Andrey Tarkovsky International Film Festival “Zerkalo"

Andrey Tarkovsky International Film Festival Zerkalo is the first major Russian film event to move film screenings online

Geography: Ivanovo Oblast, Russia, the world
The 14th Andrey Tarkovsky International Film Festival Zerkalo will run from June 25—30 in a novel format. The festival's complete program of screenings will be available exclusively at the online film theater tvzavr. In addition to the films the online movie theater will livestream interviews with the films' creators and participants.
The festival is supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture and the Ivanovo Oblast Regional Government.

"We realize something about ourselves"

Going ahead with Zerkalo in the wake of the pandemic wasn't an easy decision to make: after all, a film festival means a projector and a wide screen, live audience in a film theater, company of other people, new acquaintances and happy encounters. Moving the festival online takes away many things that all of us are used to. However, it gives us some advantages, too. For one thing, we'll be able to extend the influence of auteur cinema sanctified by Tarkovsky's name far beyond Ivanovo: the films of our program will be accessible in any Russian city or town. Residents of Ivanovo will be able to see the best new art films on local television, in addition to the online movie theater. All those things combined will increase Zerkalo's outreach. Most importantly, the people of Ivanovo will not be deprived of a movie feast that has become a tradition: in these trying times we should think of not just security but also the mood and emotional state of our own and those around us. Through watching and discussing films we realize something about ourselves and our place in the world; we feel less alone, we find like-minded people: it's always been that way and I have no doubt it will be this year as well.
Sergey Bodrov, film director, President of Zerkalo IFF

"There were hardly any premieres this past spring"

We cut the number of films down but retained the quality. The festival's competition had been put together by Andrey Plahov even before the quarantine measures, and luckily, most distributors agreed to the risky decision of screening the films online. We will of course take all measures against piracy, although it's much more difficult to fend films off piracy on the internet—still there's going to be eight Russian premieres in competition! That's a lot for June of this year: despite many online events, there were hardly any real premieres this past spring. We will keep the usual non-competitive programs as well. Overall, the program is compressed, but rich and memorable; and the festival will keep and multiply its essential strengths: after-screening discussions, new acquaintances and happy encounters!
Konstantin Shavlovsky, film critic, general producer of Zerkalo IFF

"The public's interaction with the films will be even more intense that usual"

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic we hold the festival online for the first time. This seems to be the first experiment in Russia in organizing a film event of this scope remotely. That said, we are doing our best to avoid a "virtual reality" feel as predominant and hoping that the public's interaction with the films will be even more intense than usual. In addition to seeing the films, the audience will have an opportunity to participate in discussions, make questions to filmmakers and ask the jury about their motivations. However, we organizers and curators will miss the vivid impressions of Ivanovo and its vicinity, the atmosphere in which Andrey Tarkovsky was born and raised. We are looking forward to the next year to return the festival to its old "natural" format, although enriched by new, more intense ways of interaction.
Andrey Plahov, programming director of Zerkalo IFF

"Audiences will have a chance to experience an international film event"

I've been following festival cinema for a long time but it's always made me a little sad that, due to legalistic stalling, it sometimes takes months for excellent auteur films to reach online distribution. Our collaboration with Zerkalo Film Festival means that tvzavr's audiences will have a chance to experience a well-known international film event, feel its magic and see its challenging films among the first in the world.
Elena Khlebnikova, content director at tvzavr

What's new?

Although the screenings aren't taking place in film theaters, the festival will keep its essential elements: film programs, opening and closing ceremonies, discussions with filmmakers, educational programs, the daily newspaper, the catalog and merchandise.
Ceremonies? What about the ban on mass gatherings?

The format of the ceremonies will surprise our audiences, but so far we are keeping details secret. At this point we are just going to say that no laws will be broken: the ceremonies will also take place online, hosted by the actor and director Alexey Agranovich and the actress Xenya Rappoport.

Where to see the films?

Residents of Ivanovo Oblast will be able to see most of the program for free on the local television network BARS. The festival's complete program will be accessible throughout Russia on a dedicated page of the online movie theater tvzavr. Some films will be available free of charge. Access to premiere screenings will require a ticket.

Tvzavr will host virtual screening rooms, named after the cities of Ivanovo Oblast: Ivanovo, Shuya, Plyos, etc. The premiere theater bears the name Yurievets after Andrey Tarkovsky's home town.

The films will be accessible on personal computers as well as mobile devices and smart TV.

What about the festival spirit?

Zerkalo Festival is among the first in the world to set up a fully-featured online studio. Q&A sessions, artist talks and themed discussions will be streamed live on a daily basis. We are also introducing unique formats, such as an online café featuring live film discussions with the festival guests. All events will be open to the public.
And the social education part?

The campuses of documentary films and animation have become a vital part of Zerkalo in recent years. This year they are also taking place online. That won't take away the essence of the campuses as an important social initiative. Teenagers from Ivanovo Oblast will have two weeks to move through the process of creating an animated film, while young filmmakers of the Volga region will make their first documentary project, supervised by directors Olga Privolnova and Dina Barinova. The programs are free of charge and participants are to be invited through a competitive selection process. Find out more at yunost.online.

