Films of Festival '21​

Program: 

Free World

A Short Tutorial on Raising Seals
Краткое пособие по воспитанию тюленей
2020  
•  Russia  
•  52 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Vladimir Marin
Producer(s): Philipp Abrutin, Dmitry Yakunin, Olga Philonova
Studio: «Youth Initiatives» Production Center

As climate change intensifies and radically alters ecosystems and animal behavior, Russia’s second-largest city is enjoying a most unusual surprise. On the banks of St. Petersburg’s Neva River, people began to notice young seals in the spring. There are about 30,000 Baltic seals left, but they’ve never been spotted so far east, on St. Petersburg's shores. Or maybe they were simply good at hiding from humans and never noticed before. Now, the people of St. Petersburg can see those amazing sea creatures that are not typical for the city. The film reflects the beauty of local wildlife and shows how humans can live in harmony with these denizens of the sea.

Vladimir Marin is a director and screenwriter and head of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology’s video studio. He has taken part in 15 expeditions across the seas of Russia.

Thursday, October 21st & Friday, October 22nd
9 votes
Bless You!
Будьте здоровы!
2021  
•  Russia/Poland  
•  31 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Tatiana Chistova
Producer(s): Maciek Hamela
Studio: Impakt Film

When the Covid-19 pandemic reached Russia in spring 2020 the government imposed a strict lockdown on its population of elderly. Millions were stranded in their flats, some living without immediate family and kin, and also lacking access to medication and even food. A municipal helpline was established for those seeking assistance in this dire situation. This film allows us to listen to some of the hundreds of phone calls received each day by the helpline. These conversations give rare insight into the anxieties of those who grew up in the USSR, and who have been largely left to fend for themselves since the fall of communism.

Tatiana Chistova is a Russian director and screenwriter, born in St. Petersburg. Graduated from St. Petersburg University (Philological department, Master’s degree). Worked as assistant director in Lenfilm production studio. As 1-AD worked with world-famous Russian directors as Alexander Sokurov, Sergey Bodrov, Alexey Balabanov. Later graduated from Higher Courses for Film Directors in Moscow (the department of directing of feature and documentary movies) and started to write and direct her own films.

Maciek Hamela is a filmmaker and producer of documentary and fiction films and cofounder of Impakt Film a Warsaw-based production house specialized in arthouse cinema and international co-productions.

Monday, October 18th & Friday, October 22nd
4 votes
Busy Inside
2019  
•  USA  
•  70 min  
•  English
Author/Director(s): Olga Lvoff, Victor Ilyukhin
Studio: Diplodocus Films

This film is a journey into the mind’s deepest recesses, an expose of its complexities as you’ve never seen before. Karen Marshall specializes in the treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a condition linked to a history of childhood abuse. But Karen is more than a therapist. She juggles 17 distinct personalities of her own. The film explores the intricacies of DID and its treatment as Karen helps her patient, Marshay Smith, a talented Black-Latina musician, confront past trauma and embrace her six distinct personalities. The film will cause audiences to question their own personality - is it a function of our brain, a social mask, or an illusion?

Awards: Best feature documentary nomination at Moscow International Film Festival in 2019; The Audience Award for Best Feature at Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival in 2019.

Olga Lvoff is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a member of The European Film Academy.

Victor Ilyukhin is a non-fiction producer who has worked internationally in documentary film and television.

Thursday, October 21st & Friday, October 22nd
3 votes
Dora
2020  
•  USA  
•  1:36 hour  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Natalya Bernadskaya
Studio: Sdelano v NY

How does one come to terms with a world that has displayed ferocious evil over the past century, especially when one has personally witnessed such horrors? This film is the unusual story of a Jewish woman, a Holocaust survivor, who, as a child during the Nazi occupation of Odessa (Ukraine), found herself in a ghetto and then a death camp. She survived, however, thanks to an incredible and miraculous confluence of circumstances. By telling the true story of this woman’s fate, the film shows the importance of not losing our historical memory, not forgetting the terrible and tragic past, and yet still knowing that the world is full of good.

Natalya Bernadskaya is a film director, scriptwriter, editor and co-author of “Sdelano v NY” online TV-project. She came to the U.S. in the 1990s and lives in New York.

