Our recent Documentary Film alumna Volia Chaikouskaya's film "Common Language" tells the story of the director herself, who has always been viewed as the black sheep in her family, setting out to the Belarusian town of Vitebsk to talk with her parents about previous grievances and topics that were considered taboo. The effort to find a common language, which runs into stormy emotions and the inability to voice honest opinions, is captured through both personal moments and detailed shots of the protagonists’ faces.
Jihlava festival in the Czech Republic, which is one of the most important Eastern European documentary film festivals, announced their competition sections this week. Chajkouskaya's semester film was picked for the Short Joy section. The festival programme features over 220 titles, including the latest of international and Czech documentary crop, South Korean film retrospective, a comprehensive showcase of Afro-American docs as well as new documentaries focusing on topics that are more than relevant these days: coronavirus pandemic, China and Hong Kong, climate change, and films asking the fundamental question – where is our home?
Jihlava is Oscar-qualified when it comes to the feature lenght documentaries, that means the Grand Prix may run for the documentary film Academy Award.
Volia Chajkouskaya (born 1987) studied journalism in Minsk and documentary studies in Tallinn. She is the founder and program director of the Northern Lights Nordic Baltic Film Festival. In 2016, she established the Belarussian-Estonian production company Voila Films, which acted acted as the producer for Dmitri Kalashnikov’s award-winning feature-length documentary The Road Movie.