World Premiere: Galway Film Fleadh, 14 July 2017 at 12:15 p.m.
The city of Visaginas was created from nothing in the 1970s in order to service a powerful Soviet nuclear power station. Literally designed and shaped like the wings of a butterfly, it was intended to be a window of Soviet progress to the West. After USSR disintegration, however, EU membership meant Lithuania has to close the plant, the city’s main industry. At a time of growing geo-political tension, and in an ambiance of mutual mistrust, what future for the 25,000 Russian-speaking townspeople?
Director Olga Černovaitė follows her first film, If Not You [see trailer], with this portrayal of a city that is refusing to die along with its defunct power plant. Instead, it is looking to the future and searching for a new face. This portrayal inevitably raises questions of democracy, inclusion, citizenship, and freedom of expression.
Refusing to take sides on particular grievances in this sensitive situation, the film is simply another way of asking a rather universal question: if there is a way for different communities living as citizens in the same democratic country to maintain their identity, respect that of others, and live together without fear or suspicion.
The director, herself born in Vilnius of Russian parents, undertakes a journey of discovery as she probes these intangible issues of language and culture – and ultimately about identity and belonging.
This project has been awarded development and production (TV Programming) funding by Creative Europe and development and production funding by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board. It was selected for the Nordisk Forum 2014 in Malmö, Sweden, When East Meets West 2015 in Trieste, Italy, where it won the Digital Cinema Award, and Moscow Business Square 2015. Previously it had been selected for the EURODOC workshops and was represented by Bartolomeo Dibenedetto, and was also selected for the SOURCES 2 writer’s workshop, taking place in Tübingen, Germany. It has been pre-sold in 8 territories.
The project was selected for the 2016 IDFAcademy Summer School, Amsterdam.
Production: Planet Korda Pictures (Dublin)
Co-production: CFC Short & Doc (Copenhagen), Agent Double (Brussels).
World sales: Visible Film
Russia Sales: Reflexion Films, Moscow