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"In Moscow, we are talking with you" pn-se "- and this is very intimate!"

Film director Roman Ovseichuk about the Far Eastern memes, cultural codes and the struggle with the complex of the Khabarovsk provincial

Roman - chief editor of the producer company "Profi", ex-TV. In an informal conversation with East Russia, the indigenous Khabarovsk told about his attempts to become a Muscovite, the adaptation of the love of local celebrities to his city, the festival of feature films and torn templates. For you - the traditional rubric "Unsuccessful".

"In Moscow, we are talking with you" pn-se "- and this is very intimate!"
Photo: Elena Vertyankina

Hobbies, back and forth

- I have traveled all over Russia and I have something to compare with. In Khabarovsk, I worked as a sports journalist. My work was connected with constant business trips, teams often took me with them to all kinds of competitions. I was a little abroad, but it also happened. Then I moved to Moscow to prove something to someone. To myself, colleagues, my then wife. And then my last wife and I, having lived in Moscow for 5 years, parted. I was in prostration, my brains were jolted, I did not understand how to proceed. The habitual way of life was disrupted. I went to Kiev, lived there for 2-3 months. And something began to tear off the roof. And goals just don't arise, I didn't understand what to do at all, and why I generally wake up in the morning. I began to call Khabarovsk. I dialed my colleague Alla Dzhan-Sha, with whom we worked together before my departure, and asked - is there a job? She said yes there is. It was necessary to make a series of programs about small stars of big sports, about children. And this project was calculated until the end of 2011. In February 2011, I came here, and throughout this year I hoped that I would live in Khabarovsk for a year, I would do this project, put my brains in order - and return home to Moscow. Then home for me was in Moscow. But the closer December was, the more often the thought flashed through my mind: what, in fact, should I do there?

All the time, while I was living in Moscow, despite the fact that friends appeared, friends and even some of my relatives lived there, anyway - no matter how I integrated into this city, but I was in Moscow as a removable apartment, you know. And the boys with whom I was friends, they knew the capital's yards since childhood, they went to some school with an 4-digit number, and naturally felt themselves at home in the capital. And if you are a visitor, then you seem to be living, and she seems to be yours, you've rebuilt everything under yourself, you've made all the master's furniture, but you understand that she, this conditional apartment, is still removable. Roughly speaking, you decide not to smoke in a hut or on a balcony, but the owner. And the same feelings I have in general from Moscow. 

As for some large-scale things, then yes, there is more money. Roughly speaking, if I shoot a film here with a budget of 100 thousand rubles or half a million, then there I, doing such work, earn five times more. And in my films there are completely different characters. Here I have Lena Vertyankina, and there I will talk to a dude whom the whole country or half of Europe knows. But this is the scenery, the essence is the same - I still interview you, and you interview me. And by and large, it seems to be such a childish thing when you are in awe of the fact that you are interviewing a star, whose poster hung over your bed as a child. Yes, it looks different, but the essence is the same, in Moscow and in Khabarovsk. You, the root of your life, is the same. You still go to work, come home from work, raise children, arrange your life. And, in my opinion, these are my personal feelings (and I am not trying to convert anyone to my faith) - if in essence they are one and the same, then what difference does it make where? Doshi's rule: if there is no difference, why pay more? Yes, in Moscow there are more opportunities, but there I spend more. This is the materialistic side of the issue, which is also important. Our specificity is regional, that here you have to be a screenwriter, a director, a sound designer, and a producer, otherwise the fees are small.

