North American Premiere
Filmed in winter near the Caspian Sea, THE GULLS is the masterful debut feature of rising writer/director Ella Manzheeva, a native of the small Russian republic of Kalmykia. The first film of its kind from the region in decades, this brilliantly cast story is about a fisherman's wife who becomes emancipated from her suppressed domestic existence after a life–altering incident involving her husband at sea. Gifted cinematographer Alexander Kuznetsov's confidence behind the camera shines through, as an assured, ominous opening image draws us into the heart of an extraordinary world. Near–perfectly executed shots continue, back to back, right out of the gate, as Manzheeva proves her directorial approach to be reserved but gutsy. To elevate a deceptively simple parable to exquisite cinema, she reduces her scene coverage and dialogue to a level of absolute minimal necessity. — Wonsun Choi
Preceding short: THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL.
Ella Manzheeva was born in 1981 in the Russian republic of Kalmykia. She studied violin and sound directing at the St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television, and directing at the High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors in Moscow. THE GULLS is her feature debut.
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