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Part of SFFILM Festival

Walking on Water

Directed by Andrey Paounov

Italy | Documentary | 100

13 Apr
Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 1:30 pm PT
19 Apr
Fri, Apr 19 at 3:00 pm
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive


Renowned environmental artist Christo is trying to execute the project The Floating Piers that he and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, started together in the 1970s. Lake Iseo, Italy, is to be the site of a three-kilometer floating walkway, covered in orange fabric, that guests can walk across, if all of the artist’s demands can be met. Following a feisty, world-renowned creative talent and his equally bombastic operations director, Vladimir Yavachev, Walking on Water delightfully shows just how a large-scale installation comes together, with all of its complications.

“Christo once again proves to be a colorful and larger-than-life character. Now 80, he’s more cantankerous and scrappy than ever. His nephew, Vladimir, serves as his head of operations, and the two trade some humorous wars of words when they disagree on the best course to realize the project…Similarly, Paounov’s camera captures the sheer scale of the effort that goes into executing this unique project. It’s a thrill to watch so many hands come together in the service of great art.” – Pat Mullen, Point of View

“The artist’s forceful character does battle with technology, bureaucracy, corruption, and the elements, resulting in an installation of stunning beauty and a documentary that delights in capturing the act of creation.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety

Director Andrey Paounov

Filmmaker Andrey Paounov made his feature documentary debut in 2004 with Georgi and the Butterflies, winning multiple awards, including the Don Quixote Award at the Krakow Film Festival and the Silver Wolf at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival. His captured the Grierson Award at the London Film Festival for The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories (2007) and was awarded the Golden Rhyton for Best Documentary Film from the Golden Rhyton Bulgarian Documentary and Animation Film Festival for The Boy Who Was a King (2011). In 2015, Paounov released his first narrative feature, Twice Upon a Time in the West.

Film Details

Year 2018

Language Italian, English

Runtime 100

Country Italy/USA

Director Andrey Paounov

Producer Izabella Tzenkova, Valeria Giampietro

Editor Andrey Paounov, Anastas Petkov

Cinematographer Simone D'Arcangelo, Anastas Petkov, Pietro Daviddi, Antonio Ferrera, Snejina Latev, Martina Cocco, Debora Vrizzi, Wedigo Von Schultzendorff, Franco Piroli

Music Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans