Interview with producer Yulia Romanova

Filmmaker Interview by #ChrisOlson


Yulia Romanova in Gender

What can you tell us about short film Gender and your character?


Nowadays the film industry and its projects are becoming more international and collaborative, and more and more serious issues are being addressed in movies. Our project has both of these elements, with a cast and crew from all over the world who worked on Gender.


GENDER is a drama about inequalities at work place. It shows how women struggle emotionally and sometimes physically in order to make themselves noticeable and still get overlooked just because of some gender prejudices. So we wanted to express that unfairness in a film to make more and more people aware if these issues.


My character ANNA is layered and a complex one. I had to decide upon her strong and weak sides to act accordingly. Plus, had amazing help from GENDER director Aleksandra Czenczek on set. The tricky scenes for me were the ones where Anna is alone at home and she doesn’t have any lines, so I had to express all the loneliness and worries without saying a word, as by morning at work Anna had to be invincible again.


What did/does your role as a Producer on this movie involve?

Literally what every Producer usually does. Starting from getting funding, then setting up production meetings to polish the script and getting the right cast and crew on board. The moment we locked the location, everything started flowing. I was looking after details on set as well with the help of my crew of course.


After post production was finished it was time for festival route. I started putting GENDER into #filmfestivals, promoting it on social media and arranging interviews. So I’d say if you’re producing a project, you have to be there from the start until the very end and take care of lots of details and deal with problems as they come along in order to get to your goal.


What was it about this story that made you want to make it?


Last year we decided to make a film together because our film vision was very similar and it was easy for us to work with each other. So we started to play around with ideas. One day Gisele [Mauvecin] sent me the script. The topic of the script intrigued me, plus it was partially based on her life.


This was my first film that dealt with serious social issues. I wanted to make an impact and inspire other women, not only to raise their voices, but also professionally. Since the film's been made, it's been rewarding to hear that I inspired someone as, not just a woman in film, but also in a creative way.


What projects do you have in the making?


At the moment I’m involved in several projects. Both features and shorts. One of them is a horror feature which is predominantly set on the coach. I can’t say too much about the project at the moment. It’s a gory thriller story. Promo trailer is planned to be shot in the early 2019.


I like #horror genre. You get to play around with human emotions and the art of suspense. It’s amazing to act/produce/shoot something that will make an audience jump or have any other strong reaction. The other project is a thriller about crime world in the UK. This one is at the very early stages of development, but very exciting.

What are the challenges as a female filmmaker in 2018?


I guess the biggest challenge is the same one as portrayed in GENDER – to make yourself noticeable and prove that you’re just as good as your male colleagues. Although recently the #filmmaking industry took a big turn in terms of giving more opportunities and appreciation to women in film, there are still changes that needs to be made.


I am a foreign female filmmaker which makes it hard enough for me already, but if you stay focused on your goals and keep working hard, there’s nothing that can put you down and you will get where you want to be eventually.


Personally, I had lots of positive experiences of working with male colleagues on set. Everyone was supportive and helpful. Each filmmaker has his/her own challenges, and I think the success also depends on what kind of team you are working with.


Who are your movie inspirations and why?


My favorite actress at the moment - #RachelWeisz. Her heroines are always so natural, you never notice she is acting. I would also love to mention #SalmaHayek, she is definitely my inspiration being talented, creative and a brave woman in the film industry.


I admire a lot of actors too but I think my favorite one is #GaryOldman. There is no role this man cannot play! And his acting and characters are so different every time. He portrays them amazingly without repeating his own work, he just creates something new entirely.


What advice would you give to new filmmakers and storytellers?


Don’t wait for the right time! Make it the right time yourself! If you are interested in creating your own project, go for it! No one else is going to do that for you. So first have a clear idea of what kind of project you want. Then talk to some fellow filmmakers who have more knowledge in this area, it is always useful to hear from other people experiences.


When creating any story, always think about the audience, will it make sense to them? Can they relate to the story? If they can’t recognise themselves in characters, then the story should be very entertaining.


What would you say if you were a dolphin?


Hold on, I’m a talking dolphin, I’m RICH!!! Haha.