Scene from the film Svyato
Scene from the film Svyato
Scene from the film Svyato
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Svyato opens with a quotation from an old legend: “But then everything changed on the day that man first saw his own reflection.” In Russian, “svyato” means both “happy, clear and joyful” as well as “considered holy.” But Svyato is also the short form of Svyatoslav and the nickname of Victor Kossakovsky’s son. The director, whose films often feature mirror images, covered every mirror in his house starting on the day Svyato was born. Now his son is two years old, and he will see his own reflection for the first time in his life. Svyato and his mirror image are recorded by three HD cameras; according to the director, the result is a film about “self-cognition and loneliness.” Svyato was the first part in a planned trilogy with the working title “Palindrome”. Although the rest of the trilogy has not yet come to fruition, Svyato can be seen as a study for Kossakovsky’s most recent film, Long Live the Antipodes!, in which he deploys his playful approach to mirror images on a global scale.


  • Original title
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Victor Kossakovsky, Tatiana Stepanova
  • DOP
    Victor Kossakovsky
  • Editing
    Victor Kossakovsky
  • Music
    Alexandr Popov
  • Duration
    33 min (31-45 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Russia
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Distribution
  • Awards
    • Russian Documentary Film & Tv League Prize LAVR For Best Artistic Documentary
    • Russian Critics League Prize; “Golden Centaur” In St.Petersburg IFF For Best Short Russian Film
    • Best Documentary Film Prize In Stuttgart Russian Film Festival
    • Audience Award, Thessaloniki
    • Nominated for the Silver Wolf Award is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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