Magazine article Screen International

Katrin & Andres Maimik, Cherry Tobacco

Magazine article Screen International

Katrin & Andres Maimik, Cherry Tobacco

Article excerpt

Estonian film Cherry Tobacco has its World Premiere in Karlovy Vary. Laurence Boyce talks to the married director Andres and Katrin Maimik about influences, first love and dumpling faces.

Married directing duo Andres and Katrin Maimik mark their debut feature together with Estonian film Cherry Tobacco, due to have its World Premiere in Karlovy Vary's East of the West Competition.

For Katrin Maimik, it represents her first foray into the world of feature film after directing well-regarded shorts such as Foto. For Andres Maimik, known to Estonian audiences as an actor and journalist, it represents a return after such films as documentary Kuku: I Will Survive and the popular domestic hit Farts of Fury.

Cherry Tobacco follows young girl Laura who embarks on a camping holiday in the Estonian countryside. There she falls for the charms of 40-something Joosep and young love blossoms.

A lyrical and moving piece about first love, the film drips with a hazy and beautiful atmosphere that's complemented with some strong performances from leads Maris Nõlvak and Gert Raudsep.

Where did the ideas behind Cherry Tobacco come from?

Katrin Maimik: For some time now, we have wanted to make a love film which would concentrate on the state of falling in love - how the everyday world turns into something completely different, random smells and tastes acquire a new meaning, ordinary things become fetishes and places are transformed into cathedrals.

I drew inspiration from an event in my own youth, a trip I embarked on as a teenager. There are a lot of ideas floating in the air but the most reliable ones are those which are inspired by life itself. Out of those, the most trustworthy are the ones which have happened to you.

Thus, the premise was taken from real life but a film needs something more - characters, metaphors, a plot. We added all these when we started writing the screenplay.

Andres Maimik: Katrin approached the topic of first love from the point of view of a young woman and first-time lover but I was mainly interested in the possibility of emotional communication between two characters with such different backgrounds and life experiences.

It is by no means uncommon for love to develop between a middle-aged man who has found a stable ground in his life and a young girl for whom all her life in front of her. The question is how both sides manage their emotions and how far they let or dare this "forbidden" relationship to develop.

The charm of Cherry Tobacco doesn't reside in what happens but what doesn't happen.

You're a married directing duo. How is your work dynamic on set?

AM: They say that it is a catastrophe when your partner is also your colleague or business partner but our creative partnership seems to be a spectacular exception to the rule. It gives us the opportunity to take work home with us without the other side starting to moan about the other one having no time for the family and concentrating only on work and career.

KM: Yes, the opposite is true for us. When we run out of things to talk about or are drowning under the weight of everyday troubles, we can always work on our creative projects and the world becomes a better place once again. Thinking together on the set seems also to be working for us. During the entire time we have spent on set, I think we have only had a row and a half.

AM: Our creative partnership works very well. If there is one person who thinks the same way as I do, then I have reason to believe that there are other people who might care for this story. …

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