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Meet the 2014 AFI Filmmakers #8: ‘The Tribe’ Director Auditioned Over 300 Deaf People For His Award-Winning Drama

Meet the 2014 AFI Filmmakers #8: 'The Tribe' Director Auditioned Over 300 Deaf People For His Award-Winning Drama

Indiewire invited AFI FEST directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them and the challenges they faced. The festival runs until November 13.

Plenty of films have covered a young persons experience in boarding school, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s “The Tribe” seems to have a different take on a young boy’s formative years. The Ukrainian drama, which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, follows a young man who is deaf and mute and his struggles to fit in at school.

Biggest challenge in completing this project?
Casting was obviously the biggest challenge in making the film. In Ukraine you just can’t come to a casting agency and say: I want ten deaf people of certain ages who can act. We had to search for them high and low: all over Ukraine, as well as neighboring countries. Over 300 deaf people went through our auditions. ALL OF THEM WERE NONPROFESSIONALS. The casting lasted six months. Then we had a great number of rehearsals before we began to shoot. Everyone did their best, totally devoted to the film. I am very happy with the work done by the deaf in my film. Though it was not simple.”

Did you crowdfund?
No.”

What camera did you shoot on?
ARRi Alexa.”

Advice for first-time filmmakers?
Shoot what interests you for real. You are the main spectator of your film. If you yourself believe that the film you are making is cool, you will surely find a number of people who believe so. Be honest to yourself and trust your own intuition.”

Did you go to film school?
Yes. I have graduated from the filmmaking department of the Kiev State Institute of Theatre and Arts, named after I. K. Karpenko-Kariy, majoring in feature film directing.”

What films have inspired you?
“”Dogville” by Lars von Trier, “Bully, Ken Park” by Larry Clark, “Elephant” by Gus van Sant, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” by Cristian Munjiu, “Un prophete” by Jacques Audiard, “Gomorra” by Matteo Gorrone, “Irreversible” by Gaspar Noe, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” by Milos Forman.”

READ MORE: Shocking Sign Language Drama and Critics Week Winner ‘The Tribe’ is an Unprecedented Cinematic Accomplishment

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