Varicella by director Victor Kossakovsky and produced by Sant & Usant was part of the Kids & Doc Competition at IDFA 2015, where it received a Special Mention.
Varicella portrays the tender and trusting relationship between two sisters who share a common dream: becoming a soloist ballet dancer. Nastya, 12 years old, and Polina, 7 years old, are studying at one of the most prestigious ballet academies in Russia through being selected among 5500 talented children from all across the country. In order to make their dream come true, they practise intensively at the academy for six hours every weekday.
At the end of each year of their studies, they both have to pass a tough exam in order to prove that they have developed the necessary skills to continue studying at the academy.
Only a few brilliant students at the academy have the possibility to become soloists one day. Nastya and Polina both know this, but facing their challenges together, they find the confidence and the power to go on, in that way overcoming their fears. They practice a lot but technique is not everything you need to become a great dancer. In Nastya’s words “You have to dance with your soul open”. “But how can I open my soul?” Polina asks.
Director – Victor Kossakovsky
Production – Tone Grøttjord-Glenne and Anita Rehoff Larsen for Sant & Usant
Co-Production- Story AB, Final Cut for Real
Cinematography – Victor Kossakovsky, Ben Bernhard
Editing – Victor Kossakovsky, Ainara Vera
Music – Ivan Bessonov
Animation – Vlad Grishin