Europe ≡ Asia

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There are professions and areas of activity that are very difficult to implement in the Far East. I apologize, but again everything comes down to finances. Here the number of people is less, respectively, in the language of marketing and economics (I am a graduate of the Faculty of Economics and Management of the DVAAGS, I am used to thinking in such categories too), we have уthe market, and the amount of money supply that rotates here, is also smaller. Some financial-intensive industries, the same cinema, a big show business, are unprofitable to develop here, they still will not be of such scale as in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It is very difficult to realize these things here, although people try. Take Vladivostok, there are some musical groups, for example, "Marlins" or "Starcardigan ". TOOf course, they do not have the same popularity as Ivan Dorn, but, nevertheless, they are touring Russia. In Khabarovsk there is a team of "Starkillers »that drives tours around the country. It's easier now than it was 20 years ago, but you still need to have, excuse me, stone forehead and steel ass. And it is difficult to deal with these areas here, and therefore it is more logical to go somewhere in the center and be realized there.

But it surprises me when guys - officials, accountants, office workers move there! Listen, I saw a bunch of people who moved from Khabarovsk and other cities of the country to Moscow. And so their life was really no different from what they had in Khabarovsk. So, they sit from 9 to 18 in the office, have fun in the evening and watch TV, on weekends they go out with their whole family - here in Sambury, there in Auchan. And on weekends, they go here across the river to Fuyuan, and then to Krakow, Poland. Well, yes, of course, Europe is closer there, but here Asia, and this is also interesting! And from Moscow they also drive here to see Asia. What prevents us from going to Europe sometimes? In my opinion, Europe and Asia are equally interesting, it's just that Europe is closer to them, Asia is closer to us, well, huddle it up, there really is something to see. And for the price it is acceptable. China, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, both Koreas, Taiwan. I'm not saying that Europe is bad, but Asia is no worse, I would put a sign between them not even of equality, but of identity. And I am not saying that living in St. Petersburg or Moscow is bad and there is no need to move there. These are cool cities, but to each his own. I love Moscow very much, and while I lived there, I considered it mine. But, again, while I live here, I don’t understand what the fundamental difference is. If you do not take the scenery and all the tinsel that Van Dam plays there, as in the song, that Posner lives there or someone else, if you don't take this aspect here, then, listen, it's the same thing.

If we talk about some kind of rabid patriotism, then I like everything in Khabarovsk. Since I am - you may not believe now - an introvert. I don’t like a lot of people around me, I don’t like to speak in public, now I’m talking to you calmly, and it’s cool that there’s no one besides us. I can broadcast to the camera, broadcast, but at the same time I feel discomfort. My lifestyle, and how things are going for me - I cross my fingers, even though I'm not a superstitious person. This is exactly what I want, I want to live in exactly this mode. The seventh year of my second life in Khabarovsk is coming to an end, I live as I want. I have three children, the youngest is now 1,3. Plus, at the Sport FM-Khabarovsk radio station, I conduct an hour-long sports show with my godfather Vladimir Lozov, "Talking to Me a Game".



The cultural environment and cultural codes in Moscow and in St. Petersburg, in Europe, pop, public. And this encoding is "your-stranger". There is a man walking between the case, mentioning some toponym: "You know, there's on Dobryninskaya or in Sokolniki ...". But these are common toponyms, they are for everyone. And when we meet with you somewhere in a foreign land and discuss how we miss the smell of a pie-ho on a cold October morning, only we understand each other! And this is an intimate process, our little community. When I see my man, as you know, the prisoners were determined by their nails after each other, and we recognize ourselves according to our memories of the Far East. The kitchen, again, its own.

It's funny when he lived in Moscow, the feeling of patriotism manifested itself in small things. One day I invited my Moscow friends to dinner with me and said that my father had given me a fern, about five kilograms. I have soaked it, I fry it with pork, I tell the boys, take a bottle, come, today I will have exclusively Far Eastern cuisine, I'll treat you to a fried fern with pork, I'll cook potatoes. They say - oh, fern, the main dish, and how does it stick out? They thought that this is some kind of Far Eastern drug, which we use and bastard! That is, they do not even imagine that the fern can be eaten. But when you feed, they become fans of the fern.