Wednesday, October 20th & Thursday, October 21st
2 votes
Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial and Depiction
2017  
•  USA  
•  1:55 hours  
•  English
Author/Director(s): Joe Berlinger
Producer(s): Anthony Mandekic, Patricia L. Glaser, Dan Taylor, Sheri Sani, Jon Kamen, Dave O’Connor, Justin Wilkes
Studio: Third Eye Motion Picture Co., Survival Pictures, RadicalMedia

Production: Joe Berlinger, Eric Esrailian, Dave O'Connor. Music: Serj Tankian

Decades before the Holocaust happened, the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire were the first to face systematic extermination by a modern government. In 1915-16 the Turks slaughtered an estimated 1.5 million Armenians as part of their jihad, but this tragedy is still not a part of history curriculums. Still, the memories of this mass murder remain vivid for the descendants of victims. Using Terry George's 2016 historical romance, The Promise, as a leitmotif, Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger takes a deep look at this tragedy. This includes on-set filming and interviews with the cast and crew of The Promise, as well as interviews with professors, journalists, and filmmakers, as well as archive footage from victims’ descendants. The film is part of a special festival program dedicated to all victims of the Armenian genocide in 1915-16.

Awards: Emmy nominee for Outstanding Historical Documentary

Joseph Berlinger is a two-time Emmy-winning filmmaker who focuses on true crime documentaries. His films and docu-series draw attention to social justice issues.

Tuesday, October 19th & Sunday, October 24th
2 votes
Listyev. A New Perspective
Листьев. Новый взгляд
2020  
•  Russia  
•  1:42 hour (in 2 parts)  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Rodion Сhереl
Producer(s): Maria Serpionova
Studio: LLC “Amurskie Volny”

Creative producers: Igor Sadreev, Alexander Urzhanov

Executive Producers: Rodion Сhереl, Anya Shinkaretskaya

Vladislav Listyev was a leading figure for the Russian TV in Perestroika. Twenty-five years have passed since the murder of Vladislav Listyev, but the perpetrators of the most high-profile contract murder in Russia in the mid-1990s haven’t been found. Director Rodion Chepel decided to conduct his own investigation. He wants to know the name of the person who ordered the killing. He made dozens of interviews with colleagues, friends, and relatives of Listyev, as well as with investigators on the case. Everyone answers the main question: who killed Vlad Listyev?

Rodion Chеpel is a leading Russian journalist and reporter, famous as one of the creators of the series of programs "This is a Real Story."

Monday, October 18th & Sunday, October 24th
4 votes
Mountain Jews - Juhuro
Горские Евреи – Джууро
2021  
•  USA  
•  59 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Robert Azaryev
Producer(s): Robert Azaryev

They are the forgotten Jews, living for more than 2,000 years in one of the most remote regions on Earth - the Caucasus region. Initially, these Jews lived in small villages, but during times of conflict they were persecuted, and so eventually they fled to cities that had mighty fortress walls. This is how the Jewish communities of Derbent, Nalchik, and others in the region coalesced. The filmmakers wanted to see how they live today, what they think, and what they’re planning. The film was made in the Mountain Jews’ historical places of residence: Azerbaijan, Dagestan, and Kabardia, as well as their new places of residence: in Russia, Israel, and the U.S.

Robert Azariev was born in Derbent, Dagestan (USSR), and came to the U.S. in 1993 where he studied at Columbia University. He then worked for Morgan Stanley and AIG as a financial analyst. This is his debut film.

Wednesday, October 20th & Thursday, October 21st
1 votes
Politzek Is the New Black
Политзек Is the New Black
2020  
•  Russia  
•  1 hour  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Konstantin Davydkin
Producer(s): Maria Muskevich
Studio: Center «Film Making» / Regista

Political protest culture in Putin’s Russia has spawned a new form of intellectual and social identity. Moscow street protests in the summer of 2019 were caused by the exclusion of independent candidates from elections to the Moscow City Duma. While protestors were brutally dispersed by riot police, the protests inspired many despite the arrests and criminal cases against activists. In the end, these detentions and injustices mobilized new forces of solidarity among human rights defenders and ordinary activist citizens, especially young people. Supporting political prisoners is now fashionable. But for how long?

Konstantin Davydkin graduated from the Higher Courses for Script Writers and Directors. Since 2003 he has authored and directed many documentary films.

