by Viktor Kossakovsky
Where his prior film, the acclaimed epic AQUARELA, was a reminder of the fragility of human tenure on earth, in GUNDA, master filmmaker Viktor Kossakovsky reminds us that we share our planet with billions of other animals. Through encounters with a mother sow (the eponymous Gunda), two ingenious cows, and a scene-stealing, one-legged chicken, Kossakovsky movingly recalibrates our moral universe, reminding us of the inherent value of life and the mystery of all animal consciousness, including our own.
"GUNDA IS A MESMERIZING PERSPECTIVE ON SENTIENCE WITHIN ANIMAL SPECIES, NORMALLY - AND PERHAPS PURPOSELY - HIDDEN FROM OUR VIEW."
- JOAQUIN PHOENIX, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Director: Victor Kossakovsky
Screenplay: Victor Kossakovsky, Ainara Vera
Producers: Anita Rehoff Larsen - Sant & Usant, Joslyn Barnes - Louverture Films
Executive Producers: Joaquin Phoenix, Tone Grøttjord-Glenne
Co-Executive Producer: Regina K. Scully
Cinematography: Egil Håskjold Larsen, Victor Kossakovsky
Editing: Victor Kossakovsky, Ainara Vera
Sound Design: Alexandr Dudarev
DIRECTOR - VIKTOR KOSSAKOVSKY
Victor Kossakovsky was born in Saint Petersburg (Leningrad at the time) on July 19, 1961. An innovative documentary filmmaker, his films have been honored with more than 100 awards in national and international festivals. His distinctive filmography spans many different subjects but always explores the interplay of reality and poetic moments.
He began his career in motion pictures at the Leningrad Studio of Documentaries as assistant cameraman, assistant director and editor in 1978. He studied screenwriting and directing at Moscow HCSF from 1986-1988. In 1989 he directed his first feature LOSEV and then in 1992 made his name with international critics and audiences with his documentary THE BELOVS, which won both the VPRO Joris Ivens Award and the Audience Award at IDFA and dozens of other awards at international festivals around the world. In 2011, Kossakovsky’s ¡VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! was selected as the opening film of the Venice Film Festival. AQUARELA, his technologically groundbreaking and globe-spanning documentary on the shapes of water also premiered in Venice in 2018 before being shortlisted for the Oscar® for Best Documentary, among other honors.
In many of his films Kossakovsky has served simultaneously as director, editor, cinematographer and writer. Currently based in Berlin, he continues to serve as a teacher and mentor to aspiring filmmakers and documentarians globally.
BERLINALE 2020〡CPH:DOX 2020〡FILM FEST HAMBURG 2020 - AUDIENCE AWARD〡NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL 2020〡ZURICH FILM FESTIVAL 2020〡BERGEN IFF 2020〡DOC NYC 2020〡THESSALONIKI 2020〡KARLOVY VARY 2020〡STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2020 - BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD〡TAIPEI GOLDEN HORSE 2020〡DOCAVIV 2021〡DOCS BARCELONA 2021 - BEST FILM AWARD〡IDFA 2020〡HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2021〡VIENNALE 2020〡KRAKOW FILM FESTIVAL 2021
"Gunda is a soul-stirring meditation on some of our most underappreciated fellow earthlings. For many viewers, it could well be life-changing too."
- The Hollywood Reporter
"More experience than movie, “Gunda” is a mesmerizing achievement."
"Genuine poetic vision of a film which, though strictly unsentimental, is intensely moving, transfixing and quite genuinely unique."
- Screen Daily
"Not since 'Babe' has a humble farm pig's fate been as high-stakes as it is in Victor Kossakovsky's captivating, wordless doc."