BLITZ FILMS PRESENTED NEW PROJECTS AT THE RUSSIAN PAVILION IN CANNES On May 21, 2019, the Russian Pavilion at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and Marche du Film organized a showcase of Sergey Sarkisov’s production company Blitz Films. Producers Mikhail Makharadze and Alexander Zhizhnevsky presented the company’s new projects: narrative features To Paris! and Show Me What You Got, animated movie Fixies vs Crabots, and a documentary on Charles Aznavour, Charles. Un Regard Certain. The session was moderated by Andrei Plakhov, film critic, honorary president of FIPRESCI.Feature film To Paris! is the directorial debut of Sergey Sarkisov who also produced. Co-producers are Alexander Zhizhnevsky, Rustam Yusipov, Valeria Kolesnik. The film is based on real events as remembered by Alexander Milyukov, Hero of the Soviet Union. The story is centered around Soviet officers who fought together in the Second World War and decided to celebrate victory in Paris. The friends came all the way to Berlin and are now directed to a new life: love and adventures in the dream city.“This is not as much a war movie as a film about people, feelings, about love for life that comes back when the horrors of war are over. The film is cast with brilliant actors, including young, up and coming performers and seasoned, popular stars of Russian film,” says Sergey Sarkisov.Playing on the war slogan To Berliln!, the title promises a peaceful, comedic adventure. The star-studded cast includes Dmitry Pevtsov, Sergey Makovetsky, Renata Litvinova, Mikhail Efremov, Evgeny Stychkin, and others. Stanislav Govorukhin co-wrote the script, which turned out to be his last screenwriting work. The film was shot on location in Poland, Moscow and Kaliningrad region.“Our film isn’t a war drama or an action movie. At the production stage, we were thinking about it in terms of the road movie genre. We wanted to show how euphoria drove people to certain follies and yet it was fueled by positive energy,” said Alexander Zhizhnevsky.Fixies vs Crabot is the second instalment of the popular Fixies franchise. It is headed for Russian release on December 26, 2019. The film is produced by Aeroplan and Blitz Films, supported by the Cinema Foundation of Russia. The first film, Fixies. A Big Secret, was released in 2017 and earned 452 million rubles at the box office. That placed it in the top ten animated Russian films since 2010. The new film’s budget is 1,5 higher than the previous one, at 300 million rubles. The animated film is produced by Georgy Vasiliev, Ilya Popov and Sergey Sarkisov, directed by Vasiliy Bedoshvili and Oleg Uzhinov.“We are positive that with the Fixies movies, we’ll create a niche for animated educational entertainment: this kind of content is not represented at the market at all. Fixies is a very informative cartoon, useful for children,” said Mikhail Makharadze.International co-production Show Me What You Got by Svetlana Cvetko was also showcased. The film is produced by Sergey and Nikolay Sarkisov, Philipp Noyce (Australia) and David Scott Smith (USA), starring Cristina Rambaldi, Neyssan Falahi and Mattia Minasi.“One of our priorities is helping young directors. Our plan is to finance 3 or 4 such films per year, and Svetlana was the first to get support,” Nikolay Sarkisov commented.The film tells a story of three young people who become best friends, fall in love, marry and break up, but not necessarily in that order.“The film presents a story about love, sex and friendship. It’s international, since the characters come from different countries: Italy, France, and the USA. I am grateful to the opportunity that Blitz Films gave me. Nikolay Sarkisov supported my idea right away after hearing the concept,” Svetlana Cvetko said at the event.In the documentary Charles. Un Regard Certain, produced by Charles de Meaux, Mischa Aznavour and Sergey Sarkisov, directed by Marc di Domenico, the viewers will see footage made by the famous French singer, Charles Aznavour. Until recently not many people have known about the performer’s passion for film: he always carried a camera around, filming himself, his loved ones, other great performers.The soundtrack is collected from original recordings from the 1950s and until 2018. The film will feature Aznavour’s hits as well as more obscure songs. The documentary intentionally romanticizes Aznavour’s life to become a novel about life, childhood, travelling, encounters, failures and successes, joy and sadness, bravery, and above all, love. The material included in the film is exclusive and was presented for the first time to the pavilion’s guests.Additional information:ROSKINO Press OfficeAndrei Kartashov+7 921 326 22 firstname.lastname@example.orgNatalia Adamova+7 926 222 68 email@example.com
