Student Oscar winner Kashcheeva among two FAMU nominees at this year’s Cannes Film Festival

Daria Kashcheeva

The film festival in Cannes has revealed its La Cinef school film selection and two films from students at Prague’s FAMU film school have made the cut. The 2019 student Oscar winner Daria Kashcheeva will be competing with her master’s thesis movie Electra. Meanwhile, fresh FAMU bachelor Petr Pylypchuk got into the nominations with his film Osmý den (Eighth Day), which explores the story of a sect runaway.

„Daughter“ | Photo: Česká televize,  ČT24

For Daria Kashcheeva this is far from the first major nomination. Her 2019 production, Daughter, which revolved around a woman remembering her relationship with her father, made a big impression on the international animated film scene winning several awards.

Czech Radio’s film critic Kristína Rohačková says that she sees some parallels between Kashcheeva’s new movie Electra and her first film, as both revolve around a young woman looking back at her past.

Daria Kashcheeva | Photo: Tomáš Vodňanský,  Czech Radio

“This time it’s a film about a birthday party or rather a recollection of a young girl’s birthday party from an adult woman’s point of view. It is a party that involved a big fight between the girl’s parents and we see how deep this disruption influenced her sense of self, womanhood and sexuality.

"It is almost a therapeutic study of her coming to terms with the trauma it caused, very similarly to her first film Daughter.“

Kashcheeva herself was keen to stress the psychological aspect of her new film.

“You could think of Electra, or the Electra complex, as being the inspiration for the film, that is true. However, I think that the Electra complex is precisely a complex. It isn’t just about the father-daughter relationship.

"A big part of it is also her relationship with her mother and a really big part of this complex is also a woman’s relationship with her body. How she builds them, ones perception of sexuality and sexual relationships with other people.”

"Electra" | Photo: FAMU,  MAUR film

The other contender representing Czech production is Petr Pylypchuk’s bachelor’s thesis film Eighth Day. Part of the young director’s movie was shot around Černé jezero, the largest and deepest natural lake in the Czech Republic and Pylypchuk cast two non-actors for the lead roles.

The film explores the story of a young woman who runs away from an authoritarian sect, says Kristína Rohačková.

Eighth Day | Photo: FAMU

“I think it is the film’s topic itself that people will find unexpected because you rarely see a religiously themed story coming out of Central Europe’s most atheist country.”

Cannes, one of the world’s most popular film festivals, created the La Cinef (originally La Cinéfondation) category in 1998, devoting it to the search for new talent. Kristína Rohačková says that it’s hardly a surprise that FAMU’s students have made it onto the list.

Kristina Roháčková | Photo: Lenka Kabrhelová,  Czech Radio

“It has been proven time and again over the last couple of years that if there is a group of Czech filmmakers to watch then it’s the students from Prague’s FAMU film academy and in particular the students of their Department of Animation who have really been traveling around the whole world with their graduate films.

“Even the dean of FAMU, Andrea Slováková, calls it an especially strong generation of creators who, to use her own words, ‘are left to find their own creative voice and ways to portray themes and topics that they themselves find important’. Indeed, they always deliver.”

The winner of the Short Film Palme d’or will be announced on May 27, during the festival’s closing ceremony.