Flying Blind at EIFF
We caught up with first-time Polish film director Katarzyna Klimkiewicz ahead of the World Premiere of Michael Powell Award-nominated Flying Blind
"Flying Blind is about a woman who is working for the military, but she's an ambitious engineer so she doesn't see the whole context of what she's a part of," Katarzyna told us ahead of the first World Premiere screening of Flying Blind here at EIFF, "and then she falls in love and everything changes for her."
"For me, it's about how our social and political position is also reflected in our intimate life... it's all intertwined. So for me, personally, it was a way to explore how this bigger political force is reflected in our intimate relationships."
The film stars acclaimed British actress Helen McCrory alongside French Algerian talent Najib Oudghari, with a guest appearance from Kenneth Cranham. "I was really lucky to have such experienced and great actors - I trusted them. We had a few moments when we disagreed, but Helen really knows what she is talking about.... and Kenneth Cranham has such an amazing humanity. It was an amazing learning experience for me and a great pleasure."
After gaining recognition for her short film Hanoi-Warszawa, which won a European Film Award, Bristol-based producer Alison Sterling approached her to make the feature as part of the low budget film initiative iFeatures. "I think it's a very filmic city because it's very hilly which gives such a great perspective."
The film gives great perspectives, too, on the lives of a middle-class English woman and her affair with an Algerian student. "I'm Polish and I was working in England with a very established actress of Scottish origin, Helen McCrory, and Najib Oudghiri is French Algerian, so it was quite a mixed cast and crew," says Katarzyna. "But I think the world today is like that, so we are part of the bigger picture. We live our little private lives, but we are part of the bigger world, and that is something that interests me."
World Premieres don't come around often, and Flying Blind screens here at EIFF for the first time as part of the Michael Powell Award Competition.
"It's great to be in Edinburgh - it's an amazing city, very inspiring. It's a great opportunity as a filmmaker to come to festivals and encounter different cultures, different, realities, different worlds, different stories, and I'm very very happy to be here."
Catch the second screening of Flying Blind tonight, Monday 25 June at 8.50pm.
Hear more about the Michael Powell Award Competition from Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara here.