GLOBAL RUSSIANS ANTHOLOGY OF RUSSIAN SHORTS PRESENTED IN CANNES On May 19, 2019, the Russian Pavilion at the 72nd Cannes International Film Festival and Marché du Film presented the new selection of Global Russians. The annual anthology of Russian shorts was launched in 2011, curated by ROSKINO CEO Katya Mtsitouridze. Over the years, screenwriter and director Alexey Chupov, film critics Andrey Plakhov and Viktor Prokofiev, producers Ivan Lopatin and Dmitry Yakunin have worked as invited curators.This year, the anthology includes six shorts in Instagram format (60 seconds in length) on the subject Empathy Is Our Future Capital, made exclusively for the multi-format inclusivity project Film Education Without Borders. The project’s participants presented their works in person at the Russian Pavilion and had the opportunity to take part in the Cannes Film Festival’s student programs, including the Short Film Corner, meet industry professionals, network with colleagues and find partners for future projects.The project Film Education Without Borders is organized by ROSKINO, supported by Sberbank, aiming to people with disabilities to work in the art industry. The project’s mission is developing accessible environment and ensuring that everyone in Russia is culturally integrated.Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO:“I want to express my gratitude to Sberbank for supporting our project Film Education Without Borders – Russia is still only catching on the idea that projects like this are necessary. We are going to further develop it, and are already planning a series of events in Moscow: a retrospective of films about characters who overcome obstacles, a master class and a panel discussion. Cinema is increasingly commercialized, there’s too much talk about box office and too little about art. But for us the subject matter – empathy – is important. A film that gives no hope may be a powerful piece of art but how much good does it bring into the world? It’s so difficult to tell stories about people whose lives are hard but do so in such a way as to make us feel elated when credits roll. I think that all the films we are showing today achieve that.”Just like the day before at the presentation of young Russian producers, the Pavilion provided a platform for filmmakers who are only making their first steps in the profession: all films were made by students of Nikolay Lebedev’s workshop at the the Arka Film School, branch of the Higher School of Economics: Elena Nodel, Irina Sadchikova, Anton Shebanov, Viacheslav Shiryaev, Olga Tarasova, and Zaur Tsogoev. The directors who came to Cannes to present their projects in person were introduced by ROSKINO CEO Katya Mtsitouridze and director, screenwriter, mentor of the directing workshop at the Arka Film School, branch of the Higher School of Economics Nikolay Lebedev.Kristina Voloshina, one of the founders of Arka, also spoke: “I want to thank ROSKINO and Katya Mtsitouridze for all the work that they’ve done, for their personal approach to every student. And to thank Nikolay Lebedev who put his soul into the kids. To our participants for their work. And to Sberbank for their priceless support.”Nikolay Lebedev a major Russian director, famous for his blockbuster hits Legend No. 17, The Crew, The Star, guides his students through every stage of film production, from script to editing. The main goal of his workshop is developing creative individuality and signature style.Nikolay Lebedev, director, screenwriter, mentor of the directing workshop at the Arka Film School: “I think it’s amazing if the door into the profession opens at the world’s largest film festival. I am happy that my workshop’s alumni have the opportunity to be in Cannes and show what they’re capable of. They are talented, passionate enthusiasts. I hope there’s a bright path laying ahead of them. I am grateful to the Cannes Film Festival and Market’s management for this wonderful platform open to participants from all over the world, and I want to thank ROSKINO and personally Katya Mtsitouridze for supporting new talent and giving the kids this opportunity. They’ll live up to it!”The program was selected by a jury, which included Katya Mtsitouridze, Denis Kataev, film expert for TV Rain, programmer at the Documentary Film Center (Moscow), Vasily Koretsky, film critic, senior editor at KinoPoisk, Boris Nelepo, film critic, chairman of the selection committee at the International Debut Film Festival Spirit of Fire, and Denis Ruzaev, film critic, culture chief editor at Lenta.ru.“I make no difference between a short and a feature. A film is a film. We have a very representative selection: the films are very different but every one of them merits attention,” says Boris Nelepo.“Doesn’t matter what the running time is and how the film is made. It could be shot on an iPhone. It is a contemporary trend, and the Russian pavilion is keeping up with the time. Other directors will catch up soon enough,” Denis Kataev added.“Cannes would be much more agile if all the films were 60 seconds long. Quality of direction is immediately obvious at such a running time. I’d like to note that the overall quality was high not only in the six selected works. Decisions were unanimous but difficult,” Denis Ruzaev said.Anton Shebanov presented his film Charge, made on a contemporary subject of gadget dependency. The director says that “people escape to the world of technology and stop noticing what’s really important.” Shebanov confesses that the most difficult part of production was to create an abstract reality and vivid, unusual characters. “For me, film is not business or a job, it’s a necessity,” said Shebanov at the presentation. “It’s vitally important for me to have the opportunity to tell stories, create worlds and communicate with people through that. Which is why I take this opportunity responsibly, and being here in Cannes as a part of this project is a unique chance.”Zaur Tsogoev’s short Theft takes place in an apartment at night. To burglars break in and discover that the place is owned by an old man, veteran of World War II. “For me, participating in this project is a new experience, new knowledge, a new challenge,” says the director. “The