• Conversation with Pavel Khvaleev

      FEST 2016 / News / Conversation with Pavel Khvaleev
      03. March 2016.
      This is my second film and, after I finished my first film, Random, which was a mystical drama and a true test of my competence, I showed it to my friend Frank

       How did your project begin?

      Pavel Khvaleev: This is my second film and, after I finished my first film, Random, which was a mystical drama and a true test of my competence, I showed it to my friend Frank. After that, he forwarded it to a German production company that strictly worked in the horror genre and, when they saw it, they asked me to do a film in that genre. I thought, sure, why not, I'll try.

      Frank Elrich: I don't know if you're aware, but Pavel is very experienced in making music videos for his projects with Moonbeam, he has made 35 of them. In those videos, there is always something different, something otherworldly, and yet, somehow, inside the story. Hence the thought, why wouldn't he try to do feature films, the videos he's made aren't distant from the horror genre.

      Has your music with Moonbeam affected your film work?

      It definitely has, it's something very close to my soul. My music also has this deep, dark, mystical feeling about it, and I do hope that you can sense that in my film as well. Still, I don't think that III is so much of a horror, it's more of an arthouse film with elements of horror, but it's definitely dark. How was the story written, was it an individual piece, or was it in the form of a script from the beginning?

      Yes, it was written for the film. My wife Alexandra knows a lot about shamanism, she has done a lot of reading on the rituals, especially about the ritual called kamlanje, which really exists and is a combination of catholicism and shamanism.

      Did you have a casting for the main roles and what was your experience with the actors?

      Our actors are really complete beginners and amateurs, only Polina (Polina Davydova) started a professional career in acting after the debut. We have made the film with only 9 people, and we only did a sort of casting among our friends. I don't even know whether I may call it a casting, since we were merely checking if they could play the roles.

      How was your film received in Russia?

      It's really an open question, since we don't have any support from the Russian film industry. It seems to me that the problem is the genre itself, arthouse and horror aren't really popular in Russia, only drama and comedy are successful at this point. We have posted the film ourselves, at the internet platforms such as iTunes and Google Play, and we are very satisfied with the results. In the first two weeks it ranked among 20 of the most downloaded films, both at iTunes and Google Play, which means that we definitely do have the support of the people in Russia who like the genre. So I do think that we have a future in this business.

      You stated that you don't have the support of the indutry, so how did you finance the project?

      The budget was merely 15000 euros, so that's not really a lot of money. I am a musician, and I only used the money I made off of my music. So, the film was actually funded privately in its entirety.

      Are you currently working on a new project?

      Yes, we are currently working on a film, but it's definitely not a horror, more of a thriller. I'd rather not uncover the secrets of the synopsis, but, yes, we are definitely working on something new.