How Lancaster students can get involved in the short film ‘Transgressing’
‘We will need extras of different ages, abilities, genders, nationalities, and sexuality’
Lancaster film student Anna Kumacheva, pen name Enni Red, is currently producing her film “Transgressing” as part of her PhD. With more than 15 years experience in the film industry, Enni has worked in both her native country Russia and in the UK.
The short film “Transgressing” revolves around the themes of poverty, education and family. The Tab Lancaster spoke to Enni about her film and how Lancaster students can get involved in the production.
‘I have always been a fan of Russian writer Dostoevsky’
Enni told us that she has always been a fan of Russian writer Dostoevsky which has subsequently inspired her own filmmaking. Enni said: “I have always been a fan of Russian writer Dostoevsky and always thought his works are timeless and international. “Transgressing” is a second screenplay adaptation I wrote creating a modern story based on his old novel.
“My thesis is called “Reframing the Overlooked Woman: Sonia Marmeladova in English-language Screen Adaptations of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment”. In my research, I argue that Dostoevsky can be called a true feminist based on the way he depicts women in his novels.”
‘Transgressing is a short film about an insecure hardworking girl from a family fallen into poverty’
When asked what the film is about, Enni said that it revolves around the themes of poverty, sacrifice and family. Enni said: “”Transgressing” is a short film about an insecure hardworking girl from a family fallen into poverty, who is forced to make an irreversible sacrifice to save her family and her dream of continuing education.
“I think that the female character from “Crime and Punishment” is a very powerful young girl. The choices she makes in the film’s story can be called controversial but the reasons she makes them are something we can all learn from.”
Enni told us that she is really passionate about this film due to it’s focus on the freedom of education and how young people should have more support in higher education. Enni said: “Although I know there are grants and scholarships available in this country (and I even get one of them), I don’t think there are enough. As a filmmaker and a University tutor, I want to raise awareness and speak more about it.”
‘My PhD supervisors and other members of my Department are also very supportive’
The university has been very supportive of Enni, in which she said: “I applied for a PhD with the proposal of practice-based research in Film, and I did not just get an Offer from University (it was in 2018) but also received a FASS Faculty scholarship. I think this says a lot. My PhD supervisors and other members of my Department are also very supportive.”
‘I know how important it is for aspiring filmmakers to have experience on set’
Enni wants to be able to give students a chance to be a part of her project as well as hiring professional filmmakers to help bring her vision to life. Enni said: “I know how important it is for aspiring filmmakers to have experience on set. Although, for the lead crew members (director, cinematographer) I have invited very experienced award-winning filmmakers (and they all loved the script, that is why they agreed to take part) I have many trainees working in assistant positions from LICA Film Department students.”
Extras are needed to play roles in the film. Ennie said: “We soon start searching for extras to play students in the film. We will need extras of different ages, abilities, genders, nationalities, and sexuality. We want to show the background University community in our story as diverse as possible.
“Due to the covid policy of production, we will be searching primarily entire student households/bubbles, to be able to safely shoot them without masks. We work with professional award-winning actors from across the country for the main roles, so it might be of interest for potential extras.”
The dates for shooting will be from May 31st to June 5th.
‘Our biggest aspiration is to get the film to Berlinale’
The film is going to be submitted to film festivals, in which Enni said: “We plan the whole festival year for this film, but our biggest aspiration is to get the film to Berlinale.”
This is not Enni’s first film. Enni has previously worked as an Assistant producer on two feature films in Russia and has produced four short films in the last four years. Enni said: “Two of them had long festival runs and got a number of awards.”
‘I like being a writer and producer at the same time’
Enni went onto tell us about why she loves to write. Enni said: “I like being a writer and producer at the same time. Writing is very creative, producing is practical. I think I am both a creative and practical person.
“I plan to produce a feature film in a couple of years which is going to be a sequel to “Transgressing”. I am sure, when people see Sonia’s story they would like to know more, to know what happened with her after. I am going to tell this. But now – the priority is to make this short and to become a Doctor at Lancaster University.”
You can find more information about the short film “Transgressing” here.
Feature credit: Alessandro Repetti, photograph; Hannah Saxby as ‘Sonia’.