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Russia’s Northern Capital hosts the St. Petersburg International Film Forum

From 2 to 5th of May, Russia’s Northern Capital hosts the St. Petersburg International Film Forum.
In the year of the 65th Anniversary of Victory, the public will be offered Russian and foreign films on the theme of war. In all, around 100 films are slated to be screened, among them both classics and new, as yet unrecognized masterpieces of Russian and foreign filmmaking. Audiences will also see retrospectives of war films and selections of documentaries and animation on the subject of war.
Almost all the city centre cinemas – Dom Kino, Rodina, Khudozhestvenny, and Avrora – will be showing not only their regular scheduled programmes, but also holding free screenings. This event will launch the first St. Petersburg International Film Festival next year.

The St. Petersburg International Film Forum combines the best films about war created by the Russian cinematography during past half-century and the most prominent foreign films on war. During the Film Forum around one hundred films from more than twenty countries is shown. Besides gala-premieres and exclusive cinema events spectators and guests have a chance to see Russian and foreign war film retrospectives, a series of documentaries by Alexander Sokurov, a collection of best documentaries and animation films about war. Contemporary Russian and foreign films take up a significant place in the program; whereas post-war film masterpieces give the Film Forum a special status.This event was made possible thanks to the collaboration of St.Petersburg International Festival Center, supported by St.Petersburg City Government and St. Petersburg International Film Forum with the mission to maintain the dialogue based on highest humanitarian values speaking with the language of cinema. Therefore, Film Forum chose an innovative format based on the combination of traditional screenings in movie theatres with open-air screenings. This democratic approach is meant to unite the spectators regardless of age, nationality and status within the historical space of St.Petersburg.Therefore the governor of St.Petersburg, Valentina Matvienko, together with Alexey German, famous film director, playwright and the president of the Film Forum and Andrei Plakhov, the well known film critic, historian of cinema and programme director of the forum, had the good idea of creating an occasion, on this 65th anniversary of the end of the 2nd world war, to remind the value of peace, glorify those who fought for a better world and show that the Northern capital has finally earned the right to become the site of a large international film festival .

To the question that why St.Petersburg had never tried to have it’s own festival, Andrei Plakhov, says : “The idea of creating a film festival in St-Petersburg is very old. Because it looked strange that such a beautiful, big and important city in Russia, which could be number two or even number one, has no really big and important film festival. Of course we have a documentary film festival and “Festival of festivals” in St-Petersburg, but it was not enough for local public who wants to see more new interesting films. On the other had because the costs, the distributors takes less archive films, and public is eager to see more of them, more festival films and more International guests in cinema theatres, we wanted to organized this forum. It happened this year because of the 65th anniversary of the 2nd world war which is very important for St.Petersburg regarding the history of the city. We decided to start the festival as a local and thematically event. So we show only films about 2nd world war, modern wars and we make discussions about how the subject “war” is reflected in classical and modern cinema. Therefore we show different kind of retrospectives, documentary and fiction films to the people of the city. In this “Kinoforum”, we present also the new festival which will hopefully start next year. A regular festival which will be much bigger, may be not with a competition section like Moscow film festival and others, but we will decide about the concept of it. Anyhow, we want to have this event in St.Petersburg. Andrey Plakhov, Programme director

Shahla Nahid

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