RUSSIA AT THE 72ND CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND MARCHÉ DU FILM
Russian presence at the 72nd Cannes International Film Festival and Marché du Film (May 14 – 25, 2019) is organized by ROSKINO, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. ROSKINO’s strategic partner is Sberbank, partners: Aeroflot and Sir Leonard Blavatnik.
For the 12th time this year, the Russian Pavilion officially represents the country at the Cannes Film Festival and Marché du Film as the only information center for Russian filmmakers and a universal platform for promoting Russian cinema at the international market. This year, the Russian Pavilion’s program will feature a wide variety of activities, from international panels and presentations of new projects to press conferences of the Cannes Film Festival’s Russian participants.
Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO:
“Starting from Soviet times Cannes film festival has never been indifferent to our cinema. Many talented Russian masters gained their recognition here. Over the recent years Russia’s presence at the world’s most important film festival has increased in the market as well. The Russian Pavilion, which we founded in 2008, has become one of the most popular spots. We are pleased to support films that participate at the festival and gladly present over 20 young producers and directors from Russia at the film market. The mission of ROSKINO is to open the doors for talented filmmakers into an international community. There is no better place for it than in Cannes.”
72ND CANNES INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL’S OFFICIAL PROGRAM
Russia is represented with four films in this year’s Cannes Film Festival’s program. Two titles were selected for Un Certain Regard: Beanpole, the second feature by Alexander Sokurov’s student Kantemir Balagov (produced by Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov) and Larisa Sadilova’s new film Once in Trubchevsk, an independent production of SHiM Film and Arsi-Film.
Beanpole takes place in post-war Leningrad, two main characters, female military veterans are returning to Leningrad at the end of the World War II. This is a story about the recovery of human life. “For me this film is about a war that continues after the fire had been ceased”, says the director. “It doesn’t stop killing people.” The producer Alexander Rodnyansky adds, “This is a drama submerged into human psychology. I’m struck by how brave Kantemir is in researching human borderline states.”
Kantemir’s previous film, his 2017 debut Closeness (produced by Nikolay Yankin, artistic advisor: Alexander Sokurov) was also among the competitors in Under Certain Regard and won the FIPRESCI Award. In 2015 Kantemir Balagov was invited by ROSKINO to attend the Cannes film festival for the first time. He participated in Global Russians, Russian Pavilion’s project where the students of Alexander Sokurov’s workshop at the Kabardino-Balkarian University presented their best works.
Larisa Sadilova’s Once in Trubchevsk is a story of two families in the Russian town of Trubchevsk. Its population is just 14 thousand people, and in a small town everything is out in the open. A secret affair between the two protagonists is revealed to their families and neighbors. The film teeters on the edge between documentary and narrative, and the story assumes a taste of the real life. The fictional plot grows into Trubchevsk’s everyday reality. Larisa Sadilova comments: “I immersed my protagonists into regular folks’ lives and filmed them together with real residents of Trubchevsk. I needed the actors to be on the same page with them. We came up with some twists right on the set, and that brought about a certain freshness into the movie. Characters who hadn’t been in the script would show up out of nowhere and enter the film’s fabric in an organic way.” The director says that she “followed her protagonists” when creating the story, and the town of Trubchevsk itself was among the characters. Once in Trubchevsk is the third film made by Larisa in Bryansk Region and the first without public funding. Independent production meant budgetary restrictions but also led to the film’s distinct style.
Slozhnopodchinennoe (Complex Subject), a short film by Olesya Yakovleva is another Russian film that will be screened at the Cannes film festival in Cinéfondation competition. This is a story about a strange teacher who arrives in a small town to teach in a local school. He doesn’t look like a teacher, has a pretentious way of looking at things and is full of innovative ideas. People in town like him, however, and he doesn’t even realize how much. The film stars Nikolay Komiagin, the front man of the popular Russian band Shortparis.
Olesya Yakovleva, director of Complex Subject:
“A complex subject is a sentence that contains an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. Its syntax differs from the one in a simple sentence as dependent clauses one by one subordinate the independent clause.”
This year 17 films (14 feature films and 3 animated films) were selected for Cinéfondation competition from a total of two thousand applications filed from all over the world. The winner will be announced during the award ceremony on May 23d.
