Common Language

Subtitles available: English, Italian, Spanish
The director, who has always been viewed as the black sheep in her family, sets out to the Belarusian town of Vitebsk to talk with her parents about previous grievances and topics that were considered taboo. The effort to find a common language, which runs into stormy emotions and the inability to voice honest opinions, is captured through both personal moments and detailed shots of the protagonists’ faces.
La directora, quien fue siempre vista como la oveja negra de la familia, viaja a Vitebsk en Bielorusia, para hablar con sus padres sobre sus prejuicios y tabúes. El esfuerzo de encontrar un lenguaje común, desencadena un mar de emociones, y mediante momentos personales y planos detalles de los protagonistas, captura la dificultad que existe para hablar honestamente.
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Festivals & Awards
  • Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (Czech Republic, 2020) – Academy awards® qualifying festival
  • PÖFF Shorts (Estonia, 2021) – National Premiere – Academy awards® qualifying festival
  • Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival 2021 (Japan, 2021)
  • Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (United Kingdom, 2021)
  • 45th Cleveland International Film Festival (United States of America, 2021) – Academy awards® qualifying festival
  • Dhaka International Film Festival (Bangladesh, 2022)
  • Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria (Nigeria, 2022)
  • Marzo Feminista – Centro Arte Alameda (Chile, 2022)
  • Women International Film Festival (WIFF) (Pakistan 2022)
  • Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS (Latvia, 2022)
  • “Bistre reke” (Clear rivers) Festival (Serbia, 2022)
  • Pärnu Film Festival (Estonia, 2022)
  • PLONS! International Short Documentary Film Festival Leeuwarden (Netherlands, 2022)
  • International 2 Sides Short Film Festival (Turkey, 2022)
  • Amarcort Film Festival (Italy, 2022)
  • La.Meko Kurzfilmfestival (Germany, 2022)
Common Language, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, short films, shortsfit, shortsfit distribución, distribución de cortometrajes, distribución de cortos, cortometrajes, short film distribution, film distribution, great documentaries, short docs

written and directed by

produced by

Volia Chajkouskaya, Riho Västrik

cinematography by

Volia Chajkouskaya

art direction by

Volia Chajkouskaya

editing by

Patrik Antonjuk, Volia Chajkouskaya

sound design by

Dmitri Natalevich

distribution and world sales

Volia's Bio

Volia Chajkouskaya was born in Belarus, currently living in Estonia. She started off with journalism studies and has 11 years of working experience in media. Volia also obtained a Masters Degree in directing and producing a documentary film in Baltic Film and Media School (Tallinn, Estonia). She launched Volia Films production company in 2016, the company is registered in Estonia and Belarus. Volia Films produced a full-length documentary “The Road Movie” (dir. Dmitrii Kalashnikov) in 2016. The Road Movie was world premiered at IDFA First Appearance Competition the same year and was screened at more than 80 festivals. She is also a voting member of European Film Academy, a participant of CICAE training for Art Cinema Professionals in September 2016 at Venice IFF, a member of Emerging Producers Network 2018. Moreover, Volia is a board member of the Producers and Film Production Guild of Belarus and is a founder and program director of Northern Lights Nordic Baltic Film Festival in Belarus. The festival is focusing on Northern European and Baltic fictions and documentaries have a developed industry platform and a wide range of side events. In 2019 Volia joined Allfilm production company as a producer and director. Currently has three projects in active stages.