35th Moscow International Film Festival
Russia, June 20 - June 29 2013
Hardly anything in Russia happens on small scale, and the Moscow International Film Festival certainly aims high also. Driving into town from the airport, you could not mistake Moscow for a timid city, with its countless monumental edifices and gigantic statues, remnants from Soviet times, reminding visitors of the country’s troubled past.” History is inscribed everywhere in Moscow, and the city’s international film festival, this year in its 35th edition (June 20-29), ranks among the oldest film festivals of its kind inthe world. But from its first edition in 1935, with a jury headed by Sergei Eisenstein, MIFF has undergone startling transformations.
The fact that the fest kicked off with Marc Forster’s World War Z was perhaps an advanced advertisement for similarly big-budgeted Russians productions soon in the local theatres, Fedor Bondarchuk’s World War Two epic Stalingrad, Russia’s first-ever IMAX 3D production (to bereleased Oct. 10), can only be helped by the Moscow Fest’s conscious promotion of national cinema, not only screenings of eight films about Stalingrad alone but having a sidebar called the Russian Cinema Program displaying 25 full-length current Russian features. Unfortunately, those films were practically inaccessible to a wider international audience, as they were screened without subtitles.
The main body ofthe festival is constituted of three official competitions, the feature filmcompetition (comprising 16 titles), the documentary and the short film competition. The FIPRESCI jury judged the feature film competition and gave its award to the Brazilian film, Memories They Told Me (A Memóriaque me Contam) by Lúcia Murat.
In its out of competition sections, the festival this year offered, among others, a Korean Cinema Showcase and a selection of Portuguese films in the sidebar Portugal Euphoria; the festival retrospectives werededicated to Swiss director Ursula Meier, Costa-Gavras, Bernardo Bertolucci and Aleksei Balabanov.
Also, becoming a regular institution at the MIFF, the three-day Moscow Business Square offered major pitching events aimed at Eastern Europe’s film industry. (Alexandra Zawia)
Moscow International Film Festival: www.moscowfilmfestival.ru