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Olga Chernykh: Jigsaw puzzles of directing29.06.2020

We asked Olga Chernykh—one of the finalists of Papaya Young Directors international contest—about her source of inspirations, meaning behind her films and filmmaking in the “COVID reality”.

The documentary part was crucial for your story. How did you come across your protagonist?

Olga Chernykh: In the beginning, I was looking for a young sportsman, who is the youngest European champion. But when I contacted the trainer of the Ukrainian National Diving team and she recommended me a few boys, something unusual happened. I saw Lera–a young, fragile, pretty girl at the pool with an open mind and bright eyes. And I was charmed by her.

photos by Maryna Brodovska
photos by Maryna Brodovska

Feature or documentary? Which film genre do you perceive closer to you?

I'm a perfectionist, so I love a nice image and good framing, but I think that there is a lot of power in documentary characters and real stories. They make your film closer to people, closer to life, there is truth in it.

Can you give examples of the most important documentaries and feature films that have had a fundamental impact on you?

I think that it's going to be a long list! It's like a puzzle: you gather small separate pieces to create one larger image. I take pieces, elements, a single image, or feeling to build something bigger. When it comes to documentaries, I’d say KoyaanisqatsiOf Fathers and Sons, We, 5 broken camerasMan with a movie camera, and Pina had the biggest impact on me. In terms of feature films–In the mood of Love, Stalker, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Easy Rider, Orchestra Rehearsal, I am Cuba.

photos by Maryna Brodovska
photos by Maryna Brodovska

What gives you the creative drive?

I'm trying to look up to all the biggest film festivals and watch not only the winning list. Also, I'm always in search of books from different countries.

How did you cope with “COVID reality” working on the PYD project on both preproduction and shooting stages?

It was a good time to be honest because I had a chance to collaborate with everyone on advantageous conditions. The only thing is that to shoot the documentary part I needed to wait more than a month to get permission.

Could you describe the creative process relating to Papaya Young Directors contest?

It’s intertwined with freedom and a cool experience from creating an idea to the final shoot. I, as a director, feel that there’s a lot of space for my ideas, thoughts, and creative approaches. That’s great support.

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