Background: Ukrainian; born in Baranovitchi, Belarus 1964.
Known for / style: My Joy; a career that has primarily (until recently), consisted of documentaries; director of the first Ukrainian film to debut in Competition; extremely long takes with minimal cutting
Film he’s bringing to Cannes: V tumane (In the Fog), a Russian-language period drama that takes place in 1942, on the German-occupied frontiers of the Western USSR. Sushenya (newcomer Vladimir Svirski) is wrongly accused of collaboration, and in order to save his dignity, he must resolve a difficult moral quandary. The largely-unknown cast also includes Vlad Ivanov, who was in Cristian Mungiu’s Palme-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days.
Notable accolades: The majority of Loznitsa’s awards are from his documentary work. Loznitsa is a
three-time winner of Leipzig DOK’s Silver Dove (2002’sPortrait and The Settlement; 2000’s The Halt), and has won Cracow’s Golden Horn (2008’s Revue) and Golden Dragon (2006’s Blockade). Loznitsa’s fictional debut, 2010’s My Joy, won top prize at two small Eastern-European film festivals.
Previous Cannes appearances: 2010’s My Joy was Loznitsa’s first film at the Festival, playing in Competition. It was the first-ever Ukrainian film to debut in Competition.
Sergei Loznitsa, by Ray Pride.
Could it win the Palme? In the Fog is Loznitsa’s second narrative film, but at this point his golden prospects aren’t great. My Joy’s reception at the 2010 Festival was decent at best, falling off the awards radar almost instantly. And while Loznitsa is an accomplished documentarian, fiction-features are a different beast entirely. Therefore, in order for Loznitsa to win the hearts of the international press (and solidify his new career as a fiction director), In the Fog has a lot of catching up to do. Luckily, the casting of Ivanov should prove helpful in the long run.