Russia in Berlin Fest captions
A co-production film in the main competition, two films in parallel programmes and 17 theme retrospective films represent Russia at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival which opened in the German capital on the 9th of February.
The Berlin Film Festival has been a ‘happy screen’ for Russian films more than once. In almost 40 years of Russia’s participation in this forum, ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ Berlinale bears were awarded many times to Larisa Shepitko, Gleb Panfilov, Sergey Solovyov and Alexey Popogrebsky. This year, Russian fans have been given a respite, as Russian films are not represented in the main competition. Still, Russia’s participation can be read in the captions, so to say. Out of 18 films on the main competition list, the Hollywood film Jayne Mansfield’s Car is competing for the main prize. Its producers are Russian Alexander Rodniansky and Sergey Bespalov. The film is a life story which takes the audience back to the 1960s and shows difficult relations between people of different generations and different cultures, American and British. Speaking about this co-production project, Alexander Rodniansky highly praised his American colleagues, first of all director and script writer Billy Bob Thornton.
“I’ve made a film together with a man who wrote his script unhurriedly for 10 years, - the producer says. – Billy Bob Thornton is an Oscar prize winner. He wrote about his mother and father and everything he knows about life, he wrote honestly because he wanted to say something important and not just concoct something that would make $3mln more than other films. I find this a very good idea.”
Incidentally, Alexander Rodniansky also highly appreciated Russian film director Alexey Mizgirev whose film The Convoy, an action film with elements of suspense, has been selected for the Panorama programme at the Berlin Festival. “Mizgirev is a strong, honest and socially-oriented film director whose films are always built in today’s context. He deserves to represent Russia in Berlin,” the producer believes. Well-known film director Pavel Lungin is happy for his younger colleague.
“It is an honour to be included in the Panorama programme which contains 25 films collected from all over the world. These films go to the international market for all countries to see, which means that the western society will understand some of our domestic problems and everyday life.”
As a special programme, the Berlin Festival offers a theme retrospective called The Red Dream Factory. It is almost 20 films made at a Russian-German studio in the 1920s-1930s. The studio, which existed at that time, made a lot of ideological films. The Berlin Festival is not focusing on those films but rather on science fiction, comedies and fairy-tales. Times have changed and the Berlin Festival is keeping abreast.