Varicella

Directed by Victor Kossakovsky

Varicella portrays the tender and trusting relationship between two sisters who share a common dream: becoming a soloist ballet dancer.

Nastia, 13 years old, and Polina, 7 years old, are studying at one of the most prestigious ballet academies in Russia through being selected among 5500 talented children from all across the country. In order to make their dream come true, they practise intensively at the academy for six hours every weekday.

After finishing the first year, Polina will have to pass a tough exam in order to prove that she has developed the necessary skills to continue studying at the academy. Nastia therefore helps her to improve during the weekend, in their humble home in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg.

Only a few brilliant students at the academy have the possibility to one day become soloists. Nastia and Polina both know this, but facing their challenges together, they find the confidence and the power to go on, in that way overcoming their fears.

Varicella collage


Director: Victor Kossakovsky

Producer: Anita Rehoff Larsen/Tone Grøttjord
Master: HD.
Format 25 minutes.
Financers: Norwegian Film Institute, Danish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute In Co-production with Arte G.E.I.E, in association with DR ultra, NRK super


The film is part of a nordic collaboration with Final Cut for Real in Denmark and Story in Sweden. Where all produce two films each. The films are about children with a talent who are dedicated to a sport/art at a serious level. Each of the six films takes place in a different country. The sport/art will be the engine for the narrative, but the films will also offer a deeper layer, which deals with important subject matters related to the challenges of sport and growing up – e.g. parent pressure, sacrifices; problems between friends; being a girl playing a traditionally boys’ sport. Subject matters that most children around the world can relate to and are likely to have experienced for themselves at some point in their life. We hope that the series will increase children’s appetite and interest in the world around them, strengthen their sense of community and solidarity with other children across national borders, and above all: Create a safe space for children to discuss the challenges they face with their friends and family.

Final Cut for Real in Denmark are producing:

Chikara – The Sumo Wrestler’s Son / Dir. Simon Lereng Wilmont (Japan)

The Fencing Champion / Dir. Simon Lereng Wilmont (Denmark)

Producer is Monica Hellstrøm

STORY in Sweden are producing:

Twisers / Dir. Hanna Heilborn (Sweden)
A Flying girl / Dir. Ania Winiarska (South Africa)

Producers are Tobias Janson, Annika Rogell and Malin Hüber

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  • Director Victor Kossakovsky
  • Producer name Anita Rehoff Larsen & Tone Grøttjord
  • coproducers Final Cut for Real (DK) and Story (SE)
  • Technical Specs HD
  • running time 25 minutes
  • financiers Norwegian film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Danish Film institute and Nordic Film and TV Fund.
  • Release date 2015