Can Russia Invade Europe?
Outcast. Russian film about the workout that conquered Europe
The Outcast is the first feature film about a healthy lifestyle. The film has won numerous awards at international film festivals in the USA, Italy, Greece and Australia. The Outcast became the best film of the year at the largest sports film festival in Europe - Sport Film Festival.
Photo: from the personal archive of Yuri Sysoev
The film has already been translated into four languages, and in Australia it was shown in schools and colleges as part of the popularization of sports and healthy lifestyle. To find out more about how the idea of “Outcast” came about, the Championship talked to the film's director and scriptwriter - Yuri Sysoev .
- Yuri, your film The Outcast is the first feature film about a healthy lifestyle. How did you get this idea?
- The idea appeared under rather amusing circumstances. I walked home from the store with two two-liter bottles of water and did some simple exercises on the way. I go and train while I have free time, but behind me I hear laughter from the benches. When I turned around, I saw that the guys who were sitting on the bench and drinking alcoholic beverages were parodying me. I thought then that it was strange, because I try to go in for sports, even when there is no time for it, and they make fun of me. If I walked with two bottles of vodka, then I think they would not pay attention to me. It was this incident that became the impetus for writing the script. I myself lead a healthy lifestyle, like my partner in the Amarant film company, actor and producer Alexei Fursenko. Therefore, we wanted to do something related to sports and a healthy lifestyle.
Nobody compared the young people who go to clubs, bars, drink alcohol with the guys who exercise on horizontal bars. Nobody filmed the problem of these two worlds. My father often told me that the basis of any pedagogy is a personal example. I think we are setting a good example with this film.
- Why did you choose the workout? Because of its availability?
- Yes, the workout is good because anyone can do it: both a millionaire and a student. You can just go outside and that's it. This is the most accessible sport, in contrast to the same fitness. I am in favor of amateur sports that heals a person. We promote training primarily to improve health, only then to achieve athletic performance. I think our film was a good attempt to educate people about street sports.
- Is the film based on real events?
- Yes, it is. The entire film was shot in my area, where I grew up and still live. Every micro-episode that happened to the main characters happened to me personally. Sometimes it was even more aggressive than in the movie. The picture, one might say, is based on real events. She talks about the fact that many people who practice on horizontal bars are faced with a lack of understanding of others, some do not consider this a serious problem.annoyance, pampering on the crossbar. Therefore, sometimes young guys who practice on horizontal bars become outcasts in their company. After all, they do not drink, do not smoke, and besides, they play sports. We would like to tell about this paradox in our film. According to the laws of drama, cinema should be an antihero, as a counterbalance to the main positive character. In our film, the antihero is the environment in which our hero finds himself.
- You have received many awards. Did you think the audience would like the picture so much?
- We focused on the Internet audience when creating a picture, we wanted to make a film-social video. We had an experience with a previous film, with which we traveled to various film festivals, so we decided to ride the Outcast around the world, and then only put it on the Internet. We didn't expect the Outlaw film festival campaign to be so successful. I would also like to note that the film was shot without government support, we made it ourselves.
- The Outcast has also been translated into several languages.
- Yes, it was translated into English, Italian, Bulgarian, Spanish. The film was screened on six continents and premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. In Australia, after the festival, our film was included in the social program. Our Russian film with English subtitles was shown as part of the promotion of sports and healthy lifestyles in schools and colleges in Australia. In Italy we received the award for the best soundtrack of the year, in Romania - the audience award.
- Which of these awards is the most important to you?
- The biggest award we received was from the Sport Film Festival in December 2017.
At this festival, our film won the Best Film of the Year award. When we won, they called us and told us that we had taken the main prize. We were surprised, because usually, the prize is not awarded to those who are not present at the festival itself. It was an important moment for us, because now a peculiar attitude towards our athletes has been formed, at the Olympics we are performing under a neutral flag. Therefore, the Italians treated our picture very nobly. On the website of the film festival and at the festival itself, there was a tricolor next to our film. They gave a Russian film a prize at such a difficult time. It seems to me that this is a big victory not only for our cinema, but for all street sports.
- Since we're talking about the Olympic Games. What do you think of the IOC's decision regarding our team?
- I believe that it is not those who deprive us of the Olympics that are to blame for this situation, but our sports authorities, which allowed themselves to be treated this way. AfterI heard about this situation, an idea came to my mind. It would be great if no one goes to the Olympics, but we will do our own internal Olympics. Of course, we will record every result. Then we would understand whether the athlete who did not go would win or not. We could do our own broadcast, and I am convinced that all the media would write about it.
- What audience did you expect when you created the picture?
- First of all, we shot this picture for Russian people. We have many street athletes in our country, such as Misha. But there are no films about them, and we wanted to be the first to break a certain dam of silence on the topic of healthy lifestyle. Now there are guys who have never tasted alcohol at the age of 20-25, it's fashionable. Our film came out at the very right time.
- How long did it take to prepare and did you write the script quickly?
- The script was written quickly enough. The story began when our company was still making stories for the Galileo program. Once we filmed a plot about workout and there we met Misha Baratov, who later played the main role in our film Outcast. The plot consisted of a comparison between Olympic and street sports. Misha just competed with the gymnasts. It was there that we found that, in principle, their level is almost the same. One is an Olympic athlete, the other is an ordinary boy from the street.
- Mikhail Baratov is an athlete, but a non-professional actor. So you originally planned to take him on the lead role?
- Yes, after we met Misha on the set of Galileo, we got this idea. I wanted to conduct such an experiment, I wanted to take a real athlete from the workout environment, who faced similar problems as the main character. It was an experiment for our company, we had never done this before. We wanted to make it clear during training on the horizontal bars that this is not a stunt double, but a real athlete.
- Did you have any other titles for the movie, or did you name the Rogue from the very beginning?
- It was immediately. There is an American film Rogue with Tom Hanks of the same name, but in the original it has a different translation. The outcast, it seems to me, most vividly and accurately expresses the problematics of the picture.
- You mentioned that you lead a healthy lifestyle and play sports. Do you exercise often and do you follow a specific diet?
- Yes, I lead a healthy lifestyle. Usually I go to the gym three times a week, jump on a trampoline, play tennis, football, go to the bathhouse. All, of course, at an amateur level. I don't go to the gym to build huge biceps, but solely for health, I don't want a bazooka arm. I'm also a vegan, I haven't eaten meat and dairy products for four years.
- Are you planning to shoot about healthy lifestyle and sports?
- Of course we areare planning. Our company strives to make moral and conscientious films. It's hard to make films without support, for some reason the state doesn't pay attention to us yet. Although we have proven with our victories at the international level that we are worthy of attention. They took our film to one Russian film festival, but they said that they would not show it. We were told a phrase that probably sums up the whole attitude of Russian festivals towards our film: you have a good film, but it’s a too healthy lifestyle. I hope that over time the situation will change for the better, and there will be more films about a healthy lifestyle!