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PRESS RELEASE
7th RUSSIAN FILM FESTIVAL IN LONDON
7-17 November 2013, Empire Cinemas, Leicester Square


The Russian Film Festival returns to London on 7 November for its seventh year! This year the Festival is hosted by the iconic Empire Cinemas in Leicester Square and the magnificent May Fair Hotel Theatre.   
The Festival brings together award-winning directors, producers, actors and actresses to present their work to a London audience. Through intense dramas, sparkling comedies and powerful documentaries, the Festival is a showcase of contemporary Russia.
All films will be shown in Russian with English subtitles. Films will be presented by their world-renowned directors, actors and producers, with guests including Taisia Igumentseva, Sergei Abroskin, Chulpan Khamatova, Dina Korzun, Alexander Veledinsky, Vera Krichevskaya, Yusup Razykov, Sergei Tamaraev and Lubov Lvova, Victoria Isakova, Marina Migunova, Vitaly Mansky, and Ingeborga Dapkunaite, all joining us for Q&As, discussions and master classes.
Announcing the London Lion Award and the Festival Jury
The inaugural London Lion Award will be presented to the Director of the Best Film of the Russian Film Festival, selected by our panel of eminent directors, critics and producers. The London Lion Award represents London critics’ perspective of Russian cinematography.
Chaired by the internationally acclaimed Dutch filmmaker Jos Stelling, the Festival Jury includes Robbie Collin, chief film critic for the Daily Telegraph, Chris Curling, esteemed producer, Catherine Bray, Editor of Film4.com, and Iain McLeod, Film Booker at Empire Cinemas.
Ten films will compete for the London Lion, which will be awarded at the Closing Night at the May Fair Hotel on Sunday 17 November. The award ceremony will be followed by a screening of Jos Stelling’s film The Girl and Death, inspired by Pushkin which won the Golden Calf for Best Film, Best Sound Design and Best Cinematography at the Netherlands Film Festival, 2012.
Opening Night of the Festival
The Festival opens with the UK premiere of apocalyptic comedy Bite The Dust (Otdat kontsy) by Taisia Igumentseva. The film is a blend of richly coloured fantasy and Russian still life that explores the Russian obsession with apocalypse. Bite the Dust was nominated for the main prize of Kinotavr 2013, the main national Russian film festival, and was also the only Russian film to be part of the Official Selection of Cannes 2013.

(more: http://academia-rossica.org/en/film/russian-film-festival-in-london)


Announcing this Year’s Exceptional Documentary Programme
The 7th Russian Film Festival is proud to present the retrospective of Vitaly Mansky, internationally renowned documentary film director and president of ArtDocFest festival. We are also delighted to showcase an exceptional programme of documentary films, put together under the guidance of Mansky. This year’s films are powerful reflections on the rifts that are at the heart of Russian society today. Church involvement in cultural life, making sense of the communist past and the commercial present, and political campaigning are the poignant themes that run through Graffiti, Museum of Lenin, Route 31 and March, March, Left.
Gift of Life Charity Screening of The Land of Deaf
The Festival is delighted to support the remarkable work of the Gift of Life Foundation, created by famous Russian actresses Chulpan Khamatova and Dina Korzun, by screening their debut film, The Land of Deaf, which marks its 15th anniversary this year. (more information about the charity: www.giftoflife.eu )


Partnership with Universities
The Festival will once again be partnering with leading UK universities – the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, as well as King’s Russia Institute in London, bringing a selection of screenings and directors to those cities.
Festival Organiser

The Festival is organised by Academia Rossica, a cultural organisation set up in London in 2000 to promote and strengthen cultural and intellectual ties between Russia and the English-speaking world. Academia Rossica pioneers intercultural projects, presenting the best of contemporary Russian culture internationally.


Sponsors & Partners

The 7th London Russian Film Festival is sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Culture, and by the Russian Embassy of the United Kingdom.


The Festival’s official partners this year are: Empire Cinemas Leicester Square, May Fair Hotel, and RusskyLondon.com.

