I discovered Simon Lereng Wilmont’s The Distant Barking of Dogs, a poetic look at everyday life on the frontline of the War in Donbass — as seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old Ukrainian boy who lives with his grandmother in the warzone — at IDFA last November. After nabbing the First Appearance Award at that prestigious festival, it went on to win the Student Jury Award (from an all-kids jury) at the Docudays UA fest, where I watched as the Danish director appeared onstage only to quickly step aside so that the young protagonist and his entire family, having traveled all the way from Donetsk to Kiev, could accept the award instead.
Serendipitously, I ended up meeting and chatting with the humble inquisitive filmmaker between post-fest flights back to Schengen territory. And now thanks to the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, where the doc will be having its NYC premiere today, I’ve found the perfect excuse to continue that intriguing conversation.
Filmmaker spoke with Lereng Wilmont prior to the June 18th (Film Society of Lincoln Center) and June 19th (IFC Center) screenings.
To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.