most important thing is that other people’s work, which made this possible, was not in vain.”The 60-second long Hope Doll tells a story about two young girls who find a one-legged doll. One girl throws it away, but the other pick it up and bring the doll home. Elena Nodel, the director, thinks that empathy should be cultivated in young children from the very early years of their lives. “The script was written very quickly, in one breath. I get the wind knocked out of me every time I re-read it. In Instagram format clarity and simplicity are the most important,” says Elena. “I am overjoyed to be here. I was given a great chance and I’ll do my best to live up to it.”The one-minute film Repeat takes place over several decades: the beginning is set in the Soviet times, and the ending in our day. Viacheslav Shiryaev’s work is about the fathers and sons problem – the balance of giving and taking, and not their differences. Audience have noted the music at the discussion: it was composed by a young musician Oleg Berkov-Skinyukov. “For me, being included in Global Russians is an opportunity to learn something about myself,” Viacheslav Shiryaev noted. “Am I able to say something important? Do I need to be a filmmaker at all? Creative people always doubt themselves. If the feedback is good, I will have motivation to go on working in film.”The idea to make a film about a hearing impaired boy who conducts a real orchestra, was sparked by reading Joseph Rot’s novel Job. That was how Olga Tarasova’s Please Turn Around came about. Conductor Vladislav Lavrik agreed to play himself, and the full Russian National Orchestra decided to participate. Over eighty people were on the set of a one-minute film. The film’s producer Maria Chamberlain also spoke at the presentation: together with the director, they offered a special gratitude to the orchestra. Please Turn Around moved the audience at the presentation. A visitor from Algeria, who visits Marché du Film for the first time, said that the short proved once again: stories about people with disabilities are important, no matter where you are from, Africa, Europe, or anywhere else. “The film’s protagonist talks to us through Shostakovich’s symphony,” Olga Tarasova said. “That is probably why these were genuine tears in the eyes of the actress who played the mother.” Olga dedicated the film to her cousin Denis who is wheelchair-bound since childhood.The Follower is a story about a young man who failed an exam at a university. The professor has to decide his fate. Many years later, the student returns to the school as a dean, and now it’s his turn to make a decision. Director Irina Sadchikova says that making a one-minute film is no different from any production: it still requires script and planning. “My project’s idea is simple: empathy is a circular flow,” the director explained at the presentation. “If you help someone without expecting anything in return, it will come back when you least expect it. Participating in Global Russians is a great honor, an opportunity to be a part of the global industry and learning new trends. I want to thank Katya Mtsitouridze who believed in us and our mentor Nikolay Lebedev who was always there for us.”In the conclusion, Katya Mtsitouridze made a present to Nikolay Lebedev: the first copy of Moscow in Motion, a book of photographs that ROSKINO and Anton Lange worked on for a year and a half. The book was made to support the Moscow Film Commission in 120 shooting says.Russian presence at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and Marché du Film is organized by ROSKINO, supported by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Ministry of Culture, Sir Leonard Blavatnik and Aeroflot.Additional information:ROSKINO Press OfficeAndrei Kartashov+7 921 326 22 firstname.lastname@example.orgNatalia Adamova+7 926 222 68 email@example.com
GLOBAL FILM INDUSTRY TRENDS DISCUSSED AT THE RUSSIAN PAVILION IN CANNES On May 20, 2019, the Russian Pavilion at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and Marché du Film hosted Global Film Showcase, a panel on global film industry trends presented by Cloud 21 International, ROSKINO, Kultura PR International. Leading industry professionals spoke at the event.The discussion was moderated by Eileen Tasca, journalist at Indie Entertainment Magazine. ROSKINO CEO Katya Mtsitouridze, director and executive producer at Principle Deception Jamie Lundy, executive producer of Tattoo Dena Rassam and Allison Melody of Melody Productions shared their experiences.The discussion builds on the success of the previous year’s panel, which was a huge success in professional circles. The event opened with a series of videos showcasing companies that speakers represent. That part of the presentation included a video on history of ROSKINO, which has been supporting Russian film at the international for 95 years.