I am now more involved in the food topic, because it is close to me, and besides, I have not had lunch today (laughs). In the west, people drink a foamy drink with roach and ram. There can be nothing more disgusting than roach and ramming, they stink of a river, they stink of a swamp, they are uncomfortably cut, this is horror! I treated my Moscow friends again to the Sakhalin catfish smelt given to me by my relatives. They never ate that vobla of theirs - I swear - never again! She became disgusting to them, they realized what to eat. And coho salmon, of course, treated them with backs.

In the Far East, we don't even have any specific words, there are so many things that, in principle, are not in the West. These are, for example, wild garlic, fern. In the west, everyone says red caviar and red fish, but we have just fish and just caviar. In Moscow, a dialogue is possible: -Parents gave me caviar. - And red or black? Here, in the Far East, if we want to say - black caviar, we say - black caviar, and if we say simply caviar, then by default we mean red. You can recognize a Far Easterner in the west by place names related to cities. Some Fifth site in Khabarovsk, Churkin in Vladivostok, Bricks in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. In our dictionary we have the epithet "smart", but in Moscow they don't say that. Then - a trip to the sea. When we say Thailand, we mean Thailand, we do not say when we go to Thailand that we went to the sea. And when we speak of the sea, we always mean Japanese, because no one will go to Okhotsk to rest. We have a lot connected with China, hence the vocabulary: chifanka, kunya, help. You can recall the criminal encoding, all these our authorities, such as Crab, Jem, these are also our memes.  

Project "Alley": show me your Khabarovsk

I'll tell you about my film projects. Initially, in 2015, our studio received an order for a program about the city, democratic and interesting to us ourselves, so that without songs of praise. We got the name "Alley". The first season of "Alley" was funded by the Khabarovsk municipality in 2015, the second season was funded by the Dal-TV television company.

It is very difficult to describe in words why you love your city. And I love. When you ask why, you understand that you cannot describe this feeling in any sense, no matter whether you are going to the city or to a woman. You just love because you love. But it's still interesting to dig, and for what? I thought: how can you show the love of Khabarovsk residents for Khabarovsk? And he began to look for a form. And I came up with this: everyone has their own city. Only the officials, unfortunately, have the same, some postcard a couple of places. And, you know what is the saddest thing about these postcard places? They are not associated with anything, except perhaps a bridge with a five thousandth bill. It's a shame that there are a bunch of gorgeous objects, but by themselves they are not interesting and do not carry any load, be it a monument or some kind of building. Even the most beautiful is meaningless. But as soon as you personally associate a story with this place, it immediately makes sense! Even if this is my story, and I am telling it to you, this place also starts to be connected with you.

In total, 20 issues of our almanac were published, respectively, about 20 heroes. I asked everyone: why is it worth living here? In general, the main thought was - not why they did not leave, but why they stayed. For "Alley" I took relatively well-known Khabarovsk citizens, speakers, media, so that they were interesting to the viewer. The very first hero was Yura Savochkin with the Ikra boutique, which revolutionized branding in Khabarovsk; now Yuri, by the way, lives in Rabochy Gorodok. Also - Sergei Khvolynsky, editor-in-chief of "Space Khabarovsk", so he left, by the way. They did it with the big Max, who sings, Ivan Verbitsky, the host, our star, the former KVN-schik. Yana Dzhan-Sha was like an artist, there was Roman Avilov with Emilia Khmelyonko, the founders of the "Braindo" sect. Alexey Chechelev was, the head of the press service of the hockey club "Amur", he also made a cool film with him. I had the conductor of the military orchestra Taras Yurichin, who plays Lady Gaga at the Amur Waves festival and all sorts of innovations from year to year. Here he showed me musical Khabarovsk, how Khabarovsk sounds. That is, different characters showed how Khabarovsk sings, how Khabarovsk sounds, how Khabarovsk smells, and so on. And none of them had a provincial complex. Usually, when a person tries to talk about his city on the periphery, he says: "Yes, here it is not worse than in Moscow, but here it is better than in Moscow." And for each of my heroes, Khabarovsk is good in itself. But how is it in the movies? There is money - there is a movie, no money - no movie. Now there is no money on Alley, but if we find it, then there will be a third season, and I even have ideas on this matter.

