Interview by Chris Olson
One of the official selections for the UK Film Review Festival 2020, I caught up with Anton Kudryashove, director of Lybeck.
Your film, Lybeck, is a short murder mystery. What made you want to tell this story?
I love murder mysteries, and I have already written three feature scripts in the genre, but I could never figure out how to execute it in the short format.
Then a friend mentioned that all my best films have beautiful architecture and female heroines, and something clicked.
I thought, what if you set a murder mystery in a unique environment where there are plenty of women about, something like the Playboy Mansion?
Then I scaled back the idea to realistic proportions, shot it, and now I have a great calling card for all the other murder mystery projects I have in the pipeline!
The casting is great. How did that come about?
Thank you! I actually worked with most of the actors on separate projects earlier in the year. Then, when it came time to direct my thesis film I wanted to find a way to reunite with all of them on set.
That led me to writing the parts with them in mind, which I think played to each of their individual strengths. The detective, Adam Butler, is actually one of the first actors I ever worked with and he flew out all the way to Los Angeles from Edinburgh to be in the film!
What were the challenges of getting the film made?
Noise! We filmed in a USC fraternity house, so periodically we had to ask people to turn the music down or settle their heated arguments about who’s turn it is to clean the kitchen quietly. Other than that, pretty smooth sailing.
What do you plan to do with the film now?
The UK Film Review Festival is just our first stop on the festival journey. We have already been accepted to London Lift-Off and there are a couple more to come. Hopefully we can have a long tour and get our film in front of more eyeballs!
What's next for you?
I am currently in pre-production on a feature murder mystery, called The Seven Neighbours. It’s a lockdown set thriller filmed entirely through webcams. I hope we can get it filmed safely at the end of the year, or early 2021.
Why do you make movies?
It’s a little hard to put into words, but directing has consistently been the thing in my life that has made sense, made me happy, and let me express myself better than I can otherwise. On top of that, some people actually enjoy watching the films I make, and that’s just the greatest reward!
What would you say if you were a dolphin?
"Oh my god! I can speak?!"