The third Annual Russian Film Week will be held on November 25 to December 2, 2018 in landmark venues across London: BFI Southbank, Regent Street Cinema, Curzon Mayfair, Empire IMAX Leicester Square as well as in Edinburg, Cambridge and Oxford.
The eight-day festival celebrates the best of new films from Russian filmmakers worldwide and promotes Russian cinema while bridging the gap between Russian cinematography and the western world. “We believe that at the time of political tensions, it’s more important than ever to build cross-cultural bridges between Russia and the UK. We need to reach across the divide and collaborate effectively on the world’s stage. This very idea – that by bringing people together we can increase global harmony and nurture peace – is the foundation on which Russian film week was built”, said Filip Perkon, Founder and General Producer of the Russian Film Week and the Golden Unicorn Awards.
This year over 50 film submissions were received, ranging from historical and political dramas, art house movies, action films to documentaries and short films.
Russian Film Week will be opened by AvdotyaSmirnova’s drama ‘Istoriyaodnogonaznacheniya’ (‘The Story of an appointment’). It Collected the Gorin prize for the best script at Russia’s main national film festival Kinotavr – the story is based on real life events, showing an episode from Russian literary giant Leo Tolstoy’s life. The opening night will be held at the largest screen in the UK – Empire IMAX Leicester Square.
Other seasonal highlights include Kirill Serebrennikovэ’s biographical film ‘Leto’ (‘Summer’), awarded at Cannes Film Festival for its music, and ‘Sobibor’, Russia’s foreign-language film Oscar submission 2018. The film is the debut feature for actor-turned-director Konstantin Khabensky, starred in Hollywood films Wanted (2008) and World War Z (2013). ‘Sobibor’ is focused on the story of an uprising in the Sobibor Nazi extermination camp in 1943, led by Soviet officer Alexander Pechersky, played by Konstantin Khabensky. The picture also stars Christopher Lambert and Karl Frenzel. Another actor, Danila Kozlovsky, known for his roles in Hollywood’s fantasy Vampire Academy (2014), BBC series McMafia (2018) and numerous Russian blockbusters, will present his debut project, sports drama ‘Trener’ (‘Coach’), the Russian premiere of which was timed to the FIFA world Cup 2018.
Besides the opportunity to see new Russian releases, the guests will have the chance to meet the filmmakers at Q&A sessions, masterclasses, workshops, seminars, public talks and film art exhibitions. This year will include VladimirMashkov, KonstantinKhabensky, DanilaKozlovsky, Avdotya Smirnova, Marina Zudina, Ivan Okhlobystin and other experts of Russian film industry.
The festival culminates in the Golden Unicorn Awards ceremony designed to recognise excellence in 9 nominations, including the Best Foreign Film About Russia. The voting process reflects this cross-cultural idea of the Russian Film Week, meaning all films will be judged by an international jury under the lead of the renowned British and Hollywood actor Brian Cox. The awards ceremony is expected to be another spectacular show featuring global actors on the red carpet and Charity Gala Dinner in aid of Natalia Vodianova’s Naked Heart Foundation.
Russian Film Week and the Golden Unicorn was founded in 2016 by Filip Perkon (Perkon Productions Ltd.) with a group of volunteers on a non-profit basis. From 2017 the festival is supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture, Synergy University, and the BFI.