“Everyone comes to filmmaking in their own unique way. It’s a special industry and I’m always curious to know what got you into this and what motivates you to work. It’s important to have conversations like this and to hear every story.”We are grateful to ROSKINO and the Russian Pavilion for having us here today,” said Eileen Tasca in her opening speech. She has been working in film for a long time and is now the director of Alien Films and Task Films, co-owned by Jerzy Skolimowski, the legendary Polish director. Tasca was the executive producer of Skolimowski’s 11 Minutes. She has worked for Variety and a other major publications.ROSKINO CEO Katya Mtsitouridze raised the important topics of project financing and importance of international coproduction to support young filmmakers: “ROSKINO’s main goal is opening doors into the international community for the Russian film industry, which has had a long and glorious tradition starting at the Soviet times. Russia has four films in different programs in Cannes. It’s very important to support and celebrate up and coming directors, giving them an opportunity to make their first steps in the industry and showing them that the bigger world. In this sense, Cannes is the most democratic and open of all major festivals. Yesterday at the Russian Pavilion we presented Global Russians (in collaboration with Sberbank) – a selection of six one-minute shorts. They are linked with a common theme, empathy is our future capital, but are very different in realization. A few years ago Kantemir Balagov had his Cannes debut in this program, and this year his new film Beanpole plays in Un Certain Regard in the official selection. We have also presented projects by young Russian producers open for coproduction, and all of them already received partnership offers. We see our mission in highlighting the perspectives of the Russian industry at the international stage.”Segueing from that, Jamie Lundy told about his career path, which involved working in many different industries, from fashion to engineering. In his early years, he was a successful international model working with the top names of the fashion world, including Kate Moss, Mario Testino, Bruce Weber, Versace, D&G, and more. Lundy told the audience that his love of film began in his childhood when his family would get together to watch movies. He is now focused on film production with his company, Full Circle. His latest projects are the World War II drama Principle Deception and horror movie Evie. At the panel he was talking about his projects, technology and sources of inspiration.“I have always been inspired by older directors such as George Lucas and Sergio Leone. Music is a big way to connect the audience to the characters. Music plays a vital role in movies, so it has been composed for each character of the story, the way George Lucas did that in Star Wars. Luke and Vader each had their own theme. For me as a director it’s important to tell a new story that’s never been seen before,” Lundy said.His attention to music also has something to do with the problem of attracting younger audiences: with a proper score Lundy hopes to create a connection between the period when the film is set and the contemporary audience.Iranian director Dena Rassam was talking about the difficulties she is facing in her home country. She is the daughter of Massoud Rassam, the famous director and producer. Her own career began in advertising and television. Rassam received her education in New Zealand, where she lived since she was 13. Her debut was the short film Zan, released last year. Her next project, Tattoo, was awarded with a Crystal Bear as the best short at the Berlinale.“Tattoo is a personal story, which took several years to produce. The film is a message to the new generation of Iranians: I wanted to say something about the oppression that people experience in my home country. It is important for me that people hear this story,” Rassam said.In response to Katya Mtsitouridze’s question whether or not Dena was going to stay in Iran or come back to New Zealand, Rassam said that she was not planning to live in her home country, since things were unlikely to change.Allison Melody told the audience about her experience in making and promoting documentaries, which she has been doing for 12 years. Melody has directed and produced documentary films, PSAs, commercials and viral videos on the topics of social justice, human rights and public health. She is currently directing Food Heals, a documentary that chronicles the journey of inspiring individuals who have used nutrition and alternative medicine to heal themselves of chronic, degenerative and terminal disease.“I was five years old when I lost both of my parents to cancer, and I realized that traditional medicine failed them. I discovered that body was designed to heal itself if we give it the tools to do that. My documentary Food Heals includes stories of people who cured themselves. My passion for movies, fitness and nutrition also resulted in my podcast, Food Heals,” Melody said.The panelists agreed that in the modern world it is easier than ever to find their audiences. Katya Mtsitouridze noted that international collaboration is facilitated by the Internet and social media: now everyone can find their soulmates from any place in the world. Film and media distribution is also moving online, which leads to higher engagement. That is why Eileen Tasca said in conclusion, it is important to recalibrate our vision: despite all the problems things are moving forward.Russian presence at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and Marche du Film is organized by ROSKINO and supported by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Ministry of Culture and Sberbank.***Additional information:ROSKINO Press OfficeAndrei Kartashov+7 921 326 22 firstname.lastname@example.orgNatalia Adamova+7 926 222 68 email@example.com
Natalia Meschaninova's interview for 'Variety'
131 companies from more than 60 countries are interested in activities of Moscow Film Commission
An Article about "T-34" English Language Trailer