Monday, October 18th & Saturday, October 23rd
1 votes
Remembrance: Following the Trail of the Holocaust
Память. По следам Холокоста
2020  
•  Russia/Moldova  
•  26 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Eugene Bezborodov
Producer(s): Alexey Gorovatsky
Studio: Gold Medium Television Company

The tragedy of the Holocaust in large part took place in Germany, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic States, and the crimes in those countries have been well documented. But what about the Jews of Moldova, which today is an independent country that was part of Romania during World War II? More than 75 years since the Holocaust, Yury and Tatyana Zagorcha still gather accounts of Jewish victims in northern Moldova, looking for unnamed graves and setting up monuments at massacre sites. Irina Shihova from Chișinău is a historian researching the Holocaust, and together with her colleagues, she has put dozens of forgotten Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and memorial sites back on Moldova’s map.

Evgeny Bezborodov has produced over 100 documentaries for Russia's television channels. His main fields of work are history, culture, the arts, and ecology.

Wednesday, October 20th & Thursday, October 21st
1 votes
Temporarily Closed
2021  
•  USA  
•  40 min  
•  English
Author/Director(s): Semyon Pinkhasov
Producer(s): Semyon Pinkhasov

Spring 2020 - the Covid-19 pandemic has New York City in its grip. Not a soul on the streets and no traffic in Midtown Manhattan, except for the wailing sirens of emergency vehicles taking the ill to hospitals. Parks, theaters, malls, offices, subway trains and city buses — all of them empty. When people go outside to buy food, there’s mandatory mask-wearing. The death rate is on the rise. After the initial shock, however, the city begins to fight back. Nurses and doctors from around the country come here to help, businesses begin food delivery programs, and slowly life returns to normalcy. Eventually, parks are busy with music and entertainment. The city is back. Life has returned.

Semyon Pinkhasov is a film director focused on the problems of individuality in the face of totalitarianism and tyranny. He is the winner of the 12th RUSDOCFILMFEST – Humanitarian award “In recognition of the special contributions into preserving and developing humanitarian values made by a person, a film project, or a film”.

Monday, October 18th & Saturday, October 23rd
1 votes
The Dossier of Laughter
Досието на Смеха
2020  
•  Bulgaria  
•  28 min  
•  Bulgarian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Oleg Kovachev
Producer(s): Maria Cherneva
Studio: Bulgarian National Television

Humor was viewed as a highly subversive activity in communist times, and comedians fell under the close gaze of the secret police. This film is about Bulgaria’s “King of Comedy” — the tragic story of life, love and destiny of a free man under communist dictatorship. Georgi Ivanov Partsalev was a famous Bulgarian actor known for his great theatrical and cinema roles and his LGBT lifestyle at a time when it was repressed. This is the story of how and why the communist secret service spied on the famous actor in the 1950s/1960s, and how gathered surveillance information about him was used over the years by the Communist Party. Partsalev’s secret police dossier bears witness to a time when the repressive state apparatus of the communist regime was used to reshape society and control every aspect of life.

Oleg Kovachev is a director/writer/director of photography of dozens of films. He was behind the re-opening of the legendary Vlaikova cinema in Sofia.

Friday, October 22nd & Saturday, October 23rd
1 votes
The Sakharov Case
Дело Сахарова
2021  
•  Russia  
•  118 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Elena Yakovich
Producer(s): Elena Yakovich
Studio: RACORD-TV / Channel One Russia: Svetlana Kolosova, Oleg Volnov, Konstantin Ernst

He was the moral conscience of a captive nation, the most visible symbol of resistance to the Soviet regime. Creator of the hydrogen bomb, Andrei Sakharov was Russia’s most famous fighter for human rights and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He lived under six Soviet rulers and hoped he could influence their decisions, but along the way he influenced society. On May 21, 2021, the world-famous scientist would have turned 100. The documentary film by TEFI award winner Elena Yakovich tells about the difficult fate and incredible strength of Sakharov’s spirit, and how his legacy lives on.

Elena Yakovich is a film director, and a creator of documentaries about Joseph Brodsky, Sergey Dovlatov, Victor Nekrasov, Vasilii Aksenov, Ernst Neizvestny, and others.

