Russian Pacific film festival increasingly popular overseas-organizers

VLADIVOSTOK, August 29 (RIA Novosti, Anatoli Ilyukhov) -Russia's Meridians of the Pacific film festival in the Far Eastern coastal city of Vladivostok is becoming increasingly popular overseas, organizers said Monday.

The number of participating countries has increased to 24, up from 14 just two years ago. As many as 88 films, selected from among 210 entries, will be competing for the festival's top prize this year, as compared with 56 pictures chosen from 150 entries in 2003.

The third Meridians of the Pacific forum, running from September 10 through 15, is expected to bring together about 100 Russian and 50 foreign film professionals, as well as thousands of moviegoers.

Along with traditional non-competitive programs - such as New Russian Cinema, Original Perspective, and Retrospectives of World Masters - this year's festival will feature a special war film program devoted to the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The festival's regular participants come from countries as far apart as Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan. The newcomers include Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Peru, and Chile.

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