Sad News from Minsk
Listapad, the Minsk International Film Festival, has been stopped by the Belarusian Government. Our festival colleagues published the following statement.
In 2021, Visual and Performing Arts Centre ART Corporation suspends its activity as the Directorate of Minsk International Film Festival “Listapad” in accordance with the decision of the Festival organiser – the Ministry of Culture.
ART Corporation has organised the Festival for 11 years. We did everything in our power to make the festival the main cinematic event of the year. As the Directorate, we determined the concept, the regulations, guidelines for the selection and formation of the festival programme in strict compliance with international norms and regulations, we also developed festival’s unique brand and identity.
In 2011, the International Federation of Film Producers Associations granted the MIFF temporary FIAPF accreditation. And in 2013, the Minsk International Film Festival “Listapad” received permanent accreditation from the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, indicating the high level of our work and national culture in general. Thus the Festival joined the list of the most prestigious film forums among the world famous Berlin, Venice, Warsaw and Moscow festivals.
Since 2017, the Minsk FIPRESCI Prize has become one of the most honourable awards of the Minsk festival. As part of the “Listapad” jury, members of FIPRESCI annually evaluated debut feature films presented in all competitions of the festival.
During the 11 years of “Listapad”, the international jury has awarded the best filmmakers: Pawel Pawlikowski, Sergei Loznitsa, Sharunas Bartas. Recognized masters Radu Jude and Jia Zhangke received the Grand Prix of the Festival. The Minsk festival has repeatedly become a platform for the audience to meet masters of cinema: Fanny Ardant, Kira Muratova, Zaza Urushadze, Krzysztof Zanuss, Alexander Sokurov, Vitaly Mansky. All these are the first names of the world film industry. Moreover, we closely monitored new talents of independent filmmaking: Damien Chazelle, Jan Komasa, Chaitanya Tamhane, Alice Rohrwacher, Sean Baker. Unfortunately, it is difficult to list all of them but we are grateful and proud that over the years we were able to acknowledge their work.
We are happy that new voices of independent Belarusian cinema are associated with our era of “Listapad”. The tremendously successful film “Crystal Swan” by Daria Zhuk opened the National Competition in 2018, “Summa” by Andrei Kutsila was recognized as the Best Documentary Film of the National Competition in 2019. Over the years, the international jury of the festival praised the films of Nikita Lavretsky, Alexey Poluyan, Vlada Senkova, Yulia Shatun and many other Belarusian directors recognized in the country and abroad. Every year students and graduates of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts took part in the National Film Schools Competition (Documentary Films).
In 2015, the Industrial platform of the Minsk International Film Festival “Listapad” Bel:Cinema was launched to create conditions for communication between film professionals, exchanging experience, developing ways of interaction between filmmakers and producers, taking into account the specifics of the region. Over the years, the industrial platform has more than once served as a source of new projects and cooperation.
The ART Corporation team expresses its gratitude to the filmmakers, producers and distributors who have been creating the “Listapad” film festival with us for 11 years. Your active participation and critical view allowed the festival to rise to the international level. We want to thank our sponsors and tireless volunteers who have readily supported us in organizing an unforgettable celebration for cinefiles every year. And of course we thank our empathetic, intelligent, thoughtful audience – your sincere interest was the highest award for our team. All to those who worked with us side by side, overcoming difficulties time and again – with no exaggeration you were a dream team and you remain one.
Commitment to art is a challenging but an important mission. This year we did not become the organizers of the MIFF “Listapad” but we will still continue to introduce the best examples of world independent cinema to our audience. We are developing international projects and are always looking forward to meeting you at our film screenings. You can follow the news on our website artcorporation.by.
Forwarded by FIPRESCI, September 2021
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