Short film: WAY IN RYE

Directed by Goran Stankovic (1984), who originates from Serbia. His submission WAY IN RYE was previously nominated for Best Narrative Student Short at the Academy Awards of 2014.

‘My brothers and I spent summers on our grandfather’s farm in the former Yugoslavia. Playing in corn fields, eating fruit off trees, cooking potatoes by the night fire. But when we grew up, we followed different roads in life. None of us took over the care of that farmland. The life my grandfather had built up disappeared slowly before his eyes. The land divided and sold off. Trees cut down. It was a hard process to witness, and harder still for him to accept. It is these memories and emotions I am drawing from for WAY IN RYE, a film about a man dealing with the end of his legacy.’

Along a rutted, dusty road, an army truck carries a plain wooden crate through a remote region of Soviet Russia. Stopping at a small farmhouse, two soldiers deliver the crate to a hardened farmer and his wife. The sight of it fills the couple with dread, having not heard in months from their only son, a soldier fighting on the Eastern Front.

Way in Rye_Set Still - KOSTYA (Ravil Isyanov) & SERGEI (Sasha Feldman) - Tree Cutting

But inside the crate are paintings — priceless works of Russian art evacuated from Leningrad days before the German invasion — which Kostya and Lida must now protect at all costs.

wayinrye

Determined to keep his dying farm alive for his son’s return, Kostya sees the paintings as a nuisance and a painful reminder. Yet, as his fields dry up, a harsh winter shrouds the region, and it becomes ever more likely that his son will not return, Kostya must find meaning in his new, strange stewardship, as these works of art become the only legacy he can leave behind.

Check out the trailer below:

Screening:
To be announced