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Happiness is not a natural given, neither is success, and sometimes neither is freedom to express oneself or to pursue one’s dreams. It is up to each and every one of us to use the resources we are given to get where we want to go. More often than not, however, our dreams are greater than our resources (or different in kind), or the people who don’t believe in us prevent us from believing in ourselves or we just feel inadequate from the start and give up before even trying.
There are no shortcuts to achieving our dreams, just hard work and more hard work and believing that, as insignificant our dream may seem, it is as precious as any other: there are no dreams that are more important than others, maybe some are just more popular while others need to be understood in order to be supported and shared.
When I was 4-years-old I wanted to become a writer. I wanted to tell stories in my own way and make people laugh and cry and believe in magic. My parents never discouraged me and even though they thought the odds were against me, they were willing to let me prove myself. They listened, they understood, they read every single word I wrote since the day I learned how to use a pen.
Thanks to them, I never quit cherishing that dream. I started writing when I was three and by the time I was seven I had three short stories and a “book” under my belt. They were not great stories. I wasn’t a child prodigy. I wasn’t famous. I wasn’t making a living out of my writing (of course I wasn’t, I was seven) but I was happy in that dimension. I did something I loved and there is nothing more fulfilling for a child.
When I was about 13 I started writing poems, and I found my true direction. Not only did I love poetry but I was good at it and I ended up winning regional and national literary contests. And yet, my greatest satisfaction came from my very poems and the way they helped me find myself: they cheered me up, they gave me relief and joy … they saved me. Once again, I was happy and I was the author of my own happiness.
At that point, I realized it would take much more than passion to become a professional writer. It was time to make a decision between making a career out of my experience and continuing on the “hobby” path. In a way, it hasn’t even been a decision. I started writing because I loved the feeling of it, I loved it when my parents sat down and read my stories, I loved it when my friends complimented me because I was able to express what they didn’t know how to say. I didn’t want to become a professional writer, I just wrote because I loved how I felt with a pen in my hand. I loved creating new worlds to get lost in and most of all I loved getting my readers to lose themselves in my stories and poems. My dream had changed over time and it was just as perfect as it had been the very first day, when I was four.
As soon as I laid eyes on the work of VM Productions I understood it resembles my story as much as any other: it is a dream that turned into a project and a project that turned into independent film-making through long hours, sacrifice, commitment, hard decisions and all the incredibly difficult work behind movies in general. I understood that Vitaly Sumin is a dreamer as much as any one of us. I saw how he used his resources to pursue his dream of writing and directing creative, unconventional films, inspired by literary masterpieces. Many others decided to share his dream and work with Vitaly Sumin to make it happen and here you have it, as real as it gets.
I felt inspired by VM Productions because I saw myself in them. It is not a golden world, nor a perfect one, but rather an uncorrupted dream a man and his team turned into reality. Even though we “normal people” often feel like the world of cinema is untouchable, this one is not: it’s possible and it’s so close to us, to daily life, to that beautiful imperfection that belongs to all of us, to all of our stories…Have a look yourselves, you’ll understand what I mean: www.dostoevsky-bts.com
Have a great day, see you soon!