The prestigious Directors’ Fortnight is a section for independent films held in parallel to the Cannes film festival. Here a Russian film Give Me Liberty directed by Kirill Mikhanovsky will be screened. This is a story of a Russian migrant from Milwaukie who risks his job to get his grandfather and friends to the funeral. In January 2019 it was premiered at the Sundance Film festival. A Russian movie star Darya Ekamasova is brilliant in one of the roles, while two male stars, Chris Galust and Maxim Stoyanov, are a smashing acting duo that will surely conquer the Cannes audiences as well.
Kirill Mikhanovsky, director of Give Me Liberty:
“We are overjoyed by ROSKINO’s sincere interest in our American film, in which many of the characters are native speakers of Russian. We believe that the stories of their personal triumphs and tragedies, which bring together America and Russia in unexpected ways, as well as the subtle rendering of their hopes, dreams, and the tragicomic circumstances they face that are so characteristic of our Post-American-Dream era, will strike a chord with Russian viewers. We believe that these characters will find particular love and understanding in Russia.”
RUSSIAN PAVILION AT VILLAGE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM
The Russian Pavilion’s 2019 program will feature:
- Press conference of Give Me Liberty by Kirill Mikhanovsky (USA), Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) selection
Speakers will include Kirill Mikhanovsky, director, producer, co-writer, Alice Austen, writer, executive producer; producers Valery Abel, Sergey Shtern, Michael Мanasseri, Walter Hall, George Rush, director of photography Wyatt Garfield, actors Chris Galust and Maxim Stoyanov, and actresses Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, Zoya Makhlina and Darya Ekamasova.
- Global Film Showcase, presented by Cloud 21 International, ROSKINO, Kultura PR International
Panel on global film industry trends with a focus on topical issues of women's empowerment, documentary film marketing and international co-productions. The discussion carries on the tradition started by last year’s panel, which was a huge success in professional circles.
Jamie Lundy, director and executive producer of Principle Deception
Allison Melody, Melody Productions
Igor Mishin, producer, CEO of Mig Pictures
Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO, film expert for Channel One
Dena Rassam, executive producer of Tattoo
Moderated by Eileen Tasca, Indie Entertainment Magazine
- Press Conference by Russian participants of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival
Short film Complex Subject (Slozhnopodchinennoe, directed by Olesya Yakovleva, Saint Petersburg University of Film and Television), Cinéfondation selection
Director Olesya Yakovleva, producer Danila Yakovlev, actor and musician Nikolay Komiagin and actress Nelly Popova will attend.
- Launch of the Iskusstvo Kino (Film Art) magazine’s new English-language issue Presented by Anton Dolin, film critic, the magazine’s editor-in-chief
- Book launch: The Cannes Chronicles. 2006 – 2016
Tribute to late Daniil Dondurey, renowned Russian culture expert, previous editor-in-chief of Iskusstvo Kino (Film Art) magazine
Presented by film critics Andrei Plakhov and Lev Karakhan
- Press conference of Selfiemania film project
Co-organized by the Italian and Russian Pavilions
A feature film by different directors from 5 countries consists of 7 stories united by a common theme of selfie mania and the tremendous influence of this phenomenon on our lives. Two parts of the anthology, each lasting no longer than 20 minutes, will be filmed by Russia, one in Yekaterinburg (in April-May 2019) and one in Moscow (in summer 2019).
Claudio Bucci, producer
Alexander Zlatopolsky, producer and actor
Natalia Tsvetkova, producer and actress
Fedor Krat, producer
Francesco Colangelo, director
Elisabetta Pellini, director and actress
Elly Senger Weiss, director and producer
- MoviesChain by tvzavr presentation
Distributing independent films through blockchain will be the subject of Cannes presentation by Sergey Klimentov, the project manager of MoviesChain by tvzavr: the world’s first blockchain-based, safe and stable, global platform for decentralized film distribution, which enables rights owners to list their own content and sell it directly to audiences from any part of the world.
Sergey Klimentov, project manager of MoviesChain by tvzavr:
“Innovative solutions is a trend currently important in the film industry. Blockchain is among the most attractive technologies in this regard, offering a real opportunity to liberate the multi-billion independent film segment from mediators’ overwhelming influence. To this end, we have, on the one hand, a new technology that guarantees full transparency of all transactions, and on the other hand, almost ten years of experience in the market, a huge client base, a strong income, and a team of 75 professionals. In this regard we stand apart from other blockchain projects that don’t have clients, or a team, or income, or a finished product.”
