16th International European Documentary Film Symposium
Is the New Documentary. That New?
Real Cinema
Vitaly Mansky
Film Director

As soon as the documentary cinema became art, it has ceased to be documentary. Presence on the screen of real events, people, objects was used for creation of independent artefacts having sometimes opposite sense to the fact or event transferred on the screen.

All this took place before appearance of the Real cinema, a new cinema direction, continuing "Kinopravda" of Dziga Vertov and "Cinéma vérité".

Based exclusively on reality, Real cinema maintains the right to author's subjectivity, and confirms the basic postulate of art - creation of an artistic image.

The real cinema does not deny the work of its predecessors and is not the final point in evolutionary development of cinema. At the top of the pyramid is the reality, which hardly will ever fit within the limits of a film frame. More likely on the contrary, the reality will absorb the cinema transforming it in one of its substances. But how it will be, nobody today, can tell. But for the moment – it is the " Real cinema”.


The manifest of Real cinema.


1.    Absence of the script. The script is not compatible with the reality. Prior to the shooting only the location where the film starts, sometimes the characters and the general concept are defined. As the shooting begins, the story is developed only by real events. The Real cinema does not pretend to be an impartial recording of facts. Real cinema is not a copy of the reality.

2.    No moral restrictions for the author during the shooting. Except those mandated by the law. In order to immerse in the ambiance of the object or penetrate the characters, all existing technological methods are admissible; the habitual camera, the cinematographic observation, the “hidden” camera and others. Ethical questions are not resolved during the shooting, but throughout the editing.

3.    The author should not be hostage of technology. The properties of the raw stock, the studio sound and lighting, the shooting angle and the composition can be neglected, in order to seize the opportunity of recording real events. Quality of the image is secondary – what matters, is the reality.

4.    In course of the film the author should inform the audience by credits indicating the time and shooting location. In case it does not harm the filmed objects or characters.

5.    No staging and reconstruction. The author can provoke his characters to any actions and can take part in the events himself.

6.    There are no restrictions on the running time of a film. Embracing even an infinite, direct translation.

7.    Refusal of the concept of ending the film. No film can end, because the reality is endless. As a result, the author at any moment can make a new version of the film and continue shooting after its first public screening. In the final credits instead of the word “The End” should be the date of the first public screening of the given version of film. If new versions are created – the date of the first public exhibition comes after the date (dates) of the screening of the next versions.


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