Pussy Riot has certainly made Russian women a pinnacle of female empowerment in their country, and producer Natalia Drozd manages to uphold that standard in her latest movie “I Won’t Come Back.” Set in Drozd’s hometown of St. Petersburg, the drama follows two young women who form a bond while journeying through the frightening environment of their own homeland in order to find a better life for themselves.
Tell us about yourself. I was born and grew up in St. Petersburg. After school, I studied law at St. Petersburg State University. When I graduated, I got a job as a production lawyer for CTB, a major Russian film company. I worked there for almost ten years. By the end of that period in my career, I came to realize that I wanted to completely change my life and become a film producer.
What was your biggest challenge in completing this project? Since this is my first project as a delegate producer, the whole experience was quite a challenge. But I would have to say that the biggest challenge was probably finding the right director for this story. I spent almost a year working on it with the screenwriter, all the while searching for a director. Finally, I found Ilmar, and I’m really happy that I did.
What do you have in the works? I’m currently working on an omnibus project about my home city called Petersburg. Category of Feelings. It will include ten shorts – five by Russian directors and five by well-known international directors. It’s really quite an ambitious project.
Did you crowdfund? If so, via which platform? And if not, why? Actually, no, we didn’t. This was a co-production between five countries – Russia, Estonia, Finland, Belarus, and Kazakhstan – so the financing scheme was in fact quite complicated. But we were able to secure financing without using crowdfunding.
What camera did you shoot on? Arri Alexa.
Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about
their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and
what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up
to the 2014 festival. Go HERE to read all the entries.