“How has your day been?” When a doe-eyed aid worker named Daria asks this question of Grigory, a beleaguered border control officer, his day has already been drab, difficult, and decisive. But not without hope. The scene — from “Glory To The Nation”, the directorial debut of SCAD graduate Danil Pervukhin — is indicative of the 13-minute short film itself.

What takes place is both literal and figurative.

“Like myself, Grigory realizes that it is impossible for him to change the course of the war, to change everyone’s lives. However, he has the power of changing one life at a time,” says Pervukhin, a native of Kharkiv, Ukraine, who graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Atlanta this spring with a degree in film and television.

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“I believe that I have been blessed with a chance to tell this extremely important story,” Pervukhin says. “When I stared writing ‘Glory To The Nation,’ I was heavily inspired by the events in my home country.”

“I always encourage our students to make films with stories they’re uniquely positioned to tell, and Danil has embodied this ethos through his connection to the conflict in his home country,” says Quinn Orear, associate chair of film and television, SCAD Atlanta. “In his film, Danil uses a sunflower to signify hope, and the film has been his own sunflower of sorts.” 

“Glory To The Nation” is a story about hope, agrees Danil — “but not the kind of hope when you sit around waiting for a miracle to happen. It is about the hope that your endeavors, struggles, and bravery will pay off.”

SCAD Students Collaborating

By focusing primarily on a single set-up for the film, “Glory To The Nation” comes alive in the editing. Pervukhin’s SCAD classmate Jake Bell worked on the film as editor and digital imaging technician.

“Cutting the film involved a lot of back and forth between Danil and I,” Bell says. “It can be intimidating when you have hours of footage and infinite possibilities. Many times, we’d be totally on the same page for how a scene should go together, and other times I might try cutting multiple versions of a scene and we’d talk about which one worked best and why. Danil really shined as a director with great professionalism, and I really wanted to make sure each cut intentionally pushed the story forward.”

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Pervukhin completed the film while maintaining a 4.0 GPA at SCAD.  This drive to excel reflects the young filmmaker’s awareness of circumstance.

“Being an international student away from home during the escalation of the military action made me feel like by leaving I betrayed people I care about,” Pervukhin says. “Why do I get to see the sky, clear of smoke and missiles, every time I look up?”

See the trailer and find out more about “Glory To The Nation” on the film’s Instagram profile. For more on SCAD’s film and television degree program, visit scad.edu.