Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2013, the RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL returns to screens Australia-wide this July and August, sharing great cinematic moments in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and for the first time Byron Bay. In Melbourne, the Festival will take place from 3 to 16 July at Palace Cinema Como.
Since its inception in 2003, 65,000 people have attended this vibrant celebration of Ruski culture – the largest festival of Russian Cinema outside of Russia. Paying homage to its authentic Russian roots through the magic of movies and events steeped in traditional Russian hospitality, the 2013 Festival will showcase 18 new films, Australian premieres and two retrospective programs.
The first retrospective will cover the work of renowned producer/director Valery Todorovsky with films including Under Moscow Nights (1994), The Land of the Deaf (1998) The Lover (2002), My Stepbrother Frankenstein (2004), Vice (2007) and Hipsters (2008). A nostalgic look at “Comedies from our Childhood” will form the basis of the second retrospective and will feature Beware of the Automobile (1966), The Diamond Arm (1969), Gentlemen of Fortune (1971) and Ivan Vasilevich Back to the Future (1973).
Launching the Festival’s Melbourne season, will be The Geographer (2013), which will be enjoying its world premiere . Yet to even release in Russia. Alexander Veledinsky’s tragicomedy The Geographer Has Guzzled Away His Globe is based on the eponymous novel by Alexei Ivanov and follows biologist Viktor Sluzhkin, who pressed for money, finds a job as a geography teacher. He battles with his pupils and principal, struggles to raise his daughter and tries to cope with all of life’s little disturbances, including falling for and befriending one of his own students. Above all, The Geographer is a universal story about man’s capacity to feel and to love, despite fate’s many obstacles.
2013 Festival highlights include:
A Long and Happy Life
Dramatic Russian cinema at its best. A city boy turned farmer decides to help his fellow villagers´ plight to protect their land from the state. But getting involved in someone else´s fight could end by costing him everything. Powerful, modern storytelling from the director (Boris Hlebnikov) of Free Floating and The Roads to Koktebel.
Gentlemen of Fortune
This is a modern remake of the classic 1971 Soviet comedy of the same name (which will screen as part of the Festival’s “Comedies from our Chidlhood” Retrospective). A children’s party entertainer, Lesha Treshkin, is recruited by an attractive police officer to pose as the notorious gangster Smiley because he looks remarkably like him. Treshkin must lead Smiley’s criminal accomplices on a daring escape and through a series of misadventure in Egypt as the merry gang desperately try to return to Russia. The three escapees become good friends, but when the real Smiley breaks out of jail, all hell breaks loose.
Love with an Accent
Passionate and effervescent. Mature and ruthless. Naive and outrageous. This deliciously optimistic, multi-stranded romantic comedy is fast-paced and full of dramatic turmoil. The various plotlines are interwoven into one great ironic comedy about true love, with no borders, no laws and no nationalities.
In a world of hedonism and glamour, Soulless is a story of Max, a 29-year-old international banker who is absolutely sure about his success and happiness. Everything he does revolves around earning and spending money. He lives a life of expensive cars, nightclubs, models, parties and drugs, until one girl changes his perspective on life. From this point everything around and inside him, starts to change.
From acclaimed director Pavel Lungin (Tsar, The Island) comes The Conductor – his most ambitious work to date. A leading conductor takes his orchestra to Jerusalem to perform the Matthew Passion. But what is expected to be an ordinary business trip becomes a life changing experience for all concerned, when events force the Conductor to re-evaluate his entire life.
The Snow Queen
An animated Russian fairy-tale, The Snow Queen was a hit, earning USD 8.8 million box office, with more than 1,400,000 admissions in Russia and Ukraine in December 2012. The evil Snow Queen has blanketed the world in ice and is intent upon destroying all art. A young girl embarks on a journey across the icy wonderland, facing difficult obstacles and finding new friends on her quest to set her brother free, defeat the Snow Queen and warm the hearts of people everywhere.
This is What’s Happening to Me
The setting is New Year’s Eve and a typical Moscow traffic jam. Rushing like mad, all to no avail. Conversations about trifle things, through which life goes on. A father, who has nothing to live for and for whom, nothing can be done. A 15-year-old girl who has ambitions in life; become an oncologist or perhaps a food-designer. What was, and what will, be. This is What’s Happening to Me, is a bittersweet lyrical tale, set to the music of Tariverdiev (Irony of Fate – a 1970s Soviet cult classic).
FESTIVAL DATES & VENUES:
MELBOURNE – Palace Cinema Como 3 July – 16 July
CANBERRA – Palace Electric Cinema 16 July – 21 July
SYDNEY – Chauvel Cinema Paddington & Event Cinemas, Burwood 24 July – 7 August
BRISBANE – Palace Centro 26 July – 4 August
PERTH – Cinema Paradiso 1- 11 August
BYRON BAY – Palace Byron Bay 2 – 4 August