International Film Festival Rotterdam

Elias Grootaers – Inside the Distance #IFFR2017

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10 min. and 26 sec.

Distance inside and outside a boxing ring.

Play Podcast
10 min. and 26 sec.

PODCAST | Matt Micucci interviews Elias Grootaers, director of INSIDE THE DISTANCE, from the 46th International Film Festival Rotterdam.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Elias Grootaers filmed Giorgi Shakhsuvarian, a boxing trainer of Armanian descent who grew up in Georgia and currently lives and works in Belgium. The film, INSIDE THE DISTANCE, was presented at the 2017 International Film Festival Rotterdam, and we ask Grootaers how he met him and what it was that drew him to him. He defines his documentary as “poetic documentary,” before expressing his disapproval of the term. Nevertheless, this is no ordinary documentary, and it does have a very distinctive and expressive visual style that explores the limit of film. In order to understand it better, we ask him about it and he reveals the emotions he felt upon discovering a video shot years ago in Shakhsuvarian. Grootaers, more generally tells us about his interests, and in his answers, the terms “time and space” keep popping up. What is it about these concepts that attracts him? Find out this and more in our interview.

INSIDE THE DISTANCE. A famous director once said that making a film about a real person is a crime, because you can never do justice to life. So what did Elias Grootaers, who prefaces his keenly observed portrait of an Armenian boxing coach in Belgium with this quote, do? Made a film about a real person.


  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Elias Grootaers
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Inside the Distance
  • Festival section
    Bright Future
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