Aleksandra Terpińska in conversation with Marcin Radomski

M.R.: Is The Best Fireworks Ever a short film about chance or about war?

A.T.: War is something we have no influence over. That was how I wanted to interpret the provisos of the competition for a screenplay inspired by Krzysztof Kieslowski’s "Blind Chance". I’m showing young people forced into making choices that are often opposed to their perception of the world.

M.R.: The situation in Ukraine inspired you to write the story.

A.T.: The conflict in Ukraine has affected me immensely. It happened right next door. There were protests and, suddenly, a far more dramatic situation sprang from them. People started shooting one another. I asked myself what I’d have done in a situation like that and I realised that I’m utterly unprepared for war. My generation doesn’t know how to protest because we’re lacking in social vigilance, resistance and opposition. We’re only learning that now.

M.R.: How did you make "The Best Fireworks Ever"?

A.T.: There were two stages. First of all, I wrote an eight-page story in one day. Then I developed it in line with the competition requirements, adding new narrative threads. That enriched the film considerably and underscored its eloquence. We shot most of it using master shots and edited it synthetically. I believe that cinema is capable of conveying genuine emotions of that kind.

M.R.: The central characters are hiding secrets and they have to abandon their efforts to accomplish their dreams. They’re highly credible. How did you choose the actors?

A.T.: I was certain about Justyna Wasilewska, who plays Ju, from the outset. I think she’s an excellent actress and, besides that, I’ve been friendly with her for years. And, along the way, while I was making my earlier shorts, I encountered particular actors who I have in mind the entire time. I go back to them and offer them a role. That’s what happened in the case of Malwina Buss and Piotr Polak. I wanted the actors to be able to perform freely and feel safe.