Kinotavr, one of Russia’s largest and most prestigious movie festivals, gave its top award to Pavel Ruminov’s film “I Will Be by Your Side”.
Critics described it as a socially relevant film that concerns each and everyone.
It’s is a deeply moving story of a pretty single mother and restaurant manager, who has a keen sense of humor and is adored by her friends and colleagues. One day she is diagnosed with cancer. So she makes up her mind to find a family that would agree to adopt her son. And she finds it…
For Pavel Ruminov, this was a milestone film that changed his perceptions of life and creativity. He had been in the moviemaking for 13 years by that time. “The film stemmed from my desire to create cinema in a different way, not the way I had done before,” the author says.
"I wanted to share the compassion I experienced while working on the film with other people. I suddenly realized that one needn’t put on any masks or play any games. I felt an urge to make films that establish contact with people. I was like a kid who wants his Mom and Dad to praise him, although they are no longer with him because they both died from cancer. But that’s not the reason why I chose this subject…. There’s nothing I have done more consciously in my life than this film."
Before setting to work on “I Will Be by Your Side”, Ruminov had spent much time visiting cancer patients. Later, he made a documentary that he hopes will be a psychological relief to people suffering from cancer.
Knowing she is doomed, Ruminov’s heroine retains her sense of optimism and displays astonishing moral courage. The film has no negative characters. “Why do we focus on the negative when there are so many wonderful people around? It’s a bad stereotype,” Ruminov told reporters. Accepting the main prize at Kinotavr’ awards ceremony, the author confessed that the film had restored his faith in himself as a director.
"I’ve been visiting mothers in oncology boxes, in hospitals. These women watch films, lots of films, mostly American, but also Russian. They admire beautiful women and cool guys, they love good stories. That helps them. I saw it and it was a revelation to me. It looks like the things we do really make sense."
“People need such films - all kinds of people regardless of their age, nationality or social status,” says producer Kira Saksaganskaya.