Will there be new films?

As usual, the festival's competition will comprise Russian premieres of international art films from around the world. The program includes films that participated at festivals in Rotterdam, Locarno, Tallinn, as well as Sundance Film Festival and others. Non-competitive sections will also feature many premiere screenings (to be announced later).

Who is on the jury?

The jury of the 14th Zerkalo includes:

Fred Kelemen
Film and theater director, cinematographer, screenwriter.He graduated from the German Film & TV Academy Berlin (dffb). Selected filmography includes Kalyi – Age of Darkness (1993); Fate (1994), Frost (1997/1998), Nightfall (1999), Fallen (2005), Sarajevo Songs of Woe (2016). He has worked as cinematographer for Joseph Pitchhadze (Sweets, 2013), Béla Tarr (Journey to the Plain, 1995, The Man from London, 2007, The Turin Horse, 2011), Rudolf Thome "The Visible and the Invisible, 2006), and others. He has taught at the Moscow School of New Cinema, German Film & TV Academy Berlin (dffb), and Béla Tarr's film.factory in Sarajevo. He has won four FIPRESCI awards from the International Federation of Film Press.

Olga Sutulova
Theater and screen actress. She graduated from VGIK's acting department (Iosif Raichelgauz's workshop). Olga's filmography runs to over fifty projects, including Waiting Room (Zal ozhidaniya), Contract with Death (Kontrakt so smertyu), Cinema about Cinema, Leningrad, Nirvana, Pro Lyuboff, The Bomb, Son, Trotsky, Snow and Ashes, Gold Diggers, Bender, The Last Minister. She has won the Association of Russian Film and Television Producers Award (2008), the Guiseppe Sciacca International Award for theater and film actors, the Triumph Youth Award (2009).

Alyona Shumakova
Born in Moscow in 1972, she has lived in Italy since 1997. Alyona graduated from the University of Urbino and worked at the Cineteca di Bologna. Since 2002 she has been working as a programmer, selecting films from East Europe and the former USSR for various festivals (Alpe Adria Cinema in Trieste, Venice Film Festival, Rome Film Festival, Beijing and Pingyao festivals) and curating retrospectives in Italy and abroad. As a translator, Alyona has collaborated with theater festivals and groups; she was awarded for translating Ivan Vyrypaev's Oxygen as well as by the Yeltsin Foundation for translating Alexander Sokurov's book, In the Middle of the Ocean. She currently selects films for the Directors Fortnight, the Cannes Film Festival's sidebar.

Lena Chaplin
Film director. After graduating from VGIK she has made over sixty documentaries and five fiction films (co-directed by Slava Chaplin). She has lived and worked in Israel since 1976, directing for Israeli and European television. She has won two Ophir Awards from the Israeli Film Academy. Her latest work includes Underground Ballet (2019, Best Documentary Award at the 35th Haifa IFF), Eighty and Counting (2017), Voices from the Booth (2014), Weeping Susannah (2012), In the Prime of Her Life (2010). She has participated at film festivals in Moscow, Paris, Geneve, Warsaw, and Rome.

The fifth jury member's name will be announced later.

Сompetition

Zerkalo Film Festival's international competition always presents a selection of auteur film works that aggregates recent trends. This year's competition is no exception despite its unique circumstances. European, Asian and American films are replete with social, ecological and feminist motives but also appeal with their artistic search for unusual and poignant creative decisions.
Andrey Plahov, programming director of Zerkalo IFF

What is in competition?


IDENTIFYING FEATURES
Mexico, Spain / 97 mins / 2020 / Spanish
Directed by Fernanda Valadez

CAT IN THE WALL
Bulgaria, UK, France / 92 mins / 2019 / English
Directed by Mina Mileva & Vesela Kazakova




NASIR
India, The Netherlands / 78 mins / 2020 / Tamil
Directed by Arun Karthick



PIEDRA SOLA
Argentina, México, Qatar, UK / 72 min /2020 / Spanish, Quechua
Directed by Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf

BABAI
Russia, USA / 65 mins / 2020 / Russian, Kazakh
Directed by Artem Aisagaliev




KALA AZAR
The Netherlands, Greece / 85 mins / 2020 / Greek
Directed by Janis Rafa

COOK F**K KILL
Czech Republic, Slovakia / 2019 / 116 mins / Czech
Directed by Mira Fornay

THE FISHERMAN'S DAUGHTER
Russia / 2019 / 69 mins. / Russian
Directed by Uldus Bakhtiozina



What other programs to expect?

In addition to the competition, the festival will feature non-competitive sections. Those will include the traditional programs of Jury Films and Special Screenings, as well as a section by the Fyodor Khitruk Original Animation Academy. The festival will also celebrate four centennials: Tonino Guerra, Federico Fellini, Nikolay Grinko, and Sergei Bondarchuk. The section 4x100 includes these great filmmakers' work, while Fyodor Bondarchuk will unveil footage from his documentary about his father.
The complete non-competitive program will be announced later.
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