Ukrainian director Alina Gorlova’s feature-length documentary This Rain Will Never Stop was chosen as winner in the First Appearance Competition at IDFA. Earlier this week the Ukrainian, Latvian, German and Quatari co-production won the main award for Best Feature Film at Festival Dei Popoli.

Alina Gorlova’s film, which tells the story of the 20-year-old Andriy Sulleyman travelling between his native Syria and Ukraine, two countries equally marked by wars and split families, was named Best Feature-Length Film in IDFA’s First Appearance Competition, winning €10.000. The Jury composed of Intishal Al Timimi (Egypt), Diana Elbaum (Netherlands), Hubert Sauper (France), Christoph Terhechte (Germany) and Els Vandevorst (Netherlands) reported: “It is a beautifully shot and edited film that
embarks us into the disaster of war through the personal journey that directs the spectator between fugitive moments of joy and pain. This movie encompasses traditions, modernity, death, and the power of moving forward. It is the powerful story that doesn’t allow us to escape from the distraction and the heart-wrenching losses of war”.

Additionally the film won the award for Best Feature Film in the 61st edition of Festival Dei Popoli’s International Competition, thereby claiming the prize of €8,000. As explained by the jury members Joëlle Bertossa (Switzerland), Maria Bonsanti (Italy), Andrei Ujica (Romania): “This Rain Will Never Stop describes the dark aura of this place tortured by history [Ukraine], using powerful black and white images reminiscent of the great school of Soviet non-fiction cinema”.

This Rain Will Never Stop (102min.), a film about humanity’s endless cycle of war and peace, is Gorlova’s third feature documentary. It celebrated its world premiere November 19th at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam, where it will be screened online once more Monday November 30 at 3:00pm (Cinema 1). Her second documentary, No Obvious Signs (64min.), a story of a female Ukrainian soldier who undergoes rehabilitation for post-traumatic stress, equally won multiple awards, including the MDR film award for outstanding Eastern European Movie at DokLeipzig ‘18.

The psychology of armed conflict has fascinated Gorlova for a long time. With her films she tries to answer questions such as; why people admire military parades, but are afraid of war at the same time, and why they are ready to fight for freedom, but afraid of dying or losing their loved ones. She was compelled to make This Rain Will Never Stop, because of these paradoxes, and to show how our world is currently at a boiling point.

Gorlova says: “This is the moment, that dreams come true. The bravest ones. Firstly – the main award during Festival Dei Popoli, and right now the First Appearance award at IDFA. It’s a very special moment, when you understand that all your efforts return with dedication. I’m very happy with what this film has achieved, the entire crew is thrilled. We felt that the time was ripe for this documentary, and we were proven right”.

Cinematographer Vyacheslav Tsvetkov, known for his camera work in award-winning Sundance doc The Earth Is Blue as an Orange, was responsible for the striking black-and-white cinematography. The dark atmosphere and the sparingly supplied information emphasize the grief and uncertainty within a war-torn family.

This Rain Will Never Stop is produced by Maksym Nakonechnyi/Tabor and co-produced by Ilona Bičevska/Avantis Promo and Patrick Hamm/Bulldog Agenda. The script was written by Alina Gorlova and Maksym Nakonchnyi. Vasyl Yavtushenko is responsible for the sound, and Goran Gora and Serge Synthkey for the music.

The film was supported by IDFA Bertha Fund Europe and Classic, the Ukrainian State Film Agency, the National Film Centre of Latvia as well as the Doha Film Institute.

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