I was invited to be part of the TINAG (This Is Not A Gateway) Festival this past weekend. My good friends Hilary and Dan, who are “Optimistic Productions” put on a great music and films event for the festival closing.

Hilary and Dan are making a wonderful film called

How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire!

which you can find out all about on http://www.myvodkaempire.com/

It’s a great story: hidden family secrets, Russian Revolution, travels to deepest Ukraine in winter – and vodka…

The bonus of the film is that it’s not only about Dan and Hilary making a film about how to re-establish a vodka empire, but they are actually creating a vodka empire, with the marvelous  “Zorokovich 1917” vodka  – hopefully available near you soon! Watch for the film on More 4 in 2010.

The event itself, “Optimisitic Immigrants” had an overall theme of east-west migration. I showed Mosti: The Bridges of St Petersburg, and Europa: Days in Berlin.  I’d forgotten how dark Europa is – it’s been a while since I watched it on the big screen. Somehow I feel more optimistic about life than I was when I made it: at that time I was musing on the way we move blindly through history, weak and vulnerable yet wilfully ignorant. Hmmm. It’s not really that disagree with that now,  it’s just that I feel a bit less apocalyptic than I did back then.

Europa, still
Europa, still

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