ANNUAL SELECTION OF SHORTS GLOBAL RUSSIANS 2018 PRESENTED IN CANNES On May 16, 2018 the Russian Pavilion at the 71st Cannes Film Festival organized by Roskino with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Moscow Government and brought to Cannes in partnership with Aeroflot Russian Airlines PJSC hosted the presentation of GLOBAL RUSSIANS 2018, the annual selection of Russian shorts also showcased in the Short Film Corner of the Marché du Film. This year’s format is a 60-second Instagram video dedicated to the city of Moscow.The selection was made by a professional jury consisting of four film critics: Denis Ruzayev (Lenta.ru, TimeOut.ru), Vasily Koretsky (Colta.ru, Vogue Russia), Katya Mtsitouridze (Roskino, Channel One), and Youri Khazanov (YouTube Partnerships).From March 12 to March 30 the jury reviewed numerous Instagram videos tagged #globalrussians2018, #Роскино and #Roskino to select 5 shorts for the Russian Pavilion. The winners are: Alicia by Boris Milovanov, Moscow in 60 Seconds by Sergey Nikolaev,Moscow-Paris Repairs by Maria Shalaeva, Soviet Soldier as a Symbol of Victory by Anton Olshevsky aka TonyLaPron, and I Wish You Were Here by Vladimir Petrushin aka Vladimir Faraday.Denis Ruzaev, film critic at Lenta.ru, TimeOut.ru:‘First of all I’d like to thank Katya Mtsitouridze for the opportunity. My work mostly requires watching feature films but I actually like reviewing shorts and discovering new talents. I also like this year’s Instagram video format. Here in Cannes we realize that the most interesting things happen when films are created out of non-cinematic material. This is the way masters like Jafar Panahi and Jean-Luc Godard choose to work nowadays. I think the 60-second format is a nice challenge.’’Vasily Koretsky, film critic at Colta.ru and Vogue Russia‘Apart from the formal timing requirements we obviously looked at the quality of submitted videos. This is a very personal thing of course but all of the programmers share the same ideas of quality in film: there has to be an original idea and a certain technical level, including the camerawork. We are looking towards the commercial mainstream rather than the underground. And the visual solutions have to correspond to the theme. The film had to present Moscow as a fast-paced and energetic city where everything is always in motion, from landscape to people to communications. I think this idea relates to the very essence of Moscow and of cinema as well, since this is an art of motion pictures, an art that deals with movements by default. The time limit also refers to the origins of cinema: as we know, the Lumiere brothers worked with film reels that lasted exactly for one minute. And those 60 seconds were enough to create a cinematic artwork. Things are much easier for filmmakers nowadays that they have such a huge choice of editing instruments, drones, mobile cameras and other devices that the pioneers could not even dream of. Actually each and every short is based on a different visual technique. Some use a single sequence, some manage to make 60 cuts in 60 seconds. Some use panoramic shots, others prefer close ups.’Katya Mtsitouridze, Roskino CEO:‘We chose to focus on Moscow because we have been working with the Moscow Film Commission to promote Moscow as a global filming destination. The participants managed to offer unexpected takes on the Russian capital and show it in different genres. Each of them has a unique and original approach, and I hope to find many of their names in Cannes and other festival programs. In fact, it has already happened to Kantemir Balagov: three years ago he presented his short in the Global Russians selection here in the Russian Pavilion and then he came back with an excellent feature.’Global Russians 2018 projectsAliciaBoris Milovanov is a Russia Today journalist. He made his first musical video in 2014 and in 2017 the Moscow Film Festival screened his debut short Pest.Boris Milovanov‘The idea is of the main star, Alina Grigoryeva. She is a St. Petersburg-based photographer. We rented a camera, took it for a walk for a night and made a story of one night of a girl’s life in Moscow. The music is by my father Dmitry Milovanov. I submitted the film for Global Russians with no expectations and actually forgot the whole thing because of a mission to Syria. It was there that I found out that my film had been selected. I could not believe my luck: first of all, winning always comes as a surprise when you have no expectations and secondly, everyone thinks that only friends of friends can win. Apparently this is not quite so, and I am grateful to the Roskino team and the jury for this wonderful opportunity.’’Boris Milovanov is currently developing his first feature project, a drama on a love triangle. Global Russians allowed Boris to attach another participant, the actress Maria Shalaeva, to his project. He also found some interested producers.Moscow-Paris RepairsMaria Shalaeva is an acclaimed actress that starred in The Mermaid, About Love, I’ll Be Around, Nirvana, Masha, and some other titles. She has received major national film awards for her acting but in her free time she likes to make short videos.Maria Shalaeva:‘For the last 18 months I have been making Instagram videos and last summer I made a short web series of urban video vignettes that was called The City Gets Closer. The idea of Moscow-Paris Repairs was spontaneous: I filmed the everlasting street works