- Presentation of GLOBAL RUSSIANS 2019
Annual selection of best Russian short films of the year, chosen by ROSKINO, also represented at Marché du Film’s Short Film Corner. Six films in the Instagram format (60 seconds each) were made exclusively for the Film Education Without Borders project, on the subject Empathy is our Future Capital. Sberbank is ROSKINO’s strategic partner on this project. The shorts were made by students of Nikolay Lebedev’s workshop at the Arka Film School, branch of the Higher School of Economics: Elena Nodel, Irina Sadchikova, Anton Shebanov, Viacheslav Shiryaev, Olga Tarasova, and Zaur Tsogoev.
Nikolay Lebedev, director, screenwriter, mentor of the directing workshop at the Arka Film School, branch of the Higher School of Economics:
“It is tremendously important for anyone who is only making first steps in their chosen profession to be heard and understood. Important for everyone but for a newcomer three times as much. 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 hope they will be among those capable of bringing a new kind of intonation into cinema and our world, and opening new perspectives. 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!”
- Presentation by VOSTOK, the first independent agency for promotion and distribution of Russian short films
VOSTOK agency was launched in February of this year. Its catalogue features Russian short films celebrated by local and international film festivals. VOSTOK has entered partner agreements with School-studio SHAR, Bazelevs film company, Industry Film School, the Moscow Film School, and the Moscow School of New Cinema.
Yanna Buryak, general manager of VOSTOK:
“The only short in Russia’s film history sold for 15 thousand Euros is Daria Vlasova’s Milk, which I produced and hold the rights to, supported by ROSKINO in 2017 through Global Russians. We in VOSTOK intend to apply this successful experience to our work with other Russian shorts.”
- Showcase of Blitz Films’ new projects
Blitz Film’s producer general Sergey Sarkisov will present the studio’s new projects. Among them are animated feature Fixies vs Crabots (directed by Vasiliy Bedoshvili and Oleg Uzhinov) and international co-production Show Me What You Got (directed by Svetlana Cvetko). The showcase will aso feature Marc di Domenico’s Charles. Un regard certain, based on unique footage of many years from Charles Aznavour family, and the war adventure melodrama To Paris!, which Sergey Sarkisov directed and produced. The film tells an amazing story of several Soviet officers who decide to celebrate the Great Victory in Paris after the war. On the way to France’s capital, there are plenty of various exciting adventures held in store for the protagonists. The film stars Dmitry Pevtsov, Sergey Makovetskiy, Renata Litvinova, Evgeny Stychkin, and others.
- Showcase of Mig Pictures and the film project Death Suits Us (directed, written and co-produced by Boris Gouts, produced by Igor Mishin and Maxim Moussel). The project will be presented by producer Igor Mishin, director Boris Gouts, actress Alexandra Bistrzhitskaya, and actor Daniil Pugaev.
- Presentation of Russian projects within the co-production platform Producers Network:
Dream, presented by director and producer Ilya Sherstobitov and co-producer Ayuna Andzhukayeva
Intervention, presented by producer Marika Mikhareva
It Is Not Her Name, presented by producers Katerina Mikhaylova, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Konstantin Fam, Oksana Shalamanova and Polina Shlicht
North Seen Through The Casement Frames, presented by producer Tamara Bogdanova and director Artur Grigoriev
The Flame, presented by producers Artem Vitkin and Gregory Podzemelny
Velga, presented by producers Ivan Bolotnikov and Pavel Lilienfeld
ROSKINO - RUSSIAN CINEMA WORLDWIDE BOOTH
Russian film companies within Marché du Film will be united at the ROSKINO - RUSSIAN CINEMA WORLDWIDE booth, orgranized by ROSKINO with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
The Cannes booth’s regulars will be present: All Media, Mosfilm, Planeta Inform, tvzavr, Mars Media, Timur Bekmambetov’s Mirsand, Proline Film – over 35 production and distribution companies in total. ROSKINO will unveil an updated version of the international touring film market DOORS’ catalogue, featuring best Russian movies produced in 2018 - 2019.
All Media will showcase new films: The Hero (directed by Karen Oganesyan) starring Alexander Petrov, Vladimir Mashkov and Svetlana Khodchenkova, two new comedies, Mistresses (directed by Elena Khazanova) and Sober Cab (directed by Rezo Gigineishvili), as well as the historical Eastern epic The Conquest of Siberia, set in the 18th century, and the new war action movie Saving Leningrad (directed by Alexey Kozlov).
