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PRESS CONFERENCE HELD BY RUSSIA’S OFFICIAL 70th CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND FILM MARKET DELEGATION



On April 19th, the press center of the TASS news agency hosted a press conference for the official Russian delegation at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival (17.05.2017––28.05.2017) and the Marché du Film market (18.05.2017–26.05.2017).


Participants included:

  • Vyacheslav Telnov, Director of the Film Department, Russian Ministry of Culture;
  • Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO;
  • Alexander Rodnyansky, producer of Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Loveless" selected for the Cannes Competition;
  • Vladimir Filippov, Deputy Director for the Moscow Department of Culture;
  • Anton Malyshev, Executive Director of the Cinema Fund;

and other participants of the Russian Pavilion program.


 

The Russian delegation's presence at the Cannes Film Festival is managed by ROSKINO with the support of the Russian Ministry of Culture and Moscow City Council. Strategic partnership provided by PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines.

At Cannes'17, Russian filmmakers will take part in most major festival and market programs.


OFFICIAL PROGRAM OF THE 70TH CANNES FILM FESTIVAL


Andrey Zvyagintsev's «Loveless» (produced by Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov, and Gleb Fetisov) will represent Russia in the main Competition Program. The film, which tells the story of a married couple whose 12-year-old son goes missing in the middle of an acrimonious divorce, is a coproduction of two Russian companies, «Non-Stop Production» and «FetisOff IllusiOn»; the French Why Not Productions; the Belgian Les Films du Fleuve run by the Dardenne brothers; and the German Senator Film and Arte France Cinema. A recipient of the Eurimages Co-production Development Award, Zvyagintsev’s latest was also co-financed by the European TV channels ARTE and Canal+, the German broadcasting company WDR, and Cine+.


Alexander Rodnyansky, producer of “Loveless”:
«We're extremely proud to have our film invited to the main competition of the biggest festival in the world. Andrey Zvyagintsev is a major contemporary filmmaker, and each movie he makes is an artistic triumph, so his new offering is anticipated both by industry professionals and by film enthusiasts. Distribution rights to his films are usually sold long before they are even completed. This is also what happened to "Loveless," a group effort by six companies from four European countries.&rquo;


The other Russian film featured in the Cannes program has landed a spot in Un Certain Regard: it is “Closeness” directed by Kantemir Balagov, Alexander Sokurov’s student. This project was brought to fruition through the efforts of Alexander Sokurov’s Non-Profit Foundation “An Example of Intonation,” the Lenfilm Studio, the Saint-Petersburg Cultural Committee, and the Vladimir Smirnov Social Fund. Set in 1998, the film follows the lives of a Jewish family in the North Caucasus region. Their youngest son is abducted, along with his fiancée, by local criminals. The family cannot afford to pay the ransom. How far are they willing to go to save someone they love?


Kantemir Balagov, director:
&lquo;The abduction is based on a true story, but my primary task was to show relationships between people, family members, nations. The other day I found out that my debut feature had been selected for the Un Certain Regard program at Cannes. Competing at such a prestigious film festival is an honor and a professional milestone for any filmmaker, especially a young one. I couldn’t have achieved that if it hadn’t been for my Mentor, Alexander Nikolaevich Sokurov, and the director of his fund, Nikolay Yankin. I'll always be grateful to them for believing in me».


Alexander Sokurov, founder of “An Example of Intonation,” creative director of “Closeness”:
«Kantemir Balagov is an alumnus of our Directing Workshop at the Kabardino-Balkaria State University in Nalchik. As a student he made some documentaries and live action films that showed a unique vision and fluency in the medium. All his student films, including his final project “Too Young,” received the highest grades.
Kantemir collaborated with the Saint-Petersburg-based screenwriter Anton Yarush on what would eventually become “Closeness.” It’s crucial that this idea was Kantemir’s own, rather than borrowed from literature or American movies which have influenced him so greatly.
As soon as I finished reading the first draft of his screenplay I decided to endorse this project, despite some glaring professional mistakes. I’m not too fond of movies that rely heavily on social ills, but Kantemir and Anton’s screenplay makes evident their lively interest in the characters and their life stories. I think Kantemir continued down that lane as he developed his film.
The film’s focus is on a Jewish family, Jewish community in a North Caucasian town. The plot revolves around the relationship between a Jewish girl and a Kabardian boy.
I enjoyed how the film portrays Jewish culture without resorting to the habitual histrionics and exultation. I’m happy that Kantemir helped his actors to inhabit their characters organically and to show their respective national identities in all their splendor.
As a debut feature made with no state support, “Closeness” has been through a lot since the earliest stages. It’s the third feature sponsored by our foundation, but it’s the first time we’ve worked with little to no state funding. Nikolai Yankin, the film’s producer, did everything in his power to finance the picture.
Our foundation would like to thank the Lenfilm studio for their generous support.
As is always the case with our projects, the whole crew was staffed by young filmmakers. For most of them, it marked their professional debuts. Congratulations to my younger colleagues who have overcome all the obstacles in bringing their film to the viewer!
Far be it from me to praise “Closeness” to high heaven: I’m always wary of debuts. I’ll wait for Balagov’s second or third film. We’re also looking forward to the first features from our graduates Vladimir Bitokov (“Deep Waters” produced by “An Example of Intonation”) and Alexander Zolotukhin (“The Listener” produced by Lenfilm).&rquo;


