The 9th IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival in Bulgaria successfully came to an end in the early morning of June 26th. During the Festival Valentina Bozhichkova had a chance to talk with Polish filmmaker, Rafał Skalski, the author of frequently awarded “52 percent” and recent film “Lovers” which was screened in Bulgarian Balchik.

The review with Rafał Skalski is available on the Festival’s website:

Below there are some fragments:


Rafał, why did you decide to make this documentary?

Rafał Skalski: In the beginning of 2009 I've got a propose from executive producer - EUROMEDIA to make a documentary for HBO about sex&love of disabled people. They had watched my previous documentary – “52 Percent”, they had really liked it and that's why they wanted me. I decided to make this after one day of development. I thought that it could be interesting to make film about different stages of love, and not about disabilities. I tried to have a disabilities of my heroes as a background - not as a main topic. 

The stories that we follow in the film are very intimate and cherished. How did you meet their characters?

R. S.: We had 3 months development, during which we were looking for heroes in all Poland. We made so called documentary "casting". We met about 30 couples, and from them we selected 5 couples.  

It's impressive how close they have let the camera to their private live. How did you manage to do this?

My method is simple - try to make friends with your heroes. And always be honest. I and my cinematographer just tried to be ourselves during shooting, that's all. I talked also with my characters a lot, before shooting, without camera.  (…)

Lately it's believed that the love theme in the cinema has turned itself into a cliche and this is why the directors are trying to "scandalize" the audience with a different perspective of the theme. In your film the perspective is different, but the focus stays on the deeply intimate relations between the people. Was it difficult?

R. S.: I never was interested to scandalize or to destroy some taboo. For me the most interesting documentaries are films about normal, ordinary man who found himself in an unusual, strange, difficult situation. And “Lovers” tells story about ordinary people who found themselves in so called "disability situation" - which is really hard. (…)