Baby Bump, dir. Kuba Czekaj│Blinded by the Mediterranean sun and the red carpet glamour of Biennale, we sat by the beach to discuss Baby Bump with its „parents” – writer and director Kuba Czekaj and producer Magdalena Kamińska. Telling the story of a teenager struggling with the bodily aspects of adolescence, this picture created quite a stir in the festival circuit, and was awarded the Queer Lion Special Mention granted for the second time in the history of the festival.
Your first feature film had its premiere in Venice. Which world festival are you heading to with the next?
Kuba Czekaj: Firstly, I can’t wait to show this one, Baby Bump, at Gdynia Film Festival in Poland. After showing it to the international audience, we are anxious to see the reaction in our country.
What do you think it will be like?
K. C.: We realize that it’s a risky project which at the same time makes it a great basis for discussion. It was a conscious choice on my part since in my opinion the cinema is all about talking and even arguing after the screening. The film has to resonate. That’s why it’s an amazing feeling to watch the movie with the audience. Usually, I stand as near as possible to the door with the heart in my mouth, this time they made me sit down.
Magdalena Kamińska: The first ten minutes are the worst. Mostly on the technical level – we worked so much on every minute, it would be a pity to have one element ruin the effect.
Especially that Baby Bump is built on details. What made you choose such an unconventional form of the film?
K. C.: There was a thought to make it look like a mixture of a film and a comic book, and this sequence set the tone of the whole movie. Something childlike and from the adult world at the same time, a mixture of bright colours and naivete with the reality was what we aimed at to show as the background of adolescence. The main character has a cartoon mouse in his head who is speaking to him in English – to emphasize that something alien is happening to him, to his body.
Will you continue playing with the form in the same manner in your next movie?
K. C.: I think no one expects how different The Erlprince will be from Baby Bump. Even though the cast is almost exactly the same, as well as the team, it’s supposed to be a completely different film although linked thematically with Baby Bump. I like to think of those titles as an unofficial diptych – whereas Baby Bump is about the physical aspects of growing up, The Erlprince will deal mainly with the emotional side of it. There will be some correspondences for those who will have seen both pictures, like the fact that there is no Mommy, like in Baby Bump, here we will have the Mother, which is quite telling when it comes to the direction the story takes.
Will it be the closure of the theme of adolescence?
K. C.: For now, yes. No children in my next ideas for films so far!
M. K.: No way Kuba, I don’t believe it! But seriously, in the film school they kept telling us that there is nothing worse than children and animals on the set. I was surprised how smoothly it went in our case. Maybe because we treated no differently than the adult members of the cast. He’s eleven years old – so what? He’s our partner.
K. C.: That was also the premise for Baby Bump – we have to respect the little individualities, especially in such a delicate moment as puberty. At no other stage in our lives we change so much, and as adults we quickly forget how traumatic growing up was. I certainly haven’t heard anyone saying: „I want to be twelve again”!■
Interview by: Ewa Wildner
│In cooperation with│