International Competition


Ksenia Okhapkina
Screening time  
07.10. / Wednesday, 19:00 - 21:00 Ticket

The town of Apatity lies within the Arctic Circle. Founded in 1930, it served as a place of exile for Stalin’s political opponents. The climate is grim and unrelenting, and life here is tedious and mind-numbing. Nonetheless, many inhabitants of this gulag continued to live here after the dictator’s death in 1953, and even after the breakup of the Soviet Union. With an eye for visual composition, Ksenia Okhapkina’s film constructs a discourse on state propaganda through the subtle observations of innocuous, everyday situations, for example scenes of young girls learning about discipline at a ballet school or young boys training for the army shown in juxtaposition with snowy landscapes and the rigorous coordination of operations at the local factory. By being omnipresent and at the same time inconspicuous in people’s lives, from an early age, ideology becomes dangerous. Forgoing narration Okhapkina manages to construct a potent observation of the precariousness of free will in the face of state propaganda.


Ksenia Okhapkina

Ksenia Okhapkina graduated at St. Petersburg State University of Film and TV in 2012. During her studies, she took part in different projects as a scriptwriter, director or director of photography. Since 2014 she is working with Estonian film production Vesilind. Her debut medium-length documentary Come Back Free won a jury special prize at IDFA 2016. Feature debut Immortal won the best documentary prize at 2019 Karlovy Vary.

General sponsor


Estonia, Latvia
2019, 60'

Directed by:
Ksenia Okhapkina

Screenplay by:
Ksenia Okhapkina

Aleksandr Demjanenko, Artem Ignatov

Edited by:
Stijn Deconinck, Ksenia Okhapkina

Robert Jürjendal, Arian Levin

Riho Vastrik, Uldis Cekulis

Produced by:
OU Vesilind, VFS FILMS

Festivals & Awards:

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2019 – Crystal Globe for Best Film; Astra Film Festival 2019 – Grand Prix; Artdocfest 2019 – Grand Prix; Riga International Film Festival 2019; Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2019; Sarajevo Film Fesitval 2019;


OU Vesilind
Ida poik 3
75304 Järveküla, Estonia
T. +372507806 7
Riho Västrik