Monday, October 18th & Sunday, October 24th
1 votes
Truth to Power
2020  
•  USA  
•  79 min  
•  English
Author/Director(s): Garin Hovannisian
Producer(s): Serj Tankian, Garin Hovannisian. Executive Producers: Joe Berlinger, Michael Rapino, Ryan Kroft
Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Governments hate him. People love him. Can one man change the world? Yes. International heavy metal rock star Serj Tankian has shown it’s possible. This film utilizes exclusive interviews and original footage, granting audiences backstage access to Serj, whose faith in music not only revolutionized heavy metal, but also world events. The musician has pursued social justice, harnessing the power of his songs and celebrity status for political change. Serj’s indomitable voice is just as likely to take on American corporate greed, as well as lambast the corrupt regime of his homeland. His decades-long campaign for formal U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide was finally confirmed by Congress. The film is part of a special festival program dedicated to all victims of the Armenian genocide in 1915-16.

Garin Hovannisian wrote about Armenia's struggles for democracy and justice in his book Family of Shadows (2010). His debut film 1915, (2015) won Armenia's top film prize, and his acclaimed documentary, I am not Alone (2020) received many audience awards.

Tuesday, October 19th & Sunday, October 24th
2 votes
We Are the Pain
Ние Сме Болката
2020  
•  Bulgaria  
•  84 min  
•  Bulgarian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Boyan Papazov
Producer(s): Boyan Papazov
Studio: ARS Digital Studio / ARS Ltd

In Bulgaria, intellectuals who lived under Soviet rule stood at a crossroads and had to face difficult questions that determined their fate. Many collaborated with the regime. Some did not and paid a high price for their independent spirit. This is a film about three leading Bulgarian writers — Rashko Sugarev (1941-1995), Binyo Ivanov (1939-1998), and Lyuben Petkov (1939-2016) — whose work would do honor to any national literature. Born in the war years, their childhood was in the starving post-war decades; their upbringing was forged by the Soviet Bulgarian state devoid of freedom and independent thoughts. Nevertheless, these writers, these three friends, created their own independent world of literature. This is not a film about their books and poems. Rather, it’s the story of how important events in their lives put them before a choice - What should they do, and What should they be? Citizens or lackeys of the regime?

Boyan Papazov is a Bulgarian writer, playwright, and director. He was an MP in the Grand National Assembly (1990-1991) and is an author of successful theater plays.

Friday, October 22nd & Saturday, October 23rd
1 votes

Program: 

Eternal Values

Alilo. The Rebirth of Georgian Chants
Алило. Возрождение грузинских песнопений
2021  
•  Georgia/Russia  
•  100 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Filipp Orlyansky
Producer(s): Filipp Orlyansky

In the Caucasus region, on the border where Europe meets the Middle East, is one of Earth’s oldest nations. The Georgian people are heirs to an ancient tradition of religious singing. This film is a journey to that fabulous country, a story about Georgia’s exquisite Orthodox Christian chants. Scholars say, "the best that people have dedicated to God are the Georgian chants.” They are precious gems in mankind’s musical heritage. The film features the finest performances, bringing the audience into contact with the spiritual heights of the Georgian people.

Filipp Orlyansky was born in Sochi, Russia, and is working on a documentary series titled 'Angelic Chants', which is dedicated to ancient church chants of different countries.

Tuesday, October 19th & Sunday, October 24th
3 votes
Arbenin's Mask
2021  
•  Chile  
•  50 min  
•  Russian, Spanish, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Antonio Caro Berezin
Producer(s): Ricardo González Serrano, Patricio Pino
Studio: Lemuntu Producciones

When Russian culture interacts with South American social mores, the results can be slightly awkward. Sergey, theatre director, arrives in Chile from Russia to stage Masquerade by Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841), one of the most famous Russian Romantic poets. Meanwhile, a Chilean group of actors learns the same texts in Spanish. But when the creative process touches upon rumors about the poet’s life, some uncomfortable moments arise: it turns out Chile has different ways of dealing with culture, sexuality, and censorship.

Antonio Caro Berezin was born into a Chilean-Russian family. He is head of Lemuntu Producciones, where he creates documentaries dealing with intercultural relationships issues.