CONTACT FOR PRESS:
Josh Heath, +44 (0)207 287 5712,  PRESS@academia-rossica.org 
Katerina Zherebtsova, +44 (0)207 287 2614,  PR@academia-rossica.org  

7th LONDON RUSSIAN FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
COMPETITION



Opening Film:

Bite the Dust / Отдать концы

Russia, 2013

Comedy, 90 min

Director: Taisia Igumentseva


Awards:

Nominated for the Grand Prix at the 24th Kinotavr Film Festival, 2013

Official Selection, Cannes International Film Festival, 2013
A village so small that all the residents not only know each other, but can easily recognize the face of the neighbour's cow on TV. The tight-knit community is shaken by the news that an astronomical phenomenon is about to wipe out 90% of humanity. The villagers have 24 hours to come to terms with the apocalypse and they choose to do it in a characteristically Russian manner. Tables are put together, pies are baked, and residents gather strength and courage to make the most important decisions of their lives.




The Sky under the Heart / Небо под сердцем

Russia, 2012

Documentary, 87 min

Director: Viktoria Kaskova


The unique concert film ‘The Sky Under the Heart’ is dedicated to DDT’s new tour ‘Otherwise’ (Inache). The film is made up of two parts: Footage of the band’s performance on the 9th of October at the Sports Complex Olympic, and behind-the-scenes footage from the album and concert tour.



The Geographer Drank his Globe Away /

Географ глобус пропил

Russia, 2013, 120 min

Comedy/Drama

Based on the novel by Aleksei Ivanov

Director: Aleksander Veledinsky
Grand Prix at 24th Kinotavr Film Festival, 2013

Best Actor Prize to Konstantin Khabensky at 24th Kinotavr Festival, 2013

'The Hollywood Reporter' Special Prize at 24th Kinotavr Film Festival, 2013

International Jury Best Film Award at 4th International Odessa Film Festival, 2013

Golden Boat Prize at 21st International 'Window on Europe' Film Festival, 2013

Honorary Festival President's Prize at 3rd International Sakhalin Film Festival, 2013


Veledinsky's twistedly funny The Geographer Drank His Globe Away follows hapless biologist, Viktor Sluzhkin, as he tries his luck as a geography teacher in a provincial school. Armed with a best friend, an unhappy marriage and copious amounts of alcohol, Viktor struggles on in the face of an unruly class and maps that refuse to be read. And as if that wasn't enough, Viktor suddenly discovers love in the most unexpected of places...




Citizen Poet. Run of the Year/Гражданин поэт. Прогон года

Russia, 2012

Documentary, 110 min

Director: Vera Krichevskaya


“Citizen Poet. Run of the Year” looks back at the satirical brainchild of Dmitrii Bykov, Mikhail Efremov and Andrei Vasiliev. The film looks behind the scenes at 'Citizen Poet' and its creators at work, whilst also widening its focus to reflect on one of the most politically tumultuous years in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.



Shame/Стыд

Russia, 2013, 90 min

Drama

Director: Yusup Razykov


FIPRESCI Prize at 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2013
In a crumbling military base in the far north of Russia, a community of women patiently await the return of their husbands, serving aboard a submarine. Although bound together in this life of uncertainty and expectation, the women of this community lead very different lives, with the film's central character, Lena, living at an icy remove from the other wives. As Lena's own story of doubt and infidelity unfolds, so too do whispers of disaster begin to reach the surface.




Winter Journey/Зимний Путь

Russia, 2013, 90 min

Drama

Director: Sergei Taramaev, Lubov Lvova


Special Jury Prize for Best Acting to EvgenyTkachuk at Window on to Europe Film Festival, 2013

Guild of Film Critics Prize at Window on to Europe Film Festival, 2013

Kinoclub Jury Prize at 11th 'Moscow Premiere' Film Festival, 2013
Music student and gifted singer, Erik, is preparing to sing Schubert's Winterreise for a competition. As his teacher slams him for his poor performance, Erik's life is changed irrevocably by a chance meeting with Lyokha, a coarse and aggressive petty criminal. Set in the three days leading up to the competition, Winter Journey is a raw and evocative portrayal of alienation and transgression.




Ivan Son of Amir/Иван сын Амира

Russia, 2013, 116 min

Drama

Director: Maksim Panfilov


Best Screenplay Prize at Montreal World Film Festival, 2013
Set during the Second World War, Ivan Son of Amir tells the story of Maria, who is forced to flee Sevastapol with her young children. When she arrives in Uzbekistan, she is taken in by Amir and his wives. With Maria's husband missing in action and presumed dead, Maria marries the man who gave her family shelter. But as the War ends, Maria's present is brought face to face with the spectre of the past.



