Belarusian Film "Tomorrow" On Its Way From Marseille, Winning Four Awards

July, 16 saw the conclusion of the 29th Marseille International Film Festival. And it was during the festival that Yulia Shatun’s "Tomorrow" premiered before an international audience. Presented in three competitions, the film was successful enough to win a total of four awards!

To be more precise, Yulia Shatun’s full-length debut was presented at the FIDMarseille International, First Film and GNCR competitions.

The film received the First Film Award, the Renaud Victor Award (presented by a jury of Marseille Les Baumettes prison inmates), the Georges De Beauregard Award as well as the Marseille Espérance Award (presented by a jury of the Marseille Second Chance School students). Owing to that, "Tomorrow" is the champion in terms of the number of awards received at this year’s FIDMarseille.

37079279_10155433787157301_2382241277589585920_o.jpgPhoto: FIDMarseille

"It was in a prison that my film was first screened, as part of a programme within the festival which brings films to prison inmates. There were both men and women present, about 30 people altogether. At the screening, they asked many questions about life in Belarus and the plot of the film. They were also curious about the fate of the lottery ticket - and they were wondering what it had felt like, being filmed alongside my own parents. I would hear very similar questions at the cinema. And I was also surprised to see the audience laugh. Well, there are moments in the film that are slightly absurd, but laughter could hardly be an expectable response, there was none of it coming from the Belarusian audience", – Yulia told the Radio Liberty.

Prison screenings are no common thing in the world of film festivals. Only three festivals have ever arranged for programmes of this kind. In 2018, for the first time in its history, the Berlin Film Festival saw Lars Kraume’s "Silent Revolution" screened in a prison. The Oldenburg Film Festival (Oldenburg IFF), Germany, has been presenting films to prison inmates since 2009. The Tribeca Film Institute, in its turn, also arranges for regular screenings in US prisons.

37077681_10155433788237301_7719640640052527104_o.jpgPhoto: FIDMarseille

In addition, from July 8 up to July 15, Tomorrow was presented as part of the special programme called "CIS Films" at the Armenian "Golden Apricot" film festival. Amongst other films presented are "Dovlatov" by Alexei German Jr., "The Centaur" by Aktan Arym Kubat and "Salute-7" by Klim Shipenko.

In 2017, the film was recognized as the best feature film at the MIFF "Listapad" festival and was the first Belarusian film to make it to the international "Youth on the March" first film contest.

The film follows a former English teacher from a small town who gains his livelihood by distributing leaflets to people’s letterboxes. He has a wife, a son who studies in Minsk, a flat in the midst of renovation and a festive lottery ticket. And it is this ticket, that for only a few seconds, gives him a chance to dream.

In Belarus, the film is to be released in September.