“Artist, Formerly Known as Varona” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Slava Ushakov

2023 July 29

“Artist, Formerly Known as Varona” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Slava Ushakov

-Who is Slava Ushakov?

Slava Ushakov is the brilliant director behind the captivating animated series “GINJI,” brought to life by Blanca Pictures studio. But his journey to success began as a talented caricaturist for a newspaper at just sixteen! At twenty, he dived into the world of animation, honing his skills under the guidance of the legendary Alexander Tatarsky at the “Pilot” studio. With his bags full of talent, he ventured to animation giants like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon in the United States. The legendary Charles Swenson not only became a mentor and teacher to Slava Ushakov in America but also a cherished friend to this day. Now Slava’s a sought-after director, hailed for his amiable nature and unwavering humor. Oh, and did we mention his mantle adorned with over 50 world festival awards? Slava Ushakov, the name behind animated wonders!

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Becoming a filmmaker was a whirlwind adventure for me. The energy and inspiration I absorbed from the legendary ‘Pilot’ studio, thanks to Alexander Tatarsky and Igor Kovalyov, were invigorating. Amidst the seriousness of work, there were also plenty of pranks and laughter. A serendipitous moment occurred in the apartment of a music video producer, who introduced me to a captivating song by an unknown band. Sketches turned into a quirky story, and the journey of filmmaking began. With complete freedom, I followed my heart, infusing characters with ethnic art and surreal elements. It’s my style, and later it’s been adopted in the series ‘Qumi-Qumi’. It was my first significant “adventurous vaccination”.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in society?

Absolutely! Cinema, including animation, has the power to bring about meaningful change in society. GINJI aims to be a catalyst for positive impact, departing from traditional sitcom-like elements. Instead, we dive deep into the psychology and storytelling brilliance, surprising and astonishing our young viewers like the works of animation pioneers. Our show goes beyond mere clowning, instilling values that resonate with the audience. Each moment is a delightful revelation, reflecting teenagers’ unique perspectives and bridging the generation gap. Inspired by Pixar’s magic, GINJI seeks to leave an indelible mark on hearts and minds. In this whimsical scenario, I’m fueled by my passion for making a difference through animation. Our goal is to create a magical journey that touches hearts and ignites imaginations, inspiring positive change in the world.

-What would you change in the world?

Ah, life’s not always a carnival of joy, but let’s brighten it up! If I had boundless wealth and endless opportunities, I’d create clinics to fight cancer and blindness, and a sanctuary for elephants, because our majestic friends deserve love. Let’s venture to space, explore the Moon, and take kids on underwater adventures in a submarine! And of course, filmmaking would be my passion, spreading empathy and cherishing every soul. I’d use my power to stop escalating aggression, replacing it with empathy and peace. Let’s build bridges, forge friendships, and embrace our shared humanity. Together, we’ll weave a world of understanding, where peace reigns, and kindness leads the way. Let’s dream big and make this world better, one act of kindness and one captivating film at a time!

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

In the next 100 years, the film industry will explode with imagination, driven by AI and groundbreaking technology. AI-powered filmmakers will craft narratives beyond our wildest dreams. Yet, human emotions and values like love and fear will stand strong, unchanged for centuries. A new generation of storytellers will emerge, using AI to captivate audiences with interactive experiences. But amidst all the marvels, storytelling’s heart will remain, touching souls and delighting all ages. The animation will break free from formulas, leaving audiences in awe with every moment. Brace yourself for a cinematic adventure, where AI and human creativity shape a future that cherishes human values and embraces innovation!