"We climbed to the Far East"

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Another of our projects is called "Point of Return". It's about the Far East. This is the amateur fiction film festival, which we are holding for the third time this year. How did he think? Films, reports, all this has already happened, and we decided to try the genre of feature films. Take a real story as a basis, if necessary, add something of your own to make it more interesting. We thought: let the people who live in Khabarovsk and believe that they can make a movie, we offer to capture their stories. The case smelled like some kind of serious event. Film Festival! Wonderful. In 2015, there were five films with a story about how a person left, and then something pulled him back here, and he stayed. That is, we tell at what point the return took place.

For the second festival in 2016, there were just real stories that happened in Khabarovsk. We learned that amateur films are generally filmed very actively in the Far East. And this season we decided to aim at the Far East, applied for a presidential grant, which are distributed every year. We were given 2 million rubles. We climbed to the Far East. In the final we will have two competitive programs, these are films that were filmed specifically for the festival, and films filmed in 2015-2017 that are relevant to the topic. Now we have 11 films in the finals. Geography: Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Magadan, Yakutsk, Vladivostok, Spassk-Dalny, Polina Osipenko district of the Khabarovsk Territory, Palana settlement, Kamchatka Territory, etc. The topic is “Real and completely unreal stories that happened or could have happened only in the Far East”. Actors, directors, videographers, editors, screenwriters are all non-professionals, this is the main criterion for passing to the "Point of Return". Our participants are students, Yakut peasants, children from the Sozvezdiye camp, extreme motorcyclists, office managers, railroad workers, perhaps there are theatergoers. Films are mostly non-genre, relatively speaking, arthouse. There are two attempts to make comedy this season.

More than half of the films we screened out at the synopsis stage. Of course, we don't take everyone in a row. Personally, I really liked the seaside stories. For example, one comedy from Vladivostok residents "What the cars are silent about". The story of how a man lost his mind and began to hear his car. He got scared, went to psychotherapists, changed a car, bought a new one, and they talked to him again. The funny thing was that only Japanese cars spoke to him and only in Russian. As a result, he buys an old Soviet broken-down Moskvich, and he does not talk to him ... And what happened at the end, I will not spoil - look at the festival. And also the girls from Primorye came up with the film "Dolphin and the Mermaid". The plot is as follows: a Vladivostok girl brought her boyfriend, who is from Moscow, to meet her parents. Before introducing her father, she chases her chosen one through the "Primorsko-Russian dictionary." For example, where we say "whichever", in the West they say "sponge". The guy learned the exam, came to visit, he is very worried. His father begins to regale him with all sorts of seaside delicacies: Chinese vodka with a snake, choco pai, mega spicy Chinese noodles and Korean cabbage kim-chi, and so on. The young man needs to pass this test, but he fails it, and the father turns his daughter's boyfriend into a crab. The girl says: "Dad, come on, you will not be so strict with my suitors, I will never marry!" He opens the refrigerator, and there are already a bunch of such crabs. Khabarovsk is weak this year. The story of Polina Osipenko is based on real events. It is about a dog that was left alone on Shantars, she survived, ate berries, hunted, and as a result she was taken home. I was struck by the performance skills of the Yakuts. Even amateurs have a high-level approach there. They have guys who shoot fiction films, they then run them in local cinemas and even come out as a plus. But we do not take such people to the festival, but only amateurs, but their lovers are much stronger than ours.

All bearers of the diagnosis “short cinema of the brain” and just cinema lovers are invited to the Far East festival of fiction amateur cinema "Return Point"-2017 September 28-30 in Sovkino, Khabarovsk.

Admission to all events is free.

Finally, I will add: our festival is not about cinema at all. The formula is clever and simple at the same time: if we make a movie, then we live here, and it's interesting, so interesting that you can even shoot about this movie, you know? I made a choice. I walk on this earth and everything here is mine: every wall, every blade of grass and every building knows me. Live where you feel good, friends.  


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