Official Selection

The Whaler Boy

by Philipp Yuryev
Russia, Poland, Belgium, 2020, 94', color, DCP
Screenplay: Philipp Yuryev
Wednesday 02 September 2020
19:30 Sala Astra 1 Press, Industry
Wednesday 02 September 2020
19:45 Sala Astra 2 Press, Industry
Friday 04 September 2020
17:00 Sala Perla All Accreditations
Followed by Q&A
Saturday 05 September 2020
21:00 Cinema Rossini Tickets
Saturday 12 September 2020
11:30 Sala Perla  All Accreditations

Mikhail Khursevich
Yakov Mironchev
Karolina Maciejewska
Alexander Krylov
Philipp Yuryev 

Krzysztof A Janczak
David Vrancken
production design
Georgy Kolotygin
Artem Kuzmin
Boris Kukolkin

Vladimir Onokhov
Kristina Asmus
[Girl from America]
Vladimir Lyubimtsev
Nikolay Tatato
Arieh Worthalter
[Border Patrol Guard]
Maria Chuprinskaya
[Blond Girl]

Alexey Uchitel
Rock Films 
Kira Saksaganskaya
Marion Hänsel
Jacek Kulczycki
Magdalena Zimecka
Radoslawa Bardes
Man's Films Productions

with the support of
The Foundation for development modern cinematography KINOPRIME
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Polish Film Institute
Shelter Prod
Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
Tax Shelter du gouvernement fédéral de Belgique

world sales
Loco Films

press office
Gloria Zerbinati 

Leshka lives in an isolated village on the Bering Strait, which is located between Chukotka and Alaska and divides Russia from America. He is a teenager, and like most men in his village, he is a whale hunter who leads a very uneventful life out at the far edge of the world. But the Internet's recent arrival in Leshka's village means the predominantly male population now gathers in a shed every evening to watch gorgeous girls thousands of kilometers away dance on the screen of a constantly buffering erotic webcam chat site. For most of the guys, it's just a bit of fun, but Leshka takes it seriously. He encounters a beautiful girl on the chat site and falls in love with her. Leshka's first love transforms him beyond recognition: he is now determined to find the camgirl in the real world, where a crazy journey awaits him.



2020 Kitoboy [The Whaler Boy]
2012 Pesnya mekhanicheskoy ryby
[The Song of the Mechanical Fish, short]
2010 Vidoizmenennyy landshaft
[The Modified Landscape, short]
2008 Utro drugimi glazami
[The Morning with Different Eyes, short]

The idea for this film came to me during a trip to the Far North of Russia. We visited one small fishing village whose young women had all recently left to spend the summer studying in the big city. The girls' departure was a real tragedy for the local guys, who were left to spend three long months alone. Surrounded by the endless tundra, the young men were completely isolated from women - it wasn't like the girls from the next village could just come visit, and the Internet connection was poor. The only place the boys could look at girls was in an erotic webcam chat that kept freezing. It was then that I drafted the first version of this story. I decided to move the setting to Chukotka, in a small village populated by whale hunters. The protagonist, Leshka, experiences the typical teenage problems of loneliness, longing to find love, and feeling misunderstood by his friends. It is precisely these experiences that make the story universal and relatable to audiences beyond the remote location where the story unfolds and the little-known cultures and customs of the Russian Far North.

Even with no prior film experience, Philipp Yuryev (Moscow, 1990) was accepted to the Russian State University of Cinematography. His first student film, The Morning with Different Eyes, won several prizes at international film festivals, including São Paolo IFF and Abu Dhabi IFF (2008), as well as  Montreal and InterFilm Berlin. His next short film, The Modified Landscape, was shown at CineGlobe IFF (Geneva) and received a special mention and special jury prize for best cinematography at the Saint Anna student film festival in Moscow (2009). His thesis film, The Song of the Mechanical Fish, was selected for the short film competition program at Sundance (2013) and Clermont-Ferrand (2012), and received the Special Jury Prize at Rio de Janeiro IFF (2013) and at Message To Man IFF (2012) in St. Petersburg. The Whaler Boy marks his feature directorial debut.

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