in front of my home in Moscow, then went to Paris and found the same thing going on. I had the idea as soon as I heard the familiar drilling. My friends convinced me to participate in the open call so I submitted 5 videos and all of a sudden the jury liked one of them. Many thanks to the jury and to Roskino! I have long been dreaming of Cannes, and sometimes dreams do come true when you least expect them to.’The actress intends to go on filming her life for Instagram and maybe try herself out in a short action film on divorce. Shalaeva is inspired by the nouvelle vague approach.Moscow in 60 SecondsSergey Nikolaev is a Moscow-based director. His portfolio includes a documentary feature Looking for a Woman as well as Santorini, a feature short, and a socially oriented City in 60 Seconds project. The Roskino selection features one of its episodes.Sergey Nikolaev: ‘The idea of the project is to bring people and cities together in 60 seconds. I first had the idea 3 years ago when I only started my studies at the Film and Television School at Ostankino. I invited my friend Konstantin Maidannik to become a part of the adventure and make an original video about the city we live in. It took us 6 months to film 350 sequences and turn them into a video of 60 seconds. City in 60 Seconds has been invited to many festivals and won many awards. But I am especially proud of bringing my brainchild, albeit so short, to the most prestigious film event of the world. My warmest thanks go to Roskino and personally to Katya Mtsitouridze for this unique opportunity. I hope it becomes a jump start for my filmmaking career.’The director hopes to make a biopic of Ivan Tkachenko, a player of the Lokomotiv hockey team who died in a plane crush along with the rest of the team. Nikolaev greatly admires the sportsman for his charitable activities: the day before the tragedy he donated half a million roubles to a cancer child.Soviet Soldier as a Symbol of VictoryAnton Olshevsky’s artistic name is Tony LaPron. He has a 10 years experience of making videos and music that are often inspired by his travels. Currently he works as director of photography at Mirasfilm.Anton Olshevsky:‘My protagonist is a generalized young Soviet soldier of the 1940’s who is walking around the pretty and cheerful city of today. He strides along the clean and peaceful streets unseen by the passers by. When he reaches the spot where Hitler’s armies were stopped, just a few kilometers from the center of Moscow, he is overwhelmed by memories of all the horrors and atrocities people had to endure to stop the Nazi troops. I was very much impressed by The Fallen of World War 2 documentary that demonstrated the amounts of victims per country in a very graphic way. And the Soviet Union suffered most of all. I made Soviet Soldier as a Symbol of Victory for the Victory Day with my two friends, the actor Alexey Karkushko who played the protagonist and the cameraman Victor Koreshev. The fact that our film was selected for the Russian Pavilion means that I have to go on writing, filming, and creating. This is a great honour and a unique opportunity to be heard, meet new people and find those who think the same way.’’The director intends to develop the story of the Soviet soldier further. The protagonist will get to Berlin, loose his regiment and meet a French or American soldier of the allied troops. Anton wants to remind the world that only a short while ago we used to be allies and our peoples share a heroic heritage.I Wish You Were HereVladimir Petrushin is a Moscow-based director and operator. He used to work ad a TV journalist and made several popular science films for the regional TV.Vladimir Petrushin:‘I tried to see the familiar city from a different perspective and imagine it completely void. Walking around Red Square with no one around could be truly unique! This is an interesting sensation but you can’t even think of a city without people so I called my film I WIsh You Were Here. The protagonist, my friend Nikita Ryumshin, enjoys the experience but step by step he comes to realized that solitude is a wrong idea however picturesque it might be. We had to film very early in the morning to meet less people on the streets but we still had to eliminate some passers-by in post-production. Being a part of Global Russians is a great honour for me. I tried submitting my work for many open calls to come to Cannes but this is my first success. I would like to thank Roskino for taking this chance and giving me the opportunity.’All the directors were invited to Cannes by Roskino as registered participants of both the festival and the film market. They were able to present their work at the Russian Pavilion and participate in tailor-made student programs including the Short Film Corner, to exchange experiences with international colleagues, meet industry professionals and find partners for the future. Global Russians is a project initiated by Roskino in 2011. Katya Mtistouridze is the creator and curator of the project. Over the years she has worked alongside the screenwriter and director Alexey Chupov, producers Ivan Lopatin and Dmitry Yakunin, film critics Denis Ruzayev, Vasily Koretsky, Andrey Plakhov, and Victor Prokofyev.
