Anastasiya Miroshnichenko: Crossroads

When in Minsk for the Listapad film festival, I met with several filmmakers, who presented their projects to me to seek advice. One of them was Volia Chajkouskaya, who provided me with a link to “Crossroads”, the winner of the 2014 Belarussian National Documentary Competition, a film in which she was the assistant director. She sent this text to me about the theme and its main character:

“The film “Crossroads” was conceived as a charity project to help the homeless artist Valery Liashkevich. It became a discovery to me that a person deprived of basic comforts of life can strive to his goal so persistently, remain a philosopher, be thoughtful about his actions, preserve kindness to others. I was not alone in this discovery. The character charmed all members of the crew. No one questioned investing time and their own money (the documentary was created without financial support of any organization) into the production. Art historians joined our work. The National Art Museum of Belarus organized an exhibition of Valery Liashkevich’s works; it lasted three weeks and became a huge success. Another exhibition was held in Gomel, the native city of our character. “Crossroads” became a project, which continues even after the work on the documentary is complete. I hope that the life of the character is changing to the better with our help. The proceeds of the sale of his paintings went on to his bank account and we hope that in the very near future Valery Lyashkevich will have a place he can call HOME…”.

So, call that a commitment! I watched the film and can only second, what is written above. Valery Liashkevich is a sweet, modest man, a fine artist, who sells his works in the streets and tells people that they can get them cheaper if they wish! You see him at the railway station in Gomel during winter and spring, he works and sleeps there, you see him in St. Petersburg (photo) on Nevsky Prospekt, you see how he finds a place to sleep at night, you listen to his wise words and watch him fall asleep among his works. He is weak, I am getting older he says. A small film with a big heart!

Belarus, 2014, 62 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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