MOSCOW, June 19 /ITAR-TASS/. The 36th Moscow International Film Festival opened in Moscow on Thursday.
Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky read out a message of greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin in which the president wrote that the Moscow Film Festival had traditionally brought together the cream of Russian and foreign cinematograph.
“New ideas and concerts are born at cinema halls and TV studios; new trends in the development of world cinema are being discussed,” the Russia president said in his greeting. On his behalf, Medinsky thanked the organizers of the 36th Moscow International Film Festival and the team of Nikita Mikhalkov, the festival’s president, which demonstrates team work and makes each Moscow film festival unique and unforgettable. Medinsky said that a documentary titled “The Red Army” was a discovery made by the Moscow International Film Festival. It tells about a Soviet ice-hockey team headed by Vyacheslav Fetisov.
After short introductions, actress Olga Kabo and actor Andrei Merzlikin appeared on the stage. They said that the All-Russia State Institute of Cinematography (dubbed as VGIK) would mark the 95th anniversary this year. It has been the alma mater for all leading Soviet and Russian movie actors and film makers since its foundation.
The festival’s president, Nikita Mikhalkov, said it had been much harder to organize the event this year. “Many film-makers are afraid of coming because of sanctions but nevertheless the festival is living,” Mikhalkov stressed. “It may even be good. The sanctions concern the whole of Russia and the phrase ‘to punish Russia’ is thrilling and chilling and even driving into excitement,” Mikhalkov went on to say.
The most important thing, in his view, is that cinematograph is living and that the Moscow international film festival remains an international gathering.
“Today, we have paid more attention to ourselves. In all spheres. No one is going to stage a play or shoot a film for us. That is why we decided to devote this opening ceremony to our VGIK,” Mikhalkov stressed.
Sixteen films will run in the main contest programme of the 36th Moscow International Film Festival. Russia has presented two films - “Da-Da” (“Yes-Yes”) by Valeriya Gai Germanika and “White Reindeer Moss” by Vladimir Tumayev. Documentaries and short-length films will run in separate contest programmes. Russian Film Director Gleb Panfilov will chair the jury of the main contest programme.
The 36th Moscow International Film Festival will last until June 28.
Sixty-one countries have presented their films to the festival in which 397 feature films selected out of the initial 1,144 films will take part.
“I am convinced that those who want to get an impression of what world cinema is like today will be able to do that if they manage to get tickets of course,” Mikhalkov said in conclusion.