Mirrors/Зеркала

Russia, 2013, 130 min

Biopic/Drama

Director: Marina Migunova


'Magnificent Seven' at 11th Moscow Premiere Film Festival, 2013

'Moskovsky Komsomolets' Grand Jury Prize

'Natalia Gundareva' Prize for Best Actress – Viktorya Isakova
Migunova's biopic Mirrors depicts the life of Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the most famous and tragic Russian poets of the 20th century. Mirrors follows her life in Russia, her time abroad Prague and Paris, and her return to Russia. Culminating in Tsvetaeva’s suicide in 1941, this filmcharts the tragic trajectory of a life filled with love, loss, and betrayal.




Pipeline/Труба

Russia, Germany, Chechnya, 2013, 116 min

Documentary

Director: Vitaly Mansky


Best Director Prize at 24th Kinotavr Film Festival, 2013

Prize of the Guild of Film Critics at 24th Kinotavr Film Festival, 2013

Best Documentary at 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2013
Pipeline, the latest documentary from acclaimed director Vitaly Mansky, follows the course of the Trans-Siberian gas pipeline through Russia and into Europe. As the camera travels the length of the pipeline, the viewer is given access to the lives and landscapes of which the pipeline is a central part. While the pipeline may be a prominent symbol of Russia's resurgence, the lives captured in Pipeline show that for many, little has changed.




Intimate Parts / Интимные Места

Russia, 2013

Comedy/Drama, 78 min

Directors: Natasha Merkulova, Aleksei Chupov


Best Debut Prize to Natasha Merkulova and Aleksei Chupov, Best Actress to Yulia Aug and Guild of Film Critics Prize at 24th Kinotavr Film Festival, 2013
The first fruits of directing duo Natasha Merkulova and Aleksei Chupov, Intimate Parts is an exploration of middle class secrets and attitudes to sex. Through a series of interlinking plot lines, all revolving around the central figure of Ivan, a photographer with a passion for freedom, this film confronts our fear of being who we really are.


DOCUMENTARIES



Graffiti / ГРАФФИТИ

Russia, 2012

Documentary, 24 min
Director: Valerii Otstavnykh

Producer: Valerii Otstavnykh

Scriptwriter: Valerii Otstavnykh

Director of Photography: Sergei Yudin


A small town shopkeeper unwittingly takes on the local church when she commissions a local artist to spruce up her wall with a fresco of Christ and the Sistine Madonna.



Route 31 / 31 РЕЙС

Russia, 2011

Documentary, 57 min
Director: Denis Klebleev

Producer: Marina Razbezhkina

Scriptwriter: Denis Klebeev

Director of Photography: Denis Klebleev


A village lies stranded in the Kamchatka Peninsula, surrounded by impassable swamps and mountains. Cut off from the outside world, the inhabitants rely on the regular arrival of all-terrain vehicles, loaded with supplies. This film follows two drivers making this habitually absurd journey.



March, March With Your Left! / МАРШ МАРШ ЛЕВОЙ

Russia, 2012

Documentary, 60 min
Director: Evgeniia Montana Ibanes

Producer: Evgeniia Montana Ibanes

Scriptwriter: Evgeniia Montana Ibanes, Nataliia Montana Ibanes

Director of Photography: Gennadii Dubin


Filmed during the tumultuous events of 2012 in Moscow, March, March With Your Left covers the life of opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov during his rallies, imprisonment and hunger strike.



FESTIVAL CLOSING NIGHT



Closing Film:

The Girl and Death/Девушка и смерть

Russia, Netherlands, Germany, 2012

Drama, 127 min

Director: Jos Stelling


Winner of the Golden Calf for Best Film, Best Sound Design and Best Cinematography at the Netherlands Film Festival, 2012.
Jos Stelling's The Girl and Death follows Nikolai, a Russian physician, as he revisits the hotel where he met the love of his life, half a century before. As Nikolai relives their brief tryst, a story unfolds of a love thwarted by the cares of this world. Meanwhile Nikolai's reasons for returning become increasingly clear.




7th LONDON RUSSIAN FILM FESTIVAL, 7-17 November 2013, Empire Cinema, Leicester Square

Josh Heath, +44 (0)207 287 5712,  PRESS@academia-rossica.org




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