Kazan Film Festival: Minnikhanov’s message, muftis’ blessing and large jury

Kazan Film Festival: Minnikhanov’s message, muftis’ blessing and large jury Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema started on Tuesday in Tatarstan in the culture and leisure complex Piramida. It has been held in the republic for the 13th time. This year, 60 films in 6 categories will compete for prizes of the festival. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

''It is impossible to guess winners''

A day before the beginning of the festival, it was held a press conference with chairperson of the selection committee of the festival, a film expert Sergey Lavrentyev, who has long cooperated with the Kazan festival. This year, there have been more applications than usual, Lavrentyev said. Sixty one countries applied 782 films for the contest. In the result they selected 60 films from 27 countries. Some films not included in the programme for different reasons will be screened out of competition. In general, it is good but not very new films that have short scenes not compliant with moral postulates in Islam.

''I'm not going to name any film to avoid talks,'' warned Lavrentyev. Today the Kazan cinema festival has quite high rating, and they try to send really good films to the festival. According to the expert, the festival is given a certain impetus for development of cinema production in Tatarstan. Today, film directors have a motivation to produce films. It is not a coincidence, this year Tatarstan cinema has a specially created nomination with the prize fund at 1 million rubles.

Lavrentyev was asked to define what Tatarstan cinema is, from his point of view. ''It is cinema, the plot of which reflects the events that could happen only in Tatarstan. For example, a short film Imagine directed by Ilshat Rakhimbay,'' the chief selector.

Sergey Lavrentyev noted that it is impossible to guess winners

''The Kazan Festival is one-of-a-kind in the world''

After the guests walked the red carpet, the audience took their seats in the hall. The opening ceremony usually has a full house. This time the ceremony, for which Tatarkino was responsible, the director was Radik Bariev, turned out to be logically built and was devoid of false significance, what the previous ceremonies were blamed for. At the very beginning of the ceremony, President of Tatarstan came on the stage, who in this case acted not only as the head of the region but also the leader of the strategic vision group ''Russia- Islamic world'', which closely cooperates with the festival and prepared not only a prise but also a monetary award for one of the winners of the contest programme.

''I cordially welcome the participants and guests of the 13 th Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema on our hospitable land of Tatarstan. Kazan again has become the centre of crossing and mutual enrichment of world cultures and religious traditions, the point of attraction for professionals and amateurs of cinema. Every year the Muslim film festival confidently wins hearts of spectators and cements its positions as one of the authoritative exhibitions of not only Russian but also world art of cinema. I am glad that cinematographers of different countries who visited our film festival for the first time return to present their new films. Works of Tatarstan cinematographers successfully participate in Russian and international film festivals. Residents of the republic look forward to meeting their favourite festival every year. Our festival demonstrates the world true human values of Islam urging to interreligious and intercultural communication and art. I am sure the Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema will have a long and creative life,'' Rustam Minnikhanov noted.

The person who invented the Kazan festival, its president, Mufti Ravil Gainutdin traditionally opened the festival and addressed the spectators after a prayer: ''I ask Most High to give us peace and well-being! I am proud that our Kazan Festival of Muslim Cinema is the only festival in the world working in this format. There is no any other festival of this kind. There is a dialogue of cultures and religions at the festival, thank God. I wish the festival and its participants success and victory and declare the festival open!'' It was a brief but, as usual, emotional speech of Ravil Gainutdin.

By the way, representatives of delegations of cinematographers from different countries who participated in the ceremony told that art and religion were hand in hand at the Kazan festival. They could not help but mention the recent events. For instance, director of the discovery-film The Preacher Magdi Ahmed Ali from Egypt expressed the general opinion and told about solidarity with Muslims of Myanmar, which was supported by the audience.

President of the Aswan Women International Film Festival and producer Elham Shahin in her speech reminded the words from the holy book that Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty, and art is beautiful. Islam is a religion of peace that hates aggression.

Speeches of guests alternated with concert performances. A song about evening Bolgar performed by Elmira Kalimullina neighboured with a lively dance of the State Dance Ensemble, a choir of kids elegantly sung Tatar jazz, Marat Basharov performed a Tatar song very charismatically and promised to present the film Mullah where he is shooting at our festival the following year.

At the end, the numerous jury was invited to the stage. And its chairman Nikolay Dostal noted that such a big jury was a rare thing and asked every member to be impartial. But as a result, those impartial evaluations would give a real evaluation. The festival kicked off.

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By Tatyana Mamaeva. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov