Blitz has partnered with first-time filmmakers such as cinematographer Svetlana Cvetko’s “Show Me What You Got” and Jud Cremata’s one-take film “Let’s Scare Julie to Death.” He’s in post-production on “Embattled,” which he directed from a script written by David McKenna and starring Stephen Dorff; and in development on television series “Sultana,” set during the Ottoman Empire.
After completing medical school in Russia, Sarkisov decided to pursue his passion for entertainment and began working with independent television producer Evan Charnov (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”) Following the success of his feature directorial debut “Krasny,” Sarkisov directed 30 episodes of the Russian TV series “The Moon.” He discussed Blitz at the American Film Market.
What is the most satisfying aspect of what you do?
It is the thought of something existing as a result of your work. The way we see the world is shaped by the culture we consume. Adding my voice and the voice of my collaborators to that choir is what I live for.
How did completing medical school impact your career as a filmmaker? Do you have any regrets about not becoming a doctor?
Being a doctor gave me perspective and showed me aspects of life I would otherwise not have access to, so I see it as life school more than anything. I do not regret leaving the medical field because it wasn’t my passion. I was never all-consumed by medicine the way I am about filmmaking.
Why are you interested in helping out first-time filmmakers like Svetlana Cvetko and Jud Cremata?
There’s a number of reasons we do that. We want to catch talent early, and I feel like this is the best chance to build a relationship with a soon to be great filmmaker. The projects we do are low to micro-budget, and that daredevil aspect of filmmaking I absolutely love. So to answer your question it’s because it’s fun to make films with great people.
How important was it that you had success from your feature directorial debut “Krasny”?
“Krasny” did not necessarily “open doors” for me, but it allowed me to get my foot in one. You are a filmmaker if you make films, and the only way to prove that you know what you’re talking about is to show your work.
Can you talk about your attraction to “Embattled” and your experience working on this project?
First, it was just the pure writing genius of David McKenna — once I got my hands on the script I could not put it down. And then everything about it just resonated with me — martial arts have always been a big part of my life, and the complicated father-son relationship, I just got it. “If you feel like you know something about the script that no one else does, it’s the one you should direct” was advice I got early in my career, and it was definitely how I felt about “Embattled.”
What is the most valuable part of going to film markets like AFM, Berlin and Cannes?
I think in your day to day life you can forget how big and diverse the film world can be. When I am at a film market I feel like I am exposed to the global scene more and get a better understanding of what’s going on and what will go on in the next few years, that’s why I always attend when I get a chance
NOVEMBER 10, 2019