Vagrant Film Festival was launched in 2012. At first, it was the suburban open-airs. Then in 2013, the first journey was made. The way was through Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, and Belarus. We rode two bicycles and carried a gas generator, a projector, a laptop, and all other equipment including a screen, an extension cord, an audio system, a canister, a tent, and sleeping bags.
In the evening we stayed in cities and towns where we found a light wall in a crowded place. That’s when it became clear to us that in such conditions it’s possible to show not all kinds of films, but those that meet certain requirements. First, the film should not exceed 3-4 minutes. It should be taken into account that our viewers are random passers-by who have too little time to catch the drama and the canvas of the plot. Secondly, films should have a strong visual component to attract the attention of passers-by. Thirdly, it is advisable to avoid using many words in films, as screenings are held in different countries, including rural areas, where people only speak their first language. A program that meets these requirements was called Urban Cinema Vision.
It also became clear to us that it is difficult for us to deal with an overnight stay. Shows usually ended at midnight. It wasn’t convenient to go after that and bother the hosts. As a result, we came up with the idea of an art van that could be both a vehicle, a home, and a platform for film screenings. Since we focus on the travel process rather than the ultimate goal, it was decided to make the van not a trivial one.
In spring 2015, the building of Cinemavan started at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts. It turned out to be construction on wheels above 5 meters. It had to be pushed and towed along the streets accompanied by traffic police. The next year Cinemavan was equipped with an 18 horsepower motor-block and brakes.
The Cinemavan was converted into a transformer with a lowering roof, as it had to be stored in an ordinary garage. In 2018, Cinemavan was successfully tested as a catamaran. It is joined by two pairs of inflatable balloons 8 and 5 meters long. The balloons have a 6x4m deck.
In 2020, it was planned to launch the Cinemavan in long-distance travel. But because of Covid-19, the launch was postponed to early June 2021. Nevertheless, we’ve built a handcart, where we loaded our luggage: tents, food, water, and wine supplies, projection equipment.
2021. We have finally built our floating movie theater, which has sailed almost 500 kilometers along the Berezina and Dnieper rivers. More than a dozen screenings in different cities: Svetlica, Svisloch, Bobruisk, Svetlagorsk, Kastrychnik, Gomel.
2022. The borders were finally opened, but war had broken out. The original plan was to go down the Dnieper to the Black Sea, and then to Turkey and beyond. A year ago, only in a scary dream could one imagine that the Black Sea would be mined, the front line would run along the Dnieper, and the world would be on the brink of nuclear war.
The CinemaVan was located near Zyabrovka, a military airbase. Literally, the shadows of attack aircraft and heavy bombers run across its lowered wings. The basis of the CinemaVan will be a cargo three-wheeled motorcycle. This should greatly increase its land mobility.