Matvey and Beate Go Swimming

A fragile story of a beginning of a friendship between Matvey, who recently immigrated from Moscow to Berlin, and Beate, a free-spirited local.

  • Aleksandra Sëmkina
  • Aleksandra Sëmkina
  • Aleksandra Sëmkina
  • Denis Zimin
  • Konstantin Frank
    Key Cast
  • Mayra Wallraff
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 29, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, German, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - MET Film School Berlin
Director Biography - Aleksandra Sëmkina

Aleksandra Sëmkina was born in 1988 in Moscow. Growing up as a rebel, she was the only kid to be allowed to not sleep during quiet hours in a kindergarten and, much later, to not wear a uniform at school.
She studied journalism and started her career in marketing when still in university for which she was almost expelled. The sacrifice was worth it as by 23 years she was hired by the Moscow office of FOX International Channels and National Geographic Channel where she worked for almost 7 years. 12 years of PR and marketing career and running a small business with a friend still didn’t promise a bright future in her country. Active and passionate for justice, Aleksandra started looking for an opportunity to leave Russia.
Being a passionate film fan, Aleksandra kept visiting not only series sets for work but also the Berlinale film festival for leisure. Berlin was love at first sight so it was only a matter of time to move there.
In 2019 Aleksandra finally made her life-long dream come true, moved to Berlin, and joined a film school. Now a graduate she is willing to tell stories with great attention to delicate details unfolding layers after layers in human relations.

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Director Statement

This film is a result of my reflection on my immigration from Moscow to Berlin, craving to find a home away from home. It started with me wanting to explore the formation of a new friendship. What’s your perception of a stranger you see for the very first time? What needs to happen for you to gradually grow closer to them? What are the power dynamics inside the friendship where you feel that you badly need a new friend while the other, being a local, doesn’t have the same need? And what if your loved one at home oppose your beliefs? I am interested in this fragile balance you are trying to maintain being overly self-conscious: trying to be present in your new friend’s life while not being too intrusive.
A new country gives one a multitude of new opportunities but also robs them of something. Finding a new meaning takes looking for the gaps between the languages one uses to communicate with the world.