Director: Denis Dobrovoda; Writer: Denis Dobrovoda; Producer: Artus Thomas; Key Cast: Henri Rizik, Julia Lozano, Serghei Philippenko
A lonely bank clark discovers a mysterious stain on his bedroom wall, which the local religious community considers to be an apparition of the Virgin Mary. His life turns upside down as he is forced to open his doors to believers of all kinds, who search for higher meaning in the alleged apparition.
Denis Dobrovoda was born in Bratislava, Slovakia. He studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford and Film Directing at EICAR in Paris. In 2014 his film won the RAD Awards Young Talents competition in London, where he currently lives. Apparition, which was produced by ARDE Films, a company he cofounded, is the first short film he has directed outside academic environment.
Director Statement: For me, Apparition is a story which examines the role of religion and faith in modern world, where they have been largely replaced with science and reason. The existence of the main character, a lonely atheistic bank clerk called Lacroix, turns upside down when local Catholics start revering a stain on his bedroom wall as an apparition of Virgin Mary. A man whose life has been filled with work suddenly has to deal with groups of people invading his personal space in the name of religion that he doesn’t understand.
Despite the spread of atheism and agnosticism, the questions of faith, morality, evil, or guilt are very closely tied to religion. I am neither Catholic, nor would I describe myself as religious, but I have always considered faith to be a very interesting phenomenon. However, as a product of our consumerist age of reasons, I have never understood the absolute devotion of many believers, who are willing to do almost anything to satisfy the rules of their religion. I found their faith startling, almost laughable. A few years ago I met a woman whose only solace was religion, and this realisation fundamentally changed my perspective on the meaningfulness. She inspired me to look at religious devotion from a different angle, and made me conscious of its merits. Apparition is the result of my exploration of belief and how it is tied to suffering. I wanted to make a film that is as universal and ambiguous as possible – a film that would be interesting for atheists as well as Christians, Jews, or Muslims. Furthermore, my aim was not giving answers, but rather making the audience ask questions. About themselves, about their own place in the world, about our times.