live in France and Israel, and now I’m residing in England. I published four novels I wrote and released an album of my songs in France. I directed three films, one of them is “Ok, Mom”, officially selected for 30 film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival where it was presented in Russian Pavilion and in the Short Corner.

What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Michelangelo Antonioni is love at first sight. I watched “Beyond the Clouds” in between the filming of “Ok, Mom”

to get more inspiration, although I remembered the lines of every single scene by heart.

While living in France, I began to understand François Truffaut better, and I’m currently studying in detail his film

“In Case of Adversity” (fr. En Cas de Malheur). This film is a unique example of a perfect tandem of such opposite characters

as Francois Truffaut and Brigitte Bardot. Giuseppe Tornatore's "Cinema Paradiso” is also worth mentioning

"An outstanding director shot a real hymn to cinematography”.

My top list of the directors who greatly influenced me also includes Luis Bunuel, Bernardo Bertolucci,

Jim Jarmusch, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola, Scorsese.

You have made your nice film "Little French Fish" which was Officially Selected in the

"American Golden Picture International Film Festival"

As a filmmaker, why you decided to make it?

“Little French Fish” is a classic love story of two people coming from different backgrounds, like that of Romeo and Juliet.

It tells about love between a Jewish woman and a Muslim man, whose feelings and passion clash with the long-established traditions

and social order. The question posed here is what one can do in such conflicting circumstances.

Hence the dilemma: to stay loyal to tradition, when tradition is something to be taken very seriously and never be ignored

(otherwise the whole set of life rules and beliefs called “tradition” wouldn’t be existing for millennia); or follow your heart ignoring any mésalliance. Choosing a second option means escaping from home with your lover. But where can they run to in this modern world?

In this film, I tried to pose this question directly to the viewers and let them decide what the heroes should do,

and by doing so, feel responsible for their fate.

What were some of the challenges you faced in making this film?

We were filming between two countries, England and France, so the obvious challenge was the lack of extra time.

The producer brought all the actors and film crew from London to Paris. And when we talk about filming, every single minute counts,

especially so when traveling, but thanks to the outstanding work of the actors and the rehearsals they had, most of the scenes

were shot on the first take. I really wanted to capture an extraordinary light of Paris sky, but on the day of shooting on location,

the weather was cloudy and rainy, the actors were freezing in the wind and we were literally desperately trying to catch every ray of sun.

In the end, though, we got lucky and returned to London with the material we wanted.

The cinematography and acting is wonderful and supports the drama in a very effective way.

What was it like to work with them?

I have a meticulous approach when it comes to choosing the crew and the actors, taking into account such credentials

as a person’s positive attitude, etc. When we were auditioning an actress for the main role to act as the artist Leia,

we paid close attention to the shape of her hands, height, tone of voice, her enthusiasm to learn about the foreign tradition

and culture, etc. The casting started at 7am, and as far as I remember we would finish as late as 10pm without taking any lunch break.

The actress Devora Wilde was auditioned first and remained our favorite throughout, despite the fact her auditioning time was the shortest.

She came to the casting very well prepared, she knew the text, didn’t make a single mistake, acted very naturally in every scene,

and subsequently, throughout the whole filming, each team member noticed that. English actors are incredibly reliable and responsible.

On a separate note, I’d like to comment on the music. Even if we remove all the dialogs from the film and leave the music only,

we would still be able to comprehend the meaning of each scene only by the sound of the melody. In the process of creating a film,

I give one of the main roles to chance. So, quite by accident, I stumbled upon an incredibly beautiful Arabic melody performed

on a traditional Ney instrument, so I immediately decided that this instrument will be used for this film.

We tried to create a dance of love between Arabic and Jewish traditional melodies, depending on the essence and hidden

meaning of each episode. I was lucky to have the incredibly talented composer Ed Watkins on board,

who could magically turn our ideas to reality.

What was the biggest lesson you had to learn after making this film?

One should always be open to improvisation, the best moments in a film are sometimes born in the process of filming, and

a random phrase not written in the script can become one of the most fundamental ones.

What keeps you inspired to continue filmmaking?

A new acquaintance with an interesting person, an inseparable feeling, a masterpiece of painting, the light of a candle lit at night, the desire to express yourself. Just as a writer cannot but write, a director cannot stop shooting. For the artist, creating means breathing.

The most important part is distributing the film. What did you do for distributing your film "Little French Fish"?

Fortunately, I was lucky to have our producer James Norbury to entrust the distribution of the film too,

so I could fully dedicate myself to the Directing only. By the way, this year I attended the Berlin Film Festival

where I managed to meet and make friends with some of the European distributors.

Film festivals is definitely one of the best platforms to find distributors.

What are your filmmaking goals?

- Cinematography for me is the language to communicate with the world.

I want to continue to tell stories and pose new questions to my viewer.

What is your next project?

- The events that gave rise to the #MeToo movement for many women are more than just words, it’s mostly the pain,

an injury that will remain a bitter memory for many years to come. Now, together with my LA colleague David Goldblum,

we are finishing the script about a little girl who left home to pursue the acting career, and what she had to encounter

on the road to fame. Show business can be dangerous for a naive inexperienced young woman.

The material world we live in today can often obscure the spiritual world. And it’s only the genuine desire

to give your time, love, and kindness to the world around you can ultimately make you happy.

Good Louck Eva

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