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Festivals & events

16 December 2011 à 13:57

Review of the 12th French Cinema Today Festival in Russia

The 2011 French Cinema Today Festival in Russia was held December 7 through 12 in Moscow and Kazan.

This event was launched in Moscow in 2000 to support local distributors in their efforts to boost audience interest in French films at the time of their release. Over the past six years, the festival has been held in eight major provincial cities, reaching to the four corners of this vast nation.

This year's festival returned to Moscow, with films screened in the art house theater "35mm." The event attracted over 2,500 spectators eager to catch preview screenings of five films that had already been acquired by Russian distributors: A Gang Story by Olivier Marchal (screened in the presence of Tchéky Karyo and Daniel Duval), La Ligne Droite (The Straight Line) by Régis Wargnier (screened in his presence), American Translation by Jean-Marc Barr and Pascal Arnold (in the presence of Pascal Arnold and Pierre Perrier), Black Venus by Abdellatif Kechiche (in the presence of Yahima Torres), and My Little Princess by Eva Ionesco (in the presence of the director). One film that has not as yet been acquired in Russia, Butterfly Kiss by Karine Silla, completed the lineup, with the presence of Vincent Perez (who also inaugurated a photographic exhibition in an art gallery) and Karine Silla adding prestige to the event.
Three programs of short films were also screened at the festival, with audiences reaching several hundred. The festival held over three days in the Russian capital was punctuated by film presentations, discussions with audiences, interviews with the Moscow media, and a master class led by Régis Wargnier at the VGIK (the world's oldest film school).

After Moscow, the festival traveled for the first time to the city of Kazan, capital of the autonomous Republic of Tatarstan, where screenings were held over a long weekend in the magnificent Rodina Cinema. Here, the event also featured film presentations, discussions with audiences, interviews with the local media, a visit to a traditional Tatarstan village, and a welcome from local authorities. The festival enjoyed highly enthusiastic media coverage, backed up by a publicity campaign of a scale rarely offered to foreign films in provincial cities. More than 1,000 moviegoers turned out for the event, impatient to see films that had been presented in Moscow (such as Valérie Donzelli's Declaration of War, which was already released in Moscow). Close to 200 spectators attended the Short Film Night.

Offering 2,500 movie theaters of a high standard (including over one third with digital facilities) that bring in over $1 billion in annual ticket sales, Russia is today the world's fifth largest film distribution market. French cinema enjoyed a strong presence on Russian screens in the former USSR, and still today has a privileged role in Russia, with between 40 and 50 new films released each year, attracting over 1 million spectators. A wide range of titles is ensured by the large number of distributors interested in French fare, with 10-15 buyers acquiring the rights to French films annually.

Author : Joël Chapron

Latest update : 22 December 2011 à 13:57 CET

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French Cinema Today Festival in Russia - 2011

Type : Unifrance festival

Theme : French films

Geographic areas (1)