Evgeny Afineevsky (Documentary Director & Producer) on Raising Awareness of Global Issues Through Film & Driving Positive Change
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Kevin is joined by Oscar and Emmy Nominated Director and Producer, Evgeny Afineevsky.
Evgeny Afineevsky, Oscar-Nominated Documentary Filmmaker
Kevin Goetz is joined by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky. The pair discuss Afineevsky’s unlikely journey from childhood in the Soviet Union and Israel to becoming an Oscar-nominated director. Afineevsky shares behind-the-scenes stories about making powerful documentaries like Cries from Syria, Winter on Fire, which turned the world’s attention to the rising conflict in Ukraine, and Francesco, which offered him rare access to Pope Francis. He also provides insight into his filmmaking philosophy and drive to create documentaries that educate, inspire action, and work as tools for positive change in the world.
From the former Soviet Union to Israel and an early mentor in Menahem Golan (01:41)
Starting from his childhood fascination with filmmaking in the Soviet Union, Evgeny describes seeing rare foreign movies in Russia during the 1980s, like Gone with the Wind, that offered a glimpse outside the USSR. After moving to Israel, Afineevsky recounts meeting Menahem Golan and coming to Hollywood in the 1990s.
Oscar nomination for Winter on Fire and meeting Volodymyr Zelenskyy (15:35)
The pair discuss Evgeny’s transition to highly impactful documentaries like the Oscar-nominated Winter on Fire and how Afineevsky first met Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2016, years before he became the president of Ukraine.
Documentaries and PTSD (23:02)
Afineevsky describes the risks he took to make his documentaries, and how the effects of making these films in war zones caused him to develop PTSD.
A close relationship with Pope Francis (23:41)
Afineevsky shares how he developed a close bond with Pope Francis and how he gained unprecedented access to him for the documentary Francesco. Afineevsky describes Francis becoming godfather to his son and their personal friendship.
Making movies that matter (34:58)
The pair discuss parenthood and how having a child motivated Afineevsky to make movies that can change the world.
Upcoming projects (40:52)
Afineevsky talks about his most recent documentary about Ukraine’s fight for freedom, Freedom on Fire. He also mentions potential upcoming projects, including one about Ukrainian children abducted by Russia.
Tune in to hear this compelling interview with acclaimed documentary director Evgeny Afineevsky, which provides an intimate glimpse into his inspiring life journey, from gaining unprecedented access to Pope Francis for Francesco to making Oscar-nominated films like Winter on Fire. Afineevsky offers wisdom on documentary filmmaking and shares his vision for how movies can raise awareness of global issues to drive positive change in the world.
Host: Kevin Goetz
Guest: Evgeny Afineevsky
Producer: Kari Campano
Writers: Kevin Goetz, Darlene Hayman and Kari Campano
For more information about Evgeny Afineevsky:
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