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 projects
Boris 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.
‘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.
Maria 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.
‘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 Seconds
Sergey 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 Victory
Anton 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.
‘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 Here
Vladimir 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.
‘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.