Russian Film Week 2021 opens in London
Thriller set in Leningrad during Stalin’s Great Purge will screen in London as it opens Russian Film Week, which runs Nov 28– Dec 5, 2021.
Russian Film Week 2021 opens on Sunday, 28th November with the UK premiere of Captain Volkonogov Escaped by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov. This energetic deadpan thriller is set in 1930s Leningrad, where Stalin’s purges are in full swing and everyone is a suspect. The film received high praise by critics during its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. A taut drama about a national security officer on the run, it was the only film from Russia in the festival’s main programme.
Filip Perkon, the General Producer of the Russian Film Week, explained the opening movie choice:«Captain Volkonogov Escaped, deemed by our selection committee to be one of the best films we will ever screen, is continuing our tradition of showing different genres at the opening night. This year it is a mystical thriller. After two unorthodox years in a pandemic, our opening night movie questions the whole essence of normality and asks where the world will be going next. The film is timely, showing us in a genius but offbeat way, how it could turn out, and that each of us must take personal responsibility for the world and that siding with good or bad is a personal choice».
Other movie highlights of the RFW 2021:
Far Eastern Golgotha by Julia Sergina depicts a critical moment in the life of a taxi driver from an endangered city in the Far East of Russia, as he starts a YouTube channel to document evidence of disenfranchisement and total poverty and he soon gathers a team of supporters.
Petrov’s Flu by Kirill Serebrennikov, the celebrated Russian stage and screen director. It is a hallucinatory romp through post-Soviet Russia, and a visually arresting experience: rough, funny, violent and psychedelic, yet tender and poetic. The film competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
Doctor Liza by Oksana Karas takes viewers through a day in the life of Doctor Elizaveta Glinka, one of Russia’s most beloved palliative care specialists. In December 2016, Dr Glinka died when her plane crashed over the Black Sea.
The North Wind by Renata Litvinova is a fantasy drama set in a magical time when a great matriarchy reigned: women of an influential clan ruled the territory of the Northern Fields and lived in anticipation of love.
Sockeye Salmon. Red fish is an eco-documentary by Dmitriy Shpilenok and Vladislav Grishin about species of wild salmon from the Pacific Ocean. Only once does this species return to fresh waters of the Kamchatka peninsula – to spawn, start the circle of life, and die. Year after year, this inexhaustible resource has been naturally restored but fish populations are in danger because of poaching and unsustainable practices. We may find ourselves facing the unimaginable: humans exhausting the inexhaustible!
The Russian Film Week (RFW) Key Facts:
The eight-day festival celebrates the best new films from Russian filmmakers worldwide and promotes Russian cinema while bridging the gap between Russian cinematography and the Western world.
The programme includes 23 feature films and 19 short films, spanning drama, comedy, historical films, thrillers, action movies, melodramas and documentaries. The festival traditionally represents the genre diversity of the Russian film industry. In 2021 the festival received 404 applications for participation.
The festival celebrates its sixth anniversary this year and takes place in cinemas across London, including the Odeon Luxe Leicester square and the Cine Lumiere cinema in South Kensington. Additional screenings are planned in Edinburgh (TBC). The premiere will be a red carpet event held at the iconic Odeon Luxe Leicester square, home to hundreds of royal, global and European premieres since 1937.
Last year the RFW took place entirely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking of returning to the week’s original offline format Filip Perkon, the General Producer of the RFW, said: «We are very excited to be back to organising Russian Film Week offline in cinemas. The magic of in-person events, where people share an experience, hold discussions, network and bond together, cannot be replicated online. After such a challenging time for the entertainment industry and for our cinema loving fans, coming back offline is truly magical. This season we had a record number of submissions and our viewers will be offered some of the best films we have ever shown».
In addition to the theatrical screening, short films will be available to watch via the RFW online platform. All movies of the RFW2021 will be shown in their original language with English subtitles.
The Russian Film Week culminates with the Golden Unicorn Awards ceremony that celebrates achievements of Russian cinematography and international filmmakers creating Russian-themed films. The awards have two separate juries: an international and a Russian jury, providing a unique opportunity to recognise both Russian and foreign films through a cross-cultural lens.
The Casting Bridge International Forum, held annually as part of Russian Film Week in the UK, will take place on 1 and 2 December in London. Casting Bridge (UK) is a unique project of the Russian Film Week, which includes an international forum, a community of Russian-speaking actors and educational programs.
Sponsors and Organisers:
• Filip Perkon (Perkon Productions Ltd.) founded Russian Film Week and The Golden Unicorn Awards in 2016.
• Co-organizers of the Russian Film Week and the Golden Unicorn Awards 2021 – Synergy Corporation.
• Sponsors – Gazprom Marketing & Trading and Blavatnik Family Foundation.
• Opening and Online Partner – Kaspersky.