Andrey Tarkovsky International Film Festival “Zerkalo"
30 JUNE 2020
The 14th Zerkalo International Film Festival Has Closed
Screenings and events were hosted by the online platform tvzavr

It was "attended" by over two million people

The 14th Zerkalo International Film Festival closed on June 30. The closing ceremony was held at the festival studio, built for the occasion at an old brewery in Yurievets.

The closing ceremony was hosted by actor Yuri Kolokolnikov and aspiring actress, Sergey Bodrov Jr.'s daughter, Olga Bodrova.

Screenwriter Elena Vanina and director Alexey Fisun made a screenlife movie about Tarkovsky making his film Zerkalo today, specially for the ceremony.
The ceremony featured the singer Masha Makarova (of Masha i Medvedi) who performed Ararat, accompanied by composer and musician Philipp Cheltsov.

Members of the International Jury joined the studio live online: director and cinematographer Fred Kelemen from Berlin, film scholar and programmer Alyona Shumakova from Rome, director Lena Chaplin from Tel-Aviv, director Juho Kuosmanen from Vartiosaari Island in Finland, director Petar Valchanov from Rudartsi village in Bulgaria, actress Olga Sutulova from Moscow; as well as the festival's programming director Andrey Plahov and festival president Sergey Bodrov from Los Angeles.

The International Jury gave out the awards:

The Grand Prix went to Nasir, directed by Arun Karthick (India, the Netherlands, Singapore).

Arun Karthick: "Really happy to accept the award. It's almost midnight here in India, but we're going to celebrate. I'd like to congratulate the festival on its success and send many thanks to the jury, especially Fred Kelemen whose work has been an inspiration for me. Your festival's example has shown that nothing can bring cinema to halt!"

Best Direction Award was given to Fernanda Valadez, director of Identifying Features (Mexico, Spain).

Fernanda Valadez: "Greetings from Mexico City! It's an honor to receive this award and see that we're together despite the distance."

Professional Achievement Award went to cinematographer Alberto Balazs for his work on Alejandro Tarraf's Piedra Sola (Argentina, Mexico, Qatar, UK).

Special award for contribution to Andrey Tarkovsky's cinema was received by Mikhail Leshchilovsky, editor of The Sacrifice.

Cat in the Wall, directed by Mina Mileva & Vesela Kazakova (Bulgaria, France, UK) was chosen both by the Young Critics' Jury and the public who voted on social media.

Uldus Bakhtiozina, director of competing film The Fisherman's Daughter that had its world premiere at the festival came to the studio in person to talk to the audience. Ceremony hosts announced that Uldus Bakhtiozina would make the 15th Zerkalo's official video. Responding to that, Uldus revealed that her next film would be made in Ivanovo Oblast, which she believes should become Russia's film Mecca.

Like at the opening ceremony, viewers and participants were invited to a virtual audience floor at Zoom, which held about a hundred viewers, connecting from Russia, the US, Europe, Israel and Argentina.

In six days, the festival screened 30 films in five programs.

The festival studio held 33 live streams.

The live streams were hosted by Zerkalo's head producer, film critic Konstantin Shavlovsky, film journalist Elena Slatina, film journalist Maxim Zagovora, and Zerkalo's producer Alexandra Ahmadshina.

The lives were attended by Fyodor Bondarchuk, Danila Kozlovsky, Timur Bekmambetov, Nikolay Kartoziya, Anton Zhelnov, Denis Kataev, Nigina Sayfullaeva, Konstantin Lopushansky, Yuri Norshtein, Andrey Khrzhanovsky, Konstantin Bronzit, Oksana Cherkasova, Larisa Malyukova, Mikhail Leshchilovsky, Uldus Bakhtiozina, as well as Tromsø Film Festival's jury members, participants and organizers.