Jane Shakhshaeva, head of International Department at All Media Company:
“At the 60th Cannes Film Market, All Media will present a catalogue of Russian films, including a high-profile premiere: Karen Oganesyan’s star-studded The Hero. We are going to see a new level of Russian spy movie genre as soon as September 2019. The company has also added two comedies to its catalogue, both successful in their Russian release early in 2019: Mistresses by Elena Khazanova and Sober Cab by Rezo Gigineishvili. Mistresses has been released in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the United Kingdom. Sober Cab has been seen by audiences in Germany, Austria, the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.”
Planeta Inform group continues introducing their new titles to buyers in Cannes: Robo (directed by Sarki Andreasyan) and The Coma (directed by Nikita Argunov), both headed to Russian release in late 2019.
Anastasia Bankovskaya, international sales director at Planeta Inform:
“This year at Marché du Film, Planeta Inform group will present a new, 15 minute compilation of Robo, a touching family film about a boy’s friendship with a robot made by his parents, robot engineers. The two will embark on an extraordinary adventure, in which the human boy Mitya will teach his new friend to believe in himself and his dream and Robo will set at example of bravery and responsibility. Release is planned for December 12, 2019. We will also screen the opening forty minutes of the long-awaited The Coma (directed by Nikita Argunov, produced by Sarik Andreasyan), the story about a talented architect who, after a mysterious and disastrous accident, wakes up in a strange world only partly resembling reality. The protagonist will have to learn the rules of this universe, fight for his life, meet his love, at last find an escape to the real world and get a new sense of it through understanding what THE COMA really is. Theatrical release is scheduled for September 19, 2019. New footage will be screened at Planeta Inform’s presentation on May 15, at 14.00 at Olympia 4 theater.”
Mars Media will present their catalogue, which includes T-34 (directed by Aleksey Sidorov), The Perfect Ones (directed by Kirill Pletnev), On the Hood (directed by Olga Zueva), Battery Number One (directed by Kirill Belevich), and others. Premiere titles: Sabre Dance (directed by Yusup Razykov) and High Above (directed by Oksana Karas). Sabre Dance will be screened at the market.
Mila Rozanova, manager of international sales:
“At ROSKINO’s booth in Cannes we introduce our finished projects, Sabre Dance and High Above, to buyers. The films have already been selected for international festivals, which increases purchase interest. Sabre Dance has been sold to Japan and scheduled for wide release there in in 2020.”
Proline Film will showcase their new productions. Palmyra (directed by Ivan Bolotnikov) is a story about Arthur, a former medical officer who leads a quiet life of the widower in the small mountain settlement in Dagestan. One day Arthur learns with horror that his daughter went to Syria to “fight the world of lies and sin”. Arthur tries to save his daughter without thinking of consequences. Will the love of the father be able to win the brutal idea, which took control of the young girl’s soul?
Narrative drama Through the Black Glass (directed by Konstantin Lopushansky) is a contemporary reading of classic stories: Cinderella, Scarlet Sails, and even Chaplin’s City Lights. The protagonist is an 18 years old blind girl who gets a chance of a lifetime. A rich man offers to her the precious gift of the eyesight, provided that she marries him blindly. This gift opens her eyes on the grim truth of life.
Documentary Fatei and the Sea (directed by Alina Rudnitskaya and Sergey Vinokurov) was produced by Proline Film in co-production with the Finnish company ILLUME OY and ARKANA Film Studio (Poland), supported by Russian Ministry of Culture, Polish National Film Institute, Finnish Film Foundation, AVEK, and Yle. In March 2017, it was the first documentary project with majority stake in Russia that was supported by FOUNDATION EURIMAGE. The film takes place in the Far East, on an uninhabited island called Rikord in the Peter the Great Gulf of the Sea of Japan. The lead character, called Fatei after his father, and his family have their own marine farm where they harvest delicacies from the sea. In amazing images of the underwater world and landscapes of the Primorsky (Maritime) Territory of the Russian Far East, Fatei and the Sea tells the story of a humble man whose life is inseparable from the big world around him.
Proline Film will also present Faust (directed by Alexander Sokurov), The Orchard (directed by Sergey Ovcharov), and Crime and Punishment (directed by Dmitry Svetozarov).
Elena Pan, head of sales at Proline Film Studio:
“We value the opportunity of being in Cannes and participating in this lively professional event. We are glad to present our content at the united booth ROSKINO – Russian Cinema Worldwide, at the most important European platform for international promotion. Comfortable work space and advertisement facilitate finding partners and meeting co-producers for future international projects. Proline Film will showcase films and TV series that have already received appreciation from our Western partners. Our major title in the 2019 catalogue is Palmyra, already in final stages of post-production.”
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