Ocean - Press Conference

110pm. Movie Cafe.
Film: Ocean
Story: A story of a heartbroken youngster who leaves home for Havana. Clear blue sea, sensual Cuban music, passionate relationship of parent and child. Feel the Latin beat from this sweet and bitter adolescent film.
Present: Mikhail Kosyrev-Nesterov (director)

Why did you choose Cuba? Also, the ocean scenes being very dynamic, please tell us if there were any behind-the-scene stories.
Mikhail Kosyrev-Nesterov (MKN): I am the producer and director of this film and we had police back up while shooting in Cuba. Fortunately we were able to finish our shooting sound and safe. As for why I chose to shoot in Cuba can be answered when we look at the people and family relationship among the Russians. It isn’t what it used to be but is still well and alive in Cuba. If I had set the movie in Russia, this film probably would’ve been quite gloomy. I was
shooting a documentary in India right before “Ocean”, but India didn’t seem right for this movie either.

I understand you used a portable camera to film this movie. What effect did you have in mind? Also, the sound of the waves in the countryside seemed quite loud. Was this intentional?
MKN: I wanted to capture the characters and their emotions in the most vivid way, which gave me the idea of using a portable camera. For the same reason, I didn’t set the camera blocks beforehand. It was natural that the sound of the waves would be loud since we were shooting right by the sea. The sounds were not edited. There was also the problem of language and words. The scenes with uproars had a script but the actors felt comfortable improvising those scenes. The Spanish that the actors use is full of Cuban slang, making it almost impossible to do a voice over.

Was your staff Cubans, too?
MKN: It was a joint production between Russia and Cuba. The Cuban executive producer was a very large man and I was almost afraid of being killed by him! But he did a great job with the movie!

Both Russia and Cuba once being socialist nations, do you feel there is a strong bond between the two countries in terms of filmmaking?
MKN: There were strong ties between us during the Soviet Union era., but Cuba and Russia hadn’t made a film together for the past 25 years. The Soviet Union is deeply responsible for what they did to Cuba. In Cuba, a single document or contract needs signature after signature of government officials for it to be intact. When I complained about this, I was told that this was the bureaucratism we forced upon Cuba.

Please tell us a little about what you plan to make next. Do you have any constraints on shooting in or out of the country?
MKN: I have no plans yet. As you are all aware, we are facing a very serious economical crisis which has caused about 180 films to cease production for the time being. I feel lucky that I was able to finish this film before this all happened.

Are you interested in cultivating young Russian actors and directors?
MKN: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, a famous Russian poet said that “the emotions make poetry”. Art is not having two sides compelling eachother, rather it is creating love and compassion. My hope is to see young filmmakers understand this integrity.