GLOBAL FILM SHOWCASE PANEL IN CANNES On May 14, 2018 Russian Pavilion at the 71st Cannes International Film Festival hosted the Global Film Showcase panel co-organized by Cloud 21 International, Roskino, and Kultura PR International. Leading industry specialists discussed topical issues on today’s agenda focusing on the most relevant global trends such as gender equality, female empowerment, documentary cinema boom, international co-productions and other crucial industry subjects.The discussion was moderated and curated by Eileen Tasca, producer and managing director of Alien films and Task Films. The list of speakers who shared their experiences included the acclaimed actress Sariann Monaco, Roskino CEO and Channel One’s film expert Katya Mtsitouridze, director and Bad Hat Films founder David Raynor, director and Heartland Films Inc. founder Sue Vicory, and Fusion Features CEO Debbie Vandermeulen.A showreel of the speakers’ companies and episodes of internationally successful Russian and Soviet films were screened as introduction.Debbie Vandermeulen, UK open the discussion by sharing her views on successful investment strategies in film:‘First of all, investors are very sensitive to the transparency of information the producers provide on the project. They have to be sure you offer full details in all honesty. All the fragments of the puzzle have to fit and be transparent. Moverover, producer have to be always open for new partnerships and collaborations with filmmakers of different countries and regions.’Ms. Vandermeulen illustrated two British financial mechanisms that provide tax advantages for the investors: the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, or SEIS, that allows filmmakers to raise up to $200,000 and results in up to 50% of tax relief for the investor, and the EIS (Enterprise Investment scheme) that allows to raise up to $5 mln from up to 3 investors each getting a 30% tax relief. Eligible projects must be produced by British tax residents with both production and post-production taking place in the UK. Both SEIS and EIS are applicable for TV and other creative projects as well as merchandising.Speaking of international promotion Ms. Vandermeulen touched upon the increasing interest in international projects and documentaries of the US audiences that is proved by Netflix acquisition strategies.Sue Vicory, USA shared her experiences of working on documentary projects. The director spent 3 years touring the various states for her Homelessness & the Power of One project. She believes documentaries have more opportunities and openings today owing to streaming platforms. Sue Vicory places a special emphasis on supporting women working in the industry. She thinks documentary films are an important area for female directors. Sariann Monaco, USA joined in to tell about her precious experience of making Absent with Sue Vicory.Katya Mtsitouridze took up the female rights discussion to shed some lights on the state of affairs in the Russian film industry.‘’Unfortunately Russia is hardly among the world leaders in female empowerment but we are working to get things gradually changing. Women hold some of the topmost positions in our government and banking system. For instance, our Federation Council, the supreme chamber of Parliament, is chaired by Valentina Matviyenko, a unique personality. However we are still behind the US and many other countries. A shift took place last year when several leading female journalists accused a powerful member of parliament of sexual harassment and got wide support. And yet Russian women were among the last ones to join the #metoo movement. My own THR interview received mixed reactions and even people I relied on were frustrated by the fact that a taboo issue has been raised in Russia. On the other hand, I got calls from men I considered rather conservative and offered their support. I think it is wonderful how bravely this subject is discussed around the globe owing to The New York Times and the New Yorker journalists. Many large and developed countries have achieved a lot as far as female rights and human rights in general are concerned by in less economically stable regions neither women nor men can be sure of their safety. But I believe that open dialogue can encourage them as well, which is the main goal of the whole movement. This is why the filmmakers of the world unite, fully supported by the Cannes festival. We stand together and we stand strong.’Eileen Tasca was interested in Katya Mtsitouridze’s views on streaming platforms in the light of her vast experience in global promotion of Russian films. Roskino CEO said that personally she believed in both cinematic and VOD perspectives. ‘Watching a movie in a dark hall with other people is a unique experience that creates a special connection. We must uphold both distribution strategies and keep them balanced.’The only man present, the Australian David Raynor, dwelt on a socially relevant issue he has been treating in his films, namely teenage suicides.‘Last year 3000 Australians committed suicide, and 35 of them were teenagers. This is a lot for a country with a population of 25 million. It is a serious problem that has to be addressed publicly, in films, in the education system, and at home.’’Answering the journalists’ questions the panel speakers touched upon many other globally relevant issues such as sports and moral dilemmas but in the end they all agreed that the key prerequisite to a movie is the author’s involvement. As David Raynor put it: ‘One must be completely obsessed with the idea of the film. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to write down an idea. It had never happened to me before I became a filmmaker. When you are completely immersed into your subject it cannot fail to emotionally convince the audience.’***Eileen Tasca is managing director for production at Alien Films and Task Films, co-owned by the legendary Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski. In 2015 Eileen was the executive producer of Skolimowski’s 11 Minutes that premiered in Venice, won the grand prix in Lisbon and was Poland’s Academy Award submission in 2016.***ActressProducer Sariann Monaco is writer of the Telly-awarded films "Down Stage" and writer and co-director of "Absent."She has co-produced several projects for Heartland Films, Inc. Monaco is the narrator of the Telly-award winning film "One" and voices the sassy waitress in 2016's "Top Cat Begins" animation film, directed by Charlie Adler. She has been recognized internationally for her voice-over work for Nature Made Vitamins and Sambazon Acai. Ms. Monaco is represented by VOX Inc., LA and is a Second City Chicago alumna. Her on-camera work includes "The Saddle" and "Between Bullets” and her commercial appearance in ''Check Your Sources: Hashtags" San Diego won an ADDY award. She was nominated for best actress at the 2015 San Diego Film Awards. She has judged the regional Emmy awards and the annual San Diego Film Festival and serves on the advisory board for “My Power of One" charity.***Australian filmmaker and president of Bad Hat Films (badhatfilms.com.au) DavidRaynor debuted the short film “We Need To Talk” about youth suicide prevention in 2017. Mr. Raynor received accolades for how he handled this important yet sensitive topic, with thoughtfulness and integrity. The film is being developed into a feature film, with an accompanying book and music video. His other notable, award-winning works include “Hello Tom Sullivan,” “Karlisha and Morgan” and “So This Is It Then.” In 2018, he will direct and produce the French noir inspired feature “Ubiquitous," for which he also wrote the screenplay. He is currently shooting a pilot titled "Boomerang" for US television. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Mr. Raynor was one of the top names in the global beauty industry.***Debbie Vandermeulen, CEO, Fusion Features, has 24 years of experience successfully working with filmmakers assisting them in turning their story ideas into cinematic entertainment that has proven to be profitable and earn recognition at renowned entertainment festivals, including Cannes, Sundance and Toronto. Founder of Fusion Features, she has facilitated many aspects of film production and directly participates in all main producing phases, including development and financing to post-productions, marketing and distribution. She is known for creating and utilizing Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) in the UK to aid film projects in generating development and production funds that will provide tax advantages for the investors.Vandermeulen has producer credits for 10 features. The most recent feature film "Crystal Swan" won the Grand Prize for Works In Progress at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in November 2017 and premiered on Opening Night of East Meets West at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic.***Three time Telly Award-winning filmmaker, Sue Vicory has been creating community-based films and projects within her not for profit production company, Heartland Films, Inc. ((www.heartlandfilm.org) since 2003. Her works include“Homelessness & the Power of One,” feature documentaries “One” and “Kansas City Jazz & Blues; Past, Present & Future” and short films “Absent” and “1898, The W.F. Norman Story. In 2015, she founded Team XX, an all female team of 25 filmmakers that created the award-winning film “Down Stage.” Ms. Vicory is a member of the Los Angeles-based Alliance of Women Directors and creator of the websitewww.womendocumentaryfilmmakers.com, designed to increase visibility for female filmmakers. She is the creator of the non-profit brand"My Power of One" (MPO1).In 2015 under the MPO1 banner, she filmed a 48 state tour completing "12 Acts of Kindness." A feature titled "Ruby's Heartbeat" based on this journey is currently in the works.
”BIG CINEMA” SHOWCASE On May 13th, 2018, the Russian Pavilion at the 71st Cannes Film Festival hosted a showcase of the “Big Cinema” Film Company, where director Sarik Andreasyan, actor Dmitriy Nagiev, and producers Gevond Andreasyan and Armen Ananikyan presented their «Unforgiven», based on the true story of architect Vitaly Kaloyev, who had lost his entire family in a horrific plane crash. The film explores the aftermath of that tragedy.Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO:«From mid film «Unforgiven» I could not hold back tears. I was crying out of sheer despair suggested by the story, it was a pure emotion rather than a product of dramatization and whipping up sensations. Unforgiven is in fact a story of forgiving rather than a story of revenge, and it makes you realize how hard it is to achieve this state of mind. Kudos to Dmitry Nagiev for a subtle, unfussy and unexaggerated interpretation of his role that made it especially deep and relatable. This year we had over 150 applications for the Russian Pavilion but we had no doubts about this particular entry after having seen the film. The project has plenty of international potential. With a proper promotion campaign and good sales it can be appreciated by the widest possible international audience».The subject matter is well-known both in Russia and abroad. «Kaloyev’s case» once caused quite a stir around the globe, so there was no need to clue in the international audience. Media professionals from all over the world seemed captivated by the premise and asked the cast and crew a lot of questions.Sarik Andreasyan, director:«When a wife loses her husband she becomes a widow. When a husband loses his wife he becomes a widower. When children lose their parents they become orphans. However, there’s no word for parents who lose their children! I’m a father, too, so this subject hit close to home…It was important for me to make a movie that is both emotionally resonant and ethically balanced, respectful toward the victims and their families. Granted, our movie is a work of fiction, but we didn’t let ourselves make it «too» fictional. We had carefully perused all the relevant materials to produce as truthful an account as possible. My colleagues and I are well aware of the responsibility we took upon ourselves.As a director, I tried to stay unbiased throughout, without making our character too artificially sympathetic or loathsome. I wanted the audiences to embrace a dilemma that’s not immediately relatable but still worth pondering over: after all, no one is insured against grief and loss, and every one of us deals with it in their own way. Some will sympathize with Kaloyev and take his side, others don’t condone violence as an instrument of universal justice… Profound films usually pose questions and leave the audiences to contemplate them afterward. I’ve made a profound film about one man’s fate and his love for his family, and I hope that the questions I bring up will help the viewers immerse themselves in the story and seek their own answers».Based on actual events, the screenplay had been kept on the back burner for five years until the right actor came along. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Lake Boden crash, which took the lives of Russian architect Vitaly Kaloyev’s entire family (his wife, daughter, and son). In 2004, a year and a half after the tragedy, Kaloyev murdered the air traffic controller Peter Nielsen, whom he blamed for his loved ones’ deaths.After a five-year search, the role of Vitaly Kaloyev finally went to Dmitriy Nagiev––an idea that dawned on Sarik Andreasyan, the film’s director and screenwriter, by accident when he came across Nagiev’s photo in a magazine and «recognized» him as Kaloyev. Andreasyan then shared this idea with his brother and co-producer Gevond, and they decided to send the script over to the actor without further ado. Even though it happened late at night, Nagiev responded in a couple of hours, admitted he couldn’t fight back the tears as he read their screenplay, and signed on for the project on the spot.Dmitriy Nagiev, actor:«I read a lot of screenplays, but «Unforgiven» had me hooked right away. It must be the only recent screenplay that makes the reader weep, just like good literature does. I don’t care much if I look like Kaloyev: after all, we’ve made a work of fiction. The hardest part for me was picking up the body parts of children at the crash site, so realistic were the set and makeup. I believe our movie shows that even in the most infernal situations, there’s always a glimmer of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel worth following. Besides, I think Russian cinema now has a new, accomplished talent in its midst, one that for some reason used to hide behind shoddy movies of dubious merit».A gift of sorts, this part is the actor’s first serious dramatic job in 20 years since the 1997 film “Purgatory.” All the naysayers who dismissed Nagiev as a comedian incapable of playing tragic roles were proven wrong when the film opened the Russian Program at the 40th Moscow IFF, assuring the early audiences that Nagiev does have acting chops to spare as his lived-in, powerhouse performance revealed a side of him no one had seen before.Although he had never met Kaloyev in preparation for the shoot, the actor had scrutinized all extant footage to be able to channel the man inwardly and outwardly––and quite successfully, too. More importantly, though, Nagiev managed to communicate on the screen the unbearable agony that beset his character, a pain beyond all reckoning. Unaccustomed to praise for his non-comedic achievements, the actor seemed slightly ill at ease receiving compliments for a convincing performance that resonated with all the guests at the presentation.Gevond Andreasyan, «Big Cinema», producer:«We make comedies and sci-fi blockbusters, constantly experimenting with genres, but I believe that our company should produce, at least once every three years, a film that truly makes a mark. Things come and go, you know, but some movies live forever. As one of the film’s producers quipped, «such projects are good for your karma.” We shouldn’t forget that we all have to leave something for posterity when we’re gone. As for the financial side of things, the film is budgeted at 90 million rubles and was in part funded by the Ministry of Culture. Initially, we hoped to break even at best, but now we can see the interest our movie has generated internationally. However, it bears repeating that money was not what we were after when we greenlit it».«Karoprokat» will release «Unforgiven» domestically on Sep 27th, 2018.