A selection of Russian films will be screened during the Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) in collaboration with the new Russian Film Festival, part of the government’s efforts to promote Russian cinema and cultural exchange in China.
The Chinese festival will run from September 17 to September 30 as a personal event after the April release date was postponed due to epidemics. Due to its close ties with the Chinese film authorities, it is often a platform to showcase the works of countries where China hopes to strengthen political ties.
The Russian Film Festival is an event aimed at international audiences, organized by the state-run Rozkino and supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture, in response to the closure of world cinema amid the epidemic. The festival was held online last year in Australia, Mexico, Spain and Brazil. This year, it has grown in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Kazakhstan and South Korea.
A selection of its five films will continue in a BJIFF section titled Focus on Russia, supported by the Russian Cinema Fund. It seeks to present works by Chinese buyers with knowledge of past Russian acquisitions that will appeal to local audiences.
“The main purpose of the Russian Film Festival is to reintroduce new Russian movies to Chinese audiences, in addition to navigating the interests and preferences of local audiences, as well as initiating a cultural and business dialogue between industry representatives,” said Roskino CEO Evgenia Markova. “There are a lot of similarities between our countries – Chinese audiences traditionally prefer Russian military dramas, and industry representatives have co-produced several projects in recent years.”
He noted that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the agreement on good-neighborly and friendly cooperation for cultural exchanges between Russia and China.
BJIFF’s Russian program will include the non-fiction comedy “A Man from Podolsk”, the first feature of theater director and actor Semyon Sergein, who starred in “Petrov Flu”, which premiered at the Cannes competition earlier this year. .
Other selections include “Sputnik”, a sci-fi thriller by first-time director Igor Abramenko; “Masha” is a crime drama directed by Anastasia Palchikova in the 90’s, produced by 1-2-3 Productions (producer of the “The Lake” series) and Mars Media (Jackie Chan International Action Film Week winning producer). “T-34”); “North Wind,” a magical fairy tale by Renata Litvinovar; And “Stanislavsky: The Last for Life” a documentary about the talent of Julia Bobkova, the legendary theater director Konstantin Stanislavsky.
In addition, the head of two Russian film festivals will compete in the Tiantan Prize Competition: Ivan Tewardowski’s “Conference” and Andrei Zetsev’s “A Siege Diary”. The other two “” The Wheeler Boy “, the first feature of Philip Eureev who won the Venice Day program in Venice last year, and Gregory Kolomitsev’s” Chupakabra “will run in the Forward Future category outside the competition.
In a statement, the Russian Film Festival stressed that China is one of Russia’s most important economic and cultural partners, as well as a long-term leader in the international use of Russian films.
Olga Lyubimova, the culture minister of the Russian Federation, said the presence of Russian content at international film festivals and platforms was “challenging and delightful” to be “constantly expanding”.
“We have always considered the interest of Chinese audiences in our films and the Beijing International Film Festival is a great place to strengthen relationships with our partners as well as delight audiences through new projects,” he said.
Representatives of the BJIFF organizing committee said the Focus on Russia section “could become a valuable bridge for the film industry and audiences in both countries.”