Tuesday, October 19th & Wednesday, October 20th
3 votes
Burov & Burov
Буров и Буров
2020  
•  Russia  
•  45 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Pavel Selin
Producer(s): Svetlana Chernomyrdina, Vera Kuprikova

Two Russian brothers, both natural artistic geniuses. Alexander and Vladimir Burov are residents of the small village of Fedorovka-1 in the steppe in south-central Russia. Alexander is a realist; Vladimir is an abstractionist. They live in the same world, but each sees it in his own way. Their relationship is complex. They live on neighboring streets, but creative jealousy flares up. Alexander is a member of the Union of Artists, and Vladimir is a hermit who can't stand public exhibitions. The art historians who discovered them speak of the brothers as world-class artists. The true story of this rural ‘Russian Cain and Abel’ comes to a head at their personal exhibition in France, which was organized by their admirer.

Pavel Selin was born in Buryatia, Russia, and currently works as a television host and director of documentary films.

Thursday, October 21st & Friday, October 22nd
2 votes
Costakis’ Gift
Дар Костаки
2020  
•  Russia  
•  59 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Elena Lobachevskaya
Producer(s): Natalia Opaleva/AZ Museum

During the brutal years of Soviet repression, George Costakis somehow managed to secretly gather and preserve in his Moscow apartment some of the greatest works of Russian Avant-garde art. The film features the collector’s daughter, artists, art critics, and museum curators sharing memories of Costakis. They disagree and question each other’s versions of his life. But through the fragments of their recollections, the viewer can piece together the collector’s multifaceted personality that was anything but simple.

Elena Lobachevskaya was born in Moscow and studied screenwriting at VGIK (the Russian Institute of Cinematography). Costakis’ Gift is her directorial debut.

Saturday, October 23rd & Sunday, October 24th
2 votes
Rachmaninoff Revisited
2020  
•  USA  
•  50 min  
•  English
Author/Director(s): Peter Rosen
Studio: Peter Rosen Productions, Inc. for ARTE/WDR/EUROARTS

A great pianist and composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) escaped from Soviet Russia in the 1920s and found a new life in the USA. This is the first comprehensive biography of Rachmaninoff created by American filmmakers. Featuring commentary and performances by today's most respected pianists, this is a story of overcoming hardship and eventual redemption through the power of music.

Peter Rosen has produced and directed over 100 full-length films and TV programs that have won awards at major film festivals.

Monday, October 18th & Sunday, October 24th
4 votes
Serge Hollerbach. A Russian Painter in New York
2020  
•  USA  
•  24 min  
•  English, Russian with English Subtitles
Author/Director(s): A'Dora Phillips
Producer(s): Brian Schumacher
Studio: The Vision & Art Project

Serge Hollerbach was one of New York City's most celebrated artists, a key member of the National Institute of Design, and the recipient of prestigious American and European awards. Although he was blind at the time of filming, Serge creates two paintings separated in time by a four-year period during which he has visibly aged and his eyesight has deteriorated. While painting, he discusses art and analyzes his long 95-year journey through life.

ADora Phillips (co-director and co-producer) runs the Vision & Art Project, a non-profit initiative funded by the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) that documents the lives and work of artists with vision loss.

Brian Schumacher (co-director and co-producer) is a practicing artist and educator. He is also creative director of The Vision & Art Project.

Friday, October 22nd & Saturday, October 23rd
6 votes
A Shroud Of Incense
Здесь пахнет ладаном
2019  
•  Russia  
•  64 мин  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Sasha Kretsan
Producer(s): Sasha Kretsan Film
Studio: Umbra Penumbra Production

Teodor Currentzis is one of the most prestigious contemporary conductors; his interpretations of classical and contemporary music as well as his unorthodox conducting manner and new aesthetics of reading well-known music are a source of inspiration for music lovers all over the world. Born in Athens, Greece, Currentzis spent eight years in Perm, a province of Russia. He founded the Territory Festival of Contemporary Art and supervised the Diaghilev Festival. This film is the story of two weeks spent with the famous conductor.

Sasha Kretsan is a founder of the Umbra Penumbra studio and one of the most successful YouTube channels in Russian.

