Filmmaker Of The Month: Daria Kashcheeva

I guess you were happy to see your video selected in the contest for Nonna Anita. Could you tell us where you got the idea?

In summer my husband and I planned to visit our parents who live in a village, and we wondered what we could to make sure the visit didn’t get boring!  We decided to shoot something there, so I looked through all the Userfarm projects to find a contest that would work for this trip. When I found the Nonna Anita project, we realized that it could be great to make cakes and shoot a video with our parents! So I began to think about what it could be. And because my mother-in-law has chickens, and her neighbors have a cow I thought, why not use them?

I figured out that it could be interesting to show how hard it is to bake cakes in a village. You have to catch a chicken to get eggs, you have to milk your cow… while with Nonna Anita products it all becomes so easy! Most of all what I liked about this idea was that my mother-in-law and I would have to run around her garden together catching chickens and filming. We were set for a very funny holiday! But after I had this idea our plans changed, so we could not go to the village. I was a bit upset but then another idea came to me: why couldn’t I make the chickens and cows from paper and shoot it all in my kitchen? So that is the story


You have joined a number of different projects in Userfarm where we find your signature in each video, how do you define your film style?

I do not make any effort to define my style. One important thing is that I love animation because it gives me a possibility to create, to break  new ground, to transform things, to shoot a cow in my kitchen or to make it possible for my husband to fly. It is funny and it works great. When I have a crazy idea I enjoy shooting it, and this is the most important thing for me. My work must be interesting. I must enjoy it. When I don’t like what I do, when it is boring, I get sick. But if I enjoy it, I get so much power – I can get up at 4 in the morning and shoot a sunrise like we did for my film for the Nespresso Talents contests, and for the Girella project when we needed to shoot on an empty street in the morning.


What do you think about Userfarm and how did you find us?

I learned about Userfarm through the Nespresso Talents contest. I think Userfarm is a great project. It gives a great opportunity to anyone to test themselves as a filmmaker. And the most important thing is that it is always a contest. This competition makes you more creative. You really have to make everything the best it can be. And I think that participants in Userfarm projects make really good videos.

The other important thing is that for selected video, Userfarm provides very good financial support, which helps filmmakers to evolve. For example, my reward helped me update my equipment and allowed me to work on my next personal project calmly, not stressing about looking for work.


Our projects are all very different. How do you interpret the Brief and make a plan?

As I love animation I look for a project where I can use this technique. Also important is that if you participate a project about beer you will get a box of beer, and if you participate a project about cakes you’ll get a box of cakes! J  No, to be serious, I just look for something I will have time for, where the deadline suits me, and if I get an idea, I make it.


You were one of the filmmakers selected for Nespresso Talents 2017 with your short movie “To Accept”, what inspired you to create this story?

This is a story about me. This is another major part of my creativity – if I make a story it should be something personal. I guess when I make films I solve my own problems. In this film, I solve my problem as an introvert. Because the theme of the contest was You have the power to change, I wondered what I needed to change. I thought that I needed to become less introverted. I began to write a script that showed an introvert’s life, and suddenly realized that the introvert shouldn’t change. He shouldn’t fight who he is. He should accept it. And that is the title of the film, To Accept. So I made this film and I solved my problem. Now it doesn’t bother me that I’m an introvert. I accept myself as I am, and it was a great experience for me. Such psychotherapy for free!


How was your time at the Cannes Film Festival?

It was great! I never imagined I as a second-year film student I could go to Cannes and be selected. It was really crazy! I met a lot of interesting people there, I got a lot of inspiration. And the most important thing was that I got the feeling that I really could succeed if I want to do something. And this power is with me and it helps me to work a lot.


What was it like to shoot in 9:16?

It was strange, but it forced me to think more. I had to think hard about the vertical composition during shooting and it made my brain work more. I think it helped my film.


How important has Nespresso Talents been in developing your career as a filmmaker?

It has been very important for me. Before I participated in the contest, I was just a second-years student in the animation department of FAMU in Prague. A few people knew my work and a few of them liked it… But I was making films for examinations, which show at exam screening then no one else sees your film after and no one knows about you. But after I returned from Cannes everybody in my school knew about me, and news about my video selected spread all over our small Czech film world. I don’t want to say, that I want to everybody to know me, but people began to trust me. They knew I could make something that could be interesting to the international film world.

Now that I am preparing my degree film, this special reward from Nespresso helped me to find very good producers. I’m really happy about this, because it helps me to concentrate on creation. I know I can get support and I don’t worry about technical issues. It really helps a lot. Of course, I don’t want to say that if you are selected in a prestigious contest you don’t need to make something good and that everything will just happen for you… no! I continue to work hard on developing my projects. In fact I probably work even harder than before the Nespresso Contest. But I know that people who work with me believe in me and they will work hard with me.


Would you recommend Userfarm to other people who want to start off a filmmaker career?

Of course. It is very good opportunity to try yourself as a film maker, to get feedback, to experience the incentive of competition, and to improve your portfolio! And as I said it can earn you very good financial support.


Finally, could you recommend a film where we can find Daria’s inspiration?

There is one director who has influenced me most of all and definitely inspires me, this is the Czech animation director, Jan Svankmajer. Among Czech directors, I also admire Jiri Barta for the way he animates objects. I adore Yuriy Norshteyn’s films for their poetics and depth. I like Estonian animation and directors like Priit Parn and Mati Kutt. As for feature films I love Michel Gondry’s imagination, the harsh realism of the Dardenne brothers, Leos Karax’s film language, how each frame of Sergei Paradzhanov’s films is a beautiful image and the strange lost world of Aki Kaurismaki’s films. The biggest inspiration is when I go to a film or animation film festival, when I could watch films very day.


Thanks! All the best for your next projects and we hope to see more videos from dariAKA!


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