Monday 24 December 2018 - 11:20

Vitaly Mansky: Documentaries Should Not Be Propaganda

Vitaly Mansky, the Russian documentary filmmaker and the director of Russian ArtDoc film festival, who traveled to Tehran for his political documentary, Putin's Witnesses, at the 12th Iran International Documentary Film Festival "Cinema Verite", believes that the documentaries should not be propaganda.
Vitaly Mansky: Documentaries Should Not Be Propaganda
He who spent about 20 years on the making of Putin's Witnesses, stated about Cinema Verite: "This is the first time I have come to Iran, but it's not the first time I have my films screened here. Two years ago, my documentary, Under the Sun, was featured at this festival and won the International Jury Special Prize. I find Cinema Verite very good, alive, and great film festival. What's most interesting is the large number audience attending the festival.”
"I was born in Ukraine, and I am currently living in Lithuania, but I am the chairman of a festival at St. Petersburg, Russia," said Minsky about the festival that he manages. “It’s called ArtDoc Festival. Our festival is held at the same time as Cinema Verite. This year, this festival was held three days earlier and therefore I was able to come to Tehran. Our festival is for documentary films. Each year in ArtDoc 120 films are featured. This festival is the greatest and most important and festival in Russia. Of course, our festival is held with the aid of private sponsorship and support for those who work with us.”
He added: “So far, there was no Iranian documentaries in ArtDoc. This festival is for Russian language films or films made in Russia. Russian films are produced everywhere in the world, that’s why our festival is an international one. This year a Belgian film won the festival award. Last year, a Dutch film won it. The films we present in the festival must be creative. I’ve seen many Iranian films in various festivals. Iranian cinema has a special view of life. I like this calm feature of the Iranians. Iran's cinema has a widespread look to the world and sees different aspects of the world and life.”
The Russian filmmaker said about his film, Putin's Witnesses: "This film is about the rise of Vladimir Putin in 1998, which coincided with the Russian New Year. People were suddenly faced with his election. The film narrates who discovered Putin and brought him to the presidency. We also paid attention to Putin himself. His emergence and election was an unusual event. In fact, I made this film about the groups that introduced Putin. It took me twenty years to make it. In fact, in the middle, I stopped working; I started the project twenty years ago, and then I held on for some time. I waited to see what was happening to finish the job. I waited to publish the film when the people around the world demanded something new about Putin and the story of his emergance. The shooting finished in 2002 and the film was released in the summer of 2018.”
He continued: "I have sent this film to about sixty festivals. I featured this documentary at Toronto, Carlo Vivari, London, IDFA, Leibniz and many other places. The film recieved great attention from critics and ordinary audiences.”
"The most important thing about a movie is that it should not be propaganda," said Mansky about the most important feature of a documentary. “A good movie should respect its audience and give them the opportunity to think. I tried to make such films. A documentary should give people information about the society in which they live. Putin's Witnesses is not only important for Russia and its people, but also for the people of any country. The film gives people the opportunity to learn more about the politics of a big country like Russia.”
He also said about the screening of his film in Russia: "The film is not yet featured in Russia. Of course, some people has watched it online. After online streaming, it found a lot of fans in the cyberspace. I think one day this film will be screened in Russia. We still did not show it there officially, so we do not know if it gets permission or not. In Russia, movies require government approval to be screened. The film has received a lot of criticism on the Internet, and its feedback has been very good.”
Story Code: 4134
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