Another Russian-speaking addition to the Cannes Competition is Sergei Loznitsa’s “A Gentle Creature”, co-produced by six countries (the Slot Machine Company and Marianne Slot, with Valentina Mikhaleva, Galina Sementseva, and Lev Karakhan on the Russian side). Based on Fedor Dostoevsky’s eponymous novella in which an elderly pawnbroker marries a young girl, the film is set in today’s Russia. A young woman lives in the outskirts of a small town. The package she sends to her husband, in jail in another town, comes back stamped “Unknown addressee.” Lost and confused, the woman embarks on a long journey to find out what happened to her husband. The film was co-funded by Arte France Cinema (France), GP Cinema Company (Russia), LOOKSFILM (Germany), Studio Uljana Kim (Lithuania), Wild at Art and Graniet Film (the Netherlands), and Solar Media Entertainment (Ukraine).


Valentina Mikhaleva, Galina Sementseva, Lev Karakhan, producers, GP Cinema Company:
«We were so happy to hear that Sergei Loznitsa's “A Gentle Creature” had been selected for the Main Competition at the 70th Cannes Film Festival. After “In the Fog,” it’s our second collaboration with this outstanding director and his multinational team of producers, who are as invested as we are in the work of such a singular 21st-century talent. We hope Sergei’s new movie, much like his previous documentaries and live action features, will resonate with festival audiences and the general public alike, both at home and abroad.&rquo;

THE RUSSIAN PAVILION AT VILLAGE INTERNATIONAL


For the 10th time in a row, the Russian Pavilion serves as the official representative of our country at the Cannes Film Festival and Marché du Film market, providing informational support for Russian filmmakers and a unified platform for the promotion of Russian film in the international arena.


One of the Pavilion’s highlights will be the unveiling of the Moscow Film Commission, designed to promote Moscow as a filming location for local and foreign productions, as well as to create a convenient infrastructure to draw media professionals to the Russian capital.


Alexander Kibovsky, Head of the Moscow Department of Culture:
«Over the past five years, Moscow has undergone a complete makeover: it has now plenty of well-groomed parks; new public spaces have been created; many squares, streets, and boulevards have been renovated; the historical center has been overhauled; and new, modern neighborhoods have sprung up across the city. The Russian capital now hosts major events in economics, athletics, and culture. In 2018, the city will play host to the World Cup. We have a vested interest in seeing the modern Moscow on film as often as possible; we want it to be captured by filmmakers both local and foreign. The goal of the Moscow Film Commission is to help them with the logistics of their projects, and to increase Moscow’s appeal as a great shooting location.&rquo;


The Russian Pavilion ’17 proudly presents:

  • The Moscow Film Commission;
  • A new media outlet developed by the Cinema Fund
    Guest speakers: Anton Malyshev, Executive Director; Fedor Sosnov, Head of the Analytics Department;
  • A showcase of Central Partnership’s upcoming projects
    A joint Central Partnership/KIT Studio project entitled “Furious” (“Kolovrat”), produced by Pavel Stepanov and Dzhanik Fayziev;
  • A showcase from MARS MEDIA and AMEDIA PRODUCTION
    «T-34» produced by Ruben Dishdishyan, Leonard Blavatnik, Nelly Yaralova
  • A «Maison 1618» showcase
    The social project «Ok, Mum» will be presented by the director Eva Lanska;
  • The annual almanac Global Russians produced by ROSKINO
    Global Russians will also screen in the Short Film Corner section of the Marché Du Film market.
    The 2017 edition of the portmanteau will comprise short subjects by alumni of the Moscow Film School, Russian University of Theatre Arts, VGIK, Contemporary Art Institute, and the WORDSHOP Communications Academy: «Good day» (directed and produced by Olga Dibtseva); «Milk» (directed by Daria Vlasova, produced by Yanna Buryak); «The First» (directed by Lado Kvataniya, produced by Ekaterina Kononenko); «Breaking up with Jenny» (directed by Petr Antokhin; produced by Nodar Dzhincharadze, Petr Antokhin); «Amnesia» (directed and produced by Gala Shiyan). The films have been selected from 170 submissions, by a professional jury including film critics Vasiliy Koretsky, Katya Mtsitouridze, and Denis Ruzaev.
  • A press conference for the 39th Moscow IFF;
  • «The Cannes Chronicles. 2006–2016», a book coauthored by Daniil Dondurei, Lev Karakhan, and Andrei Plakhov.

The Russian Pavilion program is subject to change.


Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO:
«This year, we started putting together the Russian Pavilion program in mid-January, and have barely made the deadline of this press conference! We had over 210 applications, and I hope we’ll present what has a lot of international festival and market potential. We’re especially proud to present the Moscow Film Commission, which will involve not only Moscow city representatives but also ambassadors of other big cities who have more production experience, as well as the director of the French film foundation CNC, and other producers from Europe, North America, and China. ROSKINO has delegated its international PR support at Cannes to a leading media communications agency, DDA, which is also in charge of promoting many competition titles. Of course, this is a banner year for us as a company striving for the international expansion of Russian film, because Russia enjoys a more than respectable presence at this year’s festival.»

THE ROSKINO - RUSSIAN CINEMA JOINT STAND


All the Russian film companies invited to the Marché du Film market will be united under the auspices of the ROSKINO - RUSSIAN CINEMA WORLDWIDE stand organized by ROSKINO with the generous support of the Russian Ministry of Culture, Department of Foreign Affairs, Moscow City Council, and the largest airline in the nation, PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines.

Returning participants include Art Pictures Studio, Central Partnership, Russian World Vision, Indie Vision, Mirsand Ltd., Wizart, Planeta Inform, All Media, MARS MEDIA, and Mosfilm (over 45 production and distribution companies overall).


 

ROSKINO will present at the stand an updated catalogue of DOORS, a mobile film market that showcases the best films made in Russia in 2016–17.


Additional info:
Jane Kovalenko
ROSKINO Press Office
info@ekovalenko.com
+7 916 131 10 00


***

ROSKINO is the only Russian state institution promoting Russian cinema internationally. Since its foundation in 1924 ROSKINO facilitates the integration of the Russian filmmakers into the world industry. In 2014 the company celebrated its 90th anniversary.

The company promotes Russian cinema at major film festivals (Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Beijing, London), markets (AFM in Los Angeles, EFM in Berlin, Marché du FIlm and MIPCOM in Cannes), and awards (The Oscars, Golden Globes, EFA Awards). It supports distribution of Russian cinema and solicits international investments and co-production partnerships.

One of the most prominent initiatives of ROSKINO is the DOORS international traveling film market that allows the company to present national cinema at various markets around the world.

Since 2012 ROSKINO operates the Russian Film Commission USA based in Los Angeles.

In 2014 ROSKINO launched a London office, ROSKINO UK.

In October, 2014 ROSKINO organized the Saint Petersburg International Media Forum, a high profile event uniting three types of content markets dealing with film, TV and new media that generated a considerable attention in the national and international media industry. The Media Forum attracted 2700 participants from 57 countries from around the world.

In May, 2016 ROSKINO became official partner of the Cannes Film Festival international film market Marché du Film, where it presented the program Focus on Russia, which consisted of 12 events ranging from press conferences to showcases of new projects.



***

Katya Mtsitouridze is head of ROSKINO, Channel One film expert, Variety Russia Editor-in-Chief, SPIMF concept developer and general producer.

Katya graduated from the Tbilisi State University with an MA in history and film studies.

She is the author and narrator of This Is Cinema, a regular show on Russia’s Channel One.

She is ROSKINO CEO since 2011.

Katya’s portfolio includes diplomas of the film festivals in Cannes and Venice as well as the AFM market in LA.

In June, 2001, she was a member of the FIPRESCI jury at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival.

In May, 2002, she was a member of the FIPRESCI jury at the 55th Cannes International Film Festival.

In June, 2003, Katya was on the jury for debut films at the 25th Moscow International Film Festival.

In May, 2008, she was a member of the jury of the Un Certain Regard section of the 61th Cannes International Film Festival.

Still in 2008, she initiated the creation of the Russian Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival which she is heading to the present day.

From September, 2010 to January, 2011 Mtsitouridze provided PR support in US and Canada for The Edge (Krai), a film by Alexey Uchitel, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the HFPA Golden Globe awards.

In September, 2011 she was in charge of the international PR and advertising campaign of Alexander Sokurov’s Faust that won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival.

In June, 2012 she held the first DOORS International Traveling Film Market of Russian content within the framework of the 34th Moscow International Film Festival.

In November, 2012, Katya reached an agreement with HULU, one of the leading US digital platforms, for the VOD release of 12 contemporary Russian titles.

In May, 2014 she reached a further agreement for the distribution of CTC Media TV Content through HULU platforms.

In October, 2014 Katya held the first edition of the Saint Petersburg International Media Forum of which she was the concept developer and general producer.

In 2016, Katya has received the prize of the First National Business Communication Award in the “Breakthrough of the Year” category for the company’s outstanding achievements in 2016, particularly for ROSKINO’s partnership with the world’s biggest film market Marché du Film as part of the 69th Cannes International Film Festival, thanks to which Russia has become the event’s true headliner.

Katya is a member of FIPRESCI, the Russian Filmmakers’ Union, the Russian and International Unions of Journalists, the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Russia. She also holds an MA in History.





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