Konstantin Shavlovsky, head producer of the festival: "Zerkalo is the first among major Russian festivals that took a chance with going online. Too bad we couldn't bring the films and the guests over to Yurievets. But we brought Yurievets to the whole country instead. Over two million people in total watched our live streams at different platforms. Zerkalo had more viewers than in all previous years. This might be our experiment's most important achievement: Zerkalo has attracted new viewers, many of whom will be the guests of the 15th Zerkalo, which we will open here in Yurievets, as per the tradition."

The festival also hosted lecture series Big Picture, organized together with Pioner Film Theater and managed by book critic Sergey Sdobnov. The series featured philosopher Boris Groys, film scholar Zara Abdullaeva, author and artist Pavel Pepperstein, culture scholar Oksana Gavrishina and philosopher Yelena Petrovskaya.

The opening ceremony was hosted by the actor, producer and director Alexey Agranovich and actress Xenya Rappoport.

The festival was supported by the online movie theater tvzavr. The online theater screened premieres and films in and out of competition, live talks with filmmakers, as well as the ceremonies: over 100 thousand views in total. Zerkalo's events could also be streamed via Kultura.rf, as well as its social media feeds and Zerkalo's own social media pages.

Preliminary estimate as of June 30 suggests that the festival was "attended" by over two million people (this is a provisional view count of the films, the live streams and the festival pages). Final results will be available when counted in a few days, but the festival's partners that handled the streams report major success.

Yelena Khlebnikova, content director of tvzavr online movie theater: "tvzavr is a creative business that is always open to interesting and unconventional initiatives, keen to do things that nobody has done before and accomplish things that nobody has accomplished. We have already had many such projects on our record: MoviesChain, Films at the Hermitage, screenings at Zaryadie Park, pre-premieres on Saturdays at the Tretyakov Gallery, etc. Collaboration with Zerkalo was a new challenge that prompted our company to restructure its work, including technological developments, in order to transform the beautiful idea of the online festival into an equally beautiful reality. I am most happy that we made it happen, despite the very limited time for an event this large."

Maksim Ksenzov, Deputy Minister of Culture of Russia: "We are glad that Zerkalo's team made the decision to move the festival online instead of postponing. Kultura.rf was the festival's co-orgranizer, giving our audience a great opportunity to participate at a real film festival, attend discussions at premiere screenings, watch interviews and artist talks, witness opening and closing ceremonies, which would be very difficult under the usual circumstances. As online events are becoming normal, Kultura.rf is happy to become their major platform."

Educational "campuses" are among the most important elements of Zerkalo since 2018. Both the documentary and the animation campus moved online for this year. The animation campus accepted 25 students from Ivanovo Oblast art schools. The campus was subtitled "Documentary Animation of the Pandemic Era" by its managing team, the teachers of Da studio. An animated film, made during the two weeks of the campus, was screened at the closing ceremony.

The other educational program, the documentary campus, was subtitled "Documentary Editing of the Uncuttable Time" and dealt with the lockdown. It was attended by fifty filmmakers from Ivanovo, Nizhni Novgorod, Samara Oblasts, Tatarstan, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Obninsk, Portland and Berlin, aged between 19 and 44. A trailer was put together during the workshop's ten days, and screened at the closing ceremony. The alumni are going to complete the editing of a feature-length documentary after Zerkalo, to be presented at a major documentary film festival.

Sergey Bodrov, filmmaker, president of the Andrey Tarkovsky Film Festival Zerkalo: "Zerkalo online was a unique experiment unlike everything, and a delight to watch. When I was offered to be Zerkalo's president, one reason to accept was of course that being in charge of a Tarkovsky festival is an honor for any filmmaker. But another one was the festival's amazing team. I saw them do a great job last year, when Zerkalo opened with an open air concert in Yurievets and drew crowds to Lodz film theater in Ivanovo. Now the same team managed to hold a festival online to the highest standard: personally I haven't seen an online event like this."

The festival was supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture and Ivanovo Oblast Government.

The festival's information partners are TASS, Russia 1 Channel, Colta, Film Art (Iskusstvo Kino), Seance.

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