Tuesday, October 19th & Sunday, October 24th
4 votes
Stanislavsky: Lust for Life
Станиславский. Жажда жизни
2020  
•  Russia  
•  82 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Yulia Bobkova
Producer(s): Alexey Telnov
Studio: Lendoc

The pillars of modern theater are in large part built upon the genius of a theater director, Konstantin Stanislavsky. Students around the world train according to his ‘Stanislavsky system’. This film explores the acting profession and its impact on viewers. Using rare footage from archives in Russia, America, Germany, and France, the author tells about the life and legacy of the great Russian theater master, about his revolutionary system that changed the world. The film includes interviews with famous actors and their teachers, directors, and producers.

Yulia Bobkova works at Ostrov Studio in Moscow as a director and scriptwriter.

Tuesday, October 19th & Friday, October 22nd
2 votes
The Merchant at all Times. The Virtual Museum of Sergei Diaghilev
Купец на все времена. Виртуальный музей Сергея Дягилева
2017  
•  Russia  
•  44 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Svetlana Astretsova
Producer(s): Ilmir Yusupov, Svetlana Astresova
Studio: The Cherry Orchard

Dedicated to the 20th century’s greatest impresario, this film is a journey through the "virtual" museum of Sergei Diaghilev. Each room tells about the particular field of Diaghilev’s activities. The "excursion" is led by "guides" - famous figures in disciplines related to the work of Diaghilev, including ballet great dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze; as well as fashion historian Alexandre Vassilyev. The focus is not only on Diaghilev’s new artistic ideas but also on his talent as an organizer, as well as his discoveries in the field of producing, public relations, and advertising.

Svetlana Astresova worked in Information Programs for Kultura TV channel; since 2015 she is a director and producer at the Cherry Orchard films.

Wednesday, October 20th & Saturday, October 23rd
2 votes
The Russian Rondo of Natalia Shakhovskaya
Русское рондо Наталии Шаховской
2019  
•  Russia  
•  77 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Irina Zaitseva
Producer(s): Irina Zaitseva
Studio: ARS Film Studio

The film is the final message from a brilliant musician, a great teacher, and an amazing person, telling the story of the outstanding 20th-century cellist, Natalia Shakhovskaya, professor of the Moscow Conservatory, and Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, Spain. The Queen of Spain presented to Natalia the Civil Order of Knighthood of Alphonse X the Wise, and she has conformed to these knightly ideals and instilled them in her students.

Irina Zaitseva is a film director and head of ARS Studios. She has written and directed more than 20 documentaries.

Wednesday, October 20th & Thursday, October 21st
1 votes
Tsvetaeva.Open
Цветаева.Open
2021  
•  Russia  
•  68 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Alla Damsker
Producer(s): Anatoly Bely
Studio: NonFictionFilm

Poet Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) was one of Russia’s greatest 20th-century literary geniuses, but her life has still provoked discussion and antagonistic interpretations since her suicide in 1940. This film gathered Russian celebrities – artists and writers - to respond to the accusations hurled at Marina Tsvetaeva. Based on letters, diaries, and archival documents, the film reveals the most personal details of Tsvetaeva's life from 1917 to 1922, which was a time of the Revolution and Civil War. It’s impossible to explain what Tsvetaeva's true motives were. The director wants to air an alternative point of view to the insults.

Alla Damsker was born in St. Petersburg and graduated from the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts.

Monday, October 18th & Saturday, October 23rd
2 votes
The Tale of the Real Fisson
Повесть о настоящем Фиссоне
2018  
•  Russia  
•  26 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Svetlana Nasenkova
Studio: St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio

Though confined to a wheelchair, he was one of modern Russia’s greatest comic geniuses. Vadim Fisson was the creator, director, and artistic genius behind Comic Trust, the world-famous St. Petersburg theater. While officially classified as a "person with disabilities", he lived a  dynamic life and conquered all the tragic vicissitudes of fate with his boundless talent, wisdom, and humor. The theater that he gave birth to, Comic Trust, continues to live on and bring joy to thousands across Russia and the world.

Svetlana Nasenkova is a filmmaker of the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio, and member of the Union of Cinematographers.

Tuesday, October 19th & Wednesday, October 20th
1 votes

Program: 

Fresh Look

Exclusion Zone
Зона отселения
2020  
•  Russia/Ukraine  
•  13 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Julia Rytik
Producer(s): Artur Miller
Studio: GITR Film & TV School

Sound Engineer: Ivan Apilat

When the Chernobyl nuclear power station blew up in 1985 it seemed that Time came to a halt. Indeed, it did for those residents in areas that were contaminated with radioactive fallout from the disaster. In this film, for the first time, the public hears things that these residents previously wouldn’t dare to speak aloud. This is a genre called "post-apocalyptic documentary”.

