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Moscow film festival to feature 230 works from 65 countries

It is reported that some filmmakers this year would have to get to Russia via complex routes

MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. The 2022 Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) will feature more than 230 films from 65 countries, the head of the MIFF selection committee Ivan Kudryavtsev told a TASS news conference.

"More than 230 films will be screened in the competition and out-of-competition programs. According to our current estimates, 65 countries will be represented. More additions and various surprises are possible. I think that this list will increase," he said.

Kudryavtsev said the festival would be balanced in terms of countries’ representation despite the very complicated political and cultural context.

"I would say that this year we managed to keep just the perfect balance," he added.

The MIFF selection committee’s chair also added that some filmmakers this year would have to get to Russia via complex routes. Their courage deserves respect, Kudryavtsev said.

"In the field of culture, we are keen not to build walls or barriers and not to draw up blacklists or cancellation lists. This is not our style. We strive to build bridges. Filmmakers, especially those from the US and West European countries, will have to get to Russia using very intricate routes, but they will get here and show their works. We applaud their courage. It will be very important to hear what they have to say," he stressed.

Nine films from Russia, Serbia, China, Turkey, Sri Lanka and other countries have been included in the main competition program of the 44th Moscow International Film Festival and it is possible that the list will be expanded, he said.

Kudryavtsev and a member of the selection committee, Yevgenia Tirdatova, presented each film title on the list. "The geography of the main competition is vast, indeed. As you can see, there are Russian films and films from Eastern European countries: Serbia and Romania. Latin America will be represented in a very remarkable way," Tirdatova said.

At the moment the list of films the jury will be asked to evaluate looks like this: Vegetable Garden by Larisa Sadilova, from Russia, The Beheading of St. John The Baptist, by Serbian director Sinisa Cvetic, Youth, by the winner of the 31st Kinotavr festival Dmitry Davydov, The Voice Crying in the Wilderness, by Ciprian Mega from Romania, The Journey of Mastorna, by Chinese director Chan Ming Zhi Liao, Camel Arch, by Vladimir Suslin from Russia, Hives, by Luis Basurto from Peru, A Hope, by Turkish director Umit Kereken and Maariya - The Ocean Angel, by Sri Lankan director Aruna Jayawardana.

Ten films, including Quartet, by Nikita Stashkevich, Tokyo Giant: the Legend of Victor Starffin by Chavdar Georgiev, Fellini and the Shadow by Catherine MacGilvray and others will compete in the contest for documentaries. The jury of the short film program will evaluate 18 contestants from 15 countries, including Anna Golenko's Biting Sands, Savely Osadchy's Double Planet Theory and others.

Anton Megerdichev’s historical drama, a screen version of a novel by Alexey Ivanov entitled The Heart of Parma about the conquest of Great Perm by Moscow, will open the Moscow International Film Festival.

"This film manifests the Russian film industry’s new opportunities and potential. This film demonstrates that Russia is a major film industry power capable of competing on the national market and eventually on the global one," Kudryavtsev said.

The film’s plot is set in the 15th century. Sent to remote Parma by the Grand Prince of Moscow, Prince Yermolay tells his son Mikhail about his dream: to create a grand princedom that would unite the peoples inhabiting these lands. Soon Yermolay is killed in the battle against the rebellious local tribes, the Voguls. His heir Mikhail finds himself in the middle of two worlds - the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the ancient lands of Perm populated by pagans. Mikhail marries a local girl, Tiche, a half woman, a half lamia - a witch, a living incarnation of the main pagan symbol - the Golden Woman, Sorni Nai. The legend has it that whoever owns Sorni Nai has the full control over Parma.

Starring in the film based on a script by Sergey Bodrov, Ilya Tilkin and Ksenia Datnova are Alexander Kuznetsov, Yelena Urbankova, Sergey Puskepalis, Yevgeny Mironov, Fyodor Bondarchuk, Vitaly Kishchenko and others. The film’s release is due on October 6th.

The festival will close with The Decision to Leave, directed by Park Chan-wook. "The film represents the Republic of Korea," the head of the MIFF selection committee said.

The plot is intriguing. A detective comes to a mountain village to investigate the death of a man who fell off a cliff. The dead man's widow cooperates with the investigation, but the further the case progresses, the more the detective suspects her and the more he falls in love with her.

The MIFF will be held from 26 August to 2 September. The first one was in 1935. In 1972, it was awarded the highest Class A accreditation by the International Federation of Film Producers' Associations. In 1995, it was announced that the festival would become annual, but it failed to be held in 1996 and 1998. Since 1999, the MIFF has been arranged every year. Film director Nikita Mikhalkov is the festival’s president and TASS, the MIFF’s media partner.