Kazan cinema festival: partnership with Kremlin project, increased budget and open air

Two films nominated for the main prize of the cinema contest are directed by students of Aleksey Uchitel and Aleksandr Sokurov

Kazan cinema festival: partnership with Kremlin project, increased budget and open air Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

September in Kazan is traditionally the month of cinema — Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema is held this month. This time, 782 potential participants have submitted the applications. Whom the selection committee headed by a film critic Sergey Lavrentyev have chosen, who will be the honorary guest of the festival and what rewards await the winners — it has recently been discussed at a press conference with the organizers of the festival.

The jury headed by Dostal

Kazan International Muslim Cinema Festival will be held for the thirteenth time. Its motto remains unchanged, ''Through the dialogue of cultures to the culture of dialogue''. This year for participation in the festival of Muslim cinema there have been submitted 782 films from 61 countries. The commission headed by famous film critic Sergey Lavrentyev has selected 60 films from 27 countries. In addition to the traditional genre sections, this year there will be a new introduction — ''The section of national cinema'', which will show most significant Tatarstan films of recent years.

One of the main pre-festival news is that the festival is held not only under the patronage of President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov but also in partnership with the group of strategic vision ''Russia — Islamic world''. The work of the latter has been resumed at the suggestion of Vladimir Putin, Minnikhanov supervises it.

This year, chairperson of the jury will be the veteran Russian director Nikolay Dostal. Photo: the press service of Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema

Therefore, the organizers of the festival are hoping for a budget increase, the estimate is still under consideration. At present, the budget of the festival is 5 million rubles allocated by the Ministry of Culture of Tatarstan, 500,000 rubles from the same department, the sum will go to the youth cinema and the grant Tatarkino in the amount of 1,9 million rubles.

As Milyausha Aytuganova said at the press conference, the director of Tatarkino and executive director of the festival, ''Kazan festival will be held traditionally from 5 to 11 September, for us it is crucial that it take place on the same dates because it is easier for participants to arrange their plans.''

The opening ceremony will be held in Piramida culture and entertainment complex, the closing ceremony — in the Tatar Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Musa Dzhalil.

The chairperson of the jury this year will be the veteran Russian director Nikolay Dostal. The new introduction this year: the jury will include 20 specialists in each section from 11 countries. Each group watches 10-20 films. In the case of a dispute, the final word belongs to the chairperson of the jury.

The educational forum Cinema Time will be held in the framework of the festival, the forum is devoted to peculiarities of the cinema in Russia. Its speakers will be producers of films and those involved in film rent.

''If the weather is fine, we will arrange a screening of the film-opening Our Preacher in open air in the Kazan Kremlin,'' commented Milyausha Aytuganova. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Our Preacher in the Kazan Kremlin

The screening of the festival films will be held in the cinemas Rodina, Mir, Kinomax, Korston. This year there will also be another venue — Cannon yard of the Kazan Kremlin.

''If the weather is fine, we will arrange a screening of the film-opening Our Preacher in open air, at the Kazan Kremlin. The show is scheduled for September 5 at 9 p.m., after the opening ceremony of the festival,'' commented Milyausha Aytuganova. ''Our Preacher is the film on religious theme, it was filmed in Egypt. By the way, Egyptian filmmakers have expressed interest in cooperation with Tatarstan colleagues.''

As for the nominations, the main one among them — Feature films — presents 10 films, two of them, Sofichka and Amun, are directed by students of Aleksey Uchitel and Aleksandr Sokurov. In the category of short films, there are also 10 films, the same number is in each category.''

As for non-competitive programmes, there is also a rich and interesting programme. For example, the section ''Russia — Islamic world'' will introduce the works of filmmakers from Algeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Tajikistan, Syria and Jordan.

Besides, for this year's festival, it is scheduled three retrospectives of the films — by Nikolay Dostal, Andron Konchalovsky and Ildar Yuzeyev.

As Milyausha Aytuganova said, the interest in the Kazan festival is growing; there is interest in the region from the point of view of capital filmmakers. Photo: kazan-mfmk.com

The winners will win traditional prizes — the statuette of Syuyumbike tower covered with film tape. This year, the traditional prize on behalf of the president of Tatarstan suggests a money reward, a certain amount will also get a winner of the national cinema of Tatarstan nomination.

As Milyausha Aytuganova said, the interest in the Kazan festival is growing, there is interest in the region from the point of view of capital filmmakers — to do films in Tatarstan, for example outdoor shooting, is closer and cheaper. The difficulty is that in Kazan there is no pavilion that would meet modern requirements or have the necessary equipment. Obviously, these issues will have to be solved in the near future.

By Tatyana Mamaeva