Masterclass / Sergei Loznitsa: Use of archive footage: between the authentic and constructed

Time and place  
01.03. / Friday, 17:15 - 19:00 Theatre 5  
Loznitsa will talk about the use of archive footage in documentary cinema, highlight his methods of work with found footage and discuss the challenges of sound design.

Sergei Loznitsa grew up in Kiev, Ukraine. He graduated from the Kiev Polytechnic with a degree in Applied Mathematics. In 1987-1991 Sergei worked as a scientist at the Kiev Institute of Cybernetics, specialising in artificial intelligence research. In 1997 Loznica graduated from the Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow, where he studied feature filmmaking. He has been making documentary films since 1996, and by now he has directed 20 award-winning documentaries. Loznitsa’s feature debut My Joy (2010) premiered in the main competition at Cannes Film Festival, and was followed by the feature film In the Fog (2012), which was, again in Cannes, awarded the FIPRESCI prize. In 2017, Sergei Loznitsa presented his third feature A Gentle Creature in the competition of Cannes Film Festival. In 2018 at the same festival, Loznitsa received the prize for best directing of the Un Certain Regard section for his fourth feature film, Donbass. In 2013 he founded a film production company Atoms & Void. Loznica's feature-length documentary Maidan (2014), the chronicles of the Ukrainian revolution, had its world premiere at a Séance Special of Cannes Film Festival. His subsequent feature-length documentaries, The Event (2015), Austerlitz (2016) and The Trial (2018) were presented at the Special Screenings of Venice Film Festival.

In his masterclass, he will talk about the use of archive footage in documentary cinema, and the ways in which this material can be employed in order to pursue various creative goals. On the basis of his four montage documentaries - Blockade, Revue, The Event and The Trial - Sergei will highlight his methods of work with found footage. He will also discuss the challenges of sound design for these projects.

“Of course, you cannot go back in time and shoot anything the way you would prefer it, but these are the rules of the game. If you accept these rules and approach what you have (in this case, newsreels) as material, not a product, your authorial freedom does not suffer a bit. You always have a choice to recombine the material, an opportunity to comment on it – for instance, with the help of sound, and consequently, the freedom to create new meaning.” – Sergei Loznitsa