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16 March 2017

Russian film festival “When Russians Sing”

Кинофестиваль «Когда русские поют»

Film festival “When Russians Sing”

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The Third Festival of Russian Film in France, “When Russians Sing,” was held in Paris on 6-14 March 2017, with the support of Gazprom Group. Held under the auspices of the Palais de l’Élysée, the project consisted of the screening of Russian film classics, as well as a competition program of modern Russian movies. Following on the two previous festivals, which explored the themes of love and humor in cinema (“When Russians Love,” “When Russians Laugh”), this season was a tribute to the proud tradition of “singing” Russian cinematography. Gazprom Export LLC held organisational support for the event.

The French public was treated to showings of roughly forty pictures, grouped according to different themes. First, there was a presentation of a kind of “panorama,” allowing French spectators to discover the masterpieces of the Soviet and modern Russian movie musical, such as Circus (1936) and Spring (1947) by Grigory Alexandrov, the true classic of the genre Carnival Night (1956) and Hussar Ballad (1962) by Eldar Ryazanov, Brother (1997) by Alexey Balabanov, Hipsters (2008) by Valery Todorovsky, and others. In remembrance of Andrey Mironov, three pictures were screened to showcase the actor’s tremendous and multifaceted talent — The Diamond Arm (1968, dir. Leonid Gaidai), My Friend Ivan Lapshin (1984, dir. Alexey German) and The Man from the Boulevard des Capucines (1987, dir. Alla Surikova).

Of course, no film festival would be complete without premieres. This year, four new works were presented in Paris: Queen of Spades (dir. Pavel Lungin), Petersburg: A Selfie (dirs. Oksana Bychkova, Aksinia Gog, Natalia Kudryashova, Natalia Nazarova, Anna Parmas, Avdotya Smirnova), Paradise (dir. Andrey Konchalovsky), and Insight (dir. Alexander Kott), all vying for the blue ribbon — a special prize founded by Gazprom Group. Pavel Lungin, Andrey Konchalovsky and Aksinia Gog were on hand to personally show the public their respective works within the scope of creative meet-and-greets held over the course of festival week.

On 14 March 2017, the Grand Action theater was the scene of the official closing ceremony for the film festival, during which Gazprom Group’s special prize was awarded to the winning film.

The film that ultimately won the top prize was the picture tapped to open the Russian film festival at the Balzac Theater on the Champs-Élysées — Pavel Lungin’s Queen of Spades. The prize fund, in the amount of EUR 20,000, will be used for the movie’s distribution and screening in France.

 

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