Belarusian film about August events selected for Berlin Film Festival

Full program of the 71st Berlin Film Festival has been announced. The world premiere of a documentary by Alyaksei Paluyan “Courage” will take place in one of its main sections – “Berlinale Special”. Most of the film’s footage was shot after the elections in August.

Through the three film characters the film shows what it costs to be an independent creator in Belarus. Alyaksei Paluyan began shooting in late 2018, but the events of August – from election day to the end of the month – ended up taking up the bulk of the film.

A still from Alyaksei Paluyan’s documentary “Courage”.

The director lives in Germany and the fynding for the film also came from Germany, but the film was shot in Belarus and almost exclusively by a Belarusian team.

Alyaksei Paluyan is famous for his short work “The Lake of Joy” based on the novel by Viktar Martsinovich, which was shown at seventy film festivals and made it to the long list of Oscar awards.

“Courage” is Alyaksei’s first full-length film. If the current format does not change, at the Berlinale the film will contend for the best documentary and best first film award.

Poster of Alyaksei Paluyan’s documentary “Courage”

The Berlinale Special selection is formed by festival director Carlo Chatrian.

The premiere of “Courage” has probably been the most significant representation of the Belarusian cinema at the Berlinale Film Festival so far in its history.

Berlinale is one of the major film festivals in the world. This year it will be held in two parts – in March and June.

Irena Katsyalovich,