Julia Rytik worked at the Gorky film studio. Since 2019, she has been working at Mir Media as an assistant director and editing director.

Wednesday, October 20th (Fresh Look program is free)
14 votes
Expedition. Between Antarctica and Arctic
Экспедиция. Между Антарктикой и Арктикой
2020  
•  Russia  
•  53 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Alexander Ilyin
Studio: NP KiT

This film is about the modern-day, round-the-world expedition of three Russian sailing ships. As part of the current expedition, teenage Russian cadets and cabin boys learned everything about sailing ships. Part of the cinematic shorts was made with a drone, a sky-high flying ‘unmanned’ camera.

Alexander Ilyin is a member of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia and a director of non-fiction and animation films.

Sunday, October 24th (Fresh Look program is free)
10 votes
Firefighter. The First Day of Summer
2021  
•  Russia  
•  23 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Kirill Alatortsev
Studio: 104th Fire Department

The first day of summer. A house is on fire. Labeled as a “documentary thriller”, this film was made by a blogger who is a professional firefighter. It offers an immersive experience of going inside a ‘bag of fire’, a burning house. This is genuine and not a staged trick.

Kirill Alatortsev has been working in the 104th Fire Department of the Vsevolozhsk District since 2016, since 2019 he is the Head of the guard. "I’ve put out more than 600 fires, and I’m not going to quit this exciting job".

Wednesday, October 20th (Fresh Look program is free)
5 votes
Magdalena
2019  
•  USA  
•  5 min  
•  English, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Nina Zaretskaya
Studio: Art Media Center «TV Gallery»

This is a story of a woman who survived the Holocaust. The film is a combination of incompatible things: the Holocaust which we know only from newsreels – and a modern means of communication, a smartphone which is in our pocket. The film was shot with a mobile phone.

Nina Zaretskaya lives and works in New York. She graduated from the Moscow State University with a Ph.D. in Philology and has made a career as a media art curator, a documentary producer, TV journalist, video maker, show host, founder, and director of Art Media Center «TV Gallery» (1991).

Wednesday, October 20th (Fresh Look program is free)
17 votes
Shadows of Your Childhood
Тени твоего детства
2020  
•  Russia  
•  21 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Mikhail Gorobchuk
Producer(s): Ekaterina Vizgalova, Irina Kalinina, Vladislav Shuvalov

Just how much do we remember from our childhood and why is it important to us? Fragments of elusive memories, as well as voices and shimmers of light – these often are the flickering sensations of childhood. They follow us all our life, but how do we view these experiences later in life. These memories are somewhere in the deep recesses of our memory in the form of bits of conversations, flashes of light and shadows. With this film, the director tries to capture his daughter’s early years growing up, in order to provide her with her future memories — by creating an intricate labyrinth, where memories have their own path of development. Scenes and fragments cling to each other on an associative basis.

In this video essay the director shows the process of the child's cognition of the world by utilizing cinematic techniques that play with light and shadows. The shadow is the main background, symbolizing the hidden world that’s the main one in the formation of the child.

Mikhail Gorobchuk graduated from Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), Faculty of Cinematography. He’s received numerous awards, including "Best Cinematographer" in 2013.

Wednesday, October 20th (Fresh Look program is free)
10 votes
Exclusion Zone
Зона отселения
2020  
•  Russia/Ukraine  
•  13 min  
•  Russian, English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Julia Rytik
Producer(s): Artur Miller
Studio: GITR Film & TV School

Sound Engineer: Ivan Apilat

When the Chernobyl nuclear power station blew up in 1985 it seemed that Time came to a halt. Indeed, it did for those residents in areas that were contaminated with radioactive fallout from the disaster. In this film, for the first time, the public hears things that these residents previously wouldn’t dare to speak aloud. This is a genre called "post-apocalyptic documentary”.

Julia Rytik worked at the Gorky film studio. Since 2019, she has been working at Mir Media as an assistant director and editing director.

Wednesday, October 20th (Fresh Look program is free)