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LEKHA SHANKAR


An exchange of Film News, from Thailand, India and other film-spaces across the world.

 


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Russian Film Festival,in Bangkok

Russian Film Festival, in Bangkok

It seems to be an epidemic of Film Festivals , in Bangkok, this year !

The first-ever Indian Festival’s gone, and now, it’s the first-ever Russian Film festival.

Soon, there will be the World Film Festival of Bangkok (16 Nov - 25 Nov).

The Russians are celebrating their 150th Anniversary of relations with Thailand ,and what better way to celebrate, than through Cinema?

The ‘ Russian Week in Thailand’ was formally opened at the SF Cinema, Central World, in the presence of the Russian Ambassador and a large film delegation from Russia.

Russian Ambassador Alexander Mariyasov spoke with nostalgia about the great Russian film-masters like Tarkovsky. He informed that the on-going Russian film festival in Bangkok dealt with the ‘current’ trends in the country.

And so, the Opening Film ‘ Moscow,I love you ' dealt with a varied range of issues, characters, styles and subjects, relating to the oustanding Russian capital city of Moscow. Made along the lines of similar films on Paris and New York ,the movie was a melange of 18 different stories made by a 18 Russian directors, both big-time Directors and talented new names.

An arresting part of the Opening event, was an outstanding song sung by Russian actor-singer Gleb Matveichuk which set the right tone for a festival from a country so rich in cultural traditions.

The Russian film delegation included Sergey Bragin, director of the Kinofest Producer Centre, who told this writer that the Russian film festival in Bangkok comprised of ‘light’ films that had been box-off ‘ hits’ in Russia “ as we heard that Thai audiences like these kind of films.”

In a chat with this writer, Sergey Lazaruk, Deputy President of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia & Head of the Department of Film History at the Film Institute (VGIK), informed that Russia produced atleast 100 films a year, out of which 80 movies were supported by the State, and others were independent ventures.

But two years back, Russia had joined Euro Image, which he stated would help Russian film-makers to get European funds to make their films. Lazaruk was pleased that many Russian film festivals were being held all over Asia. He informed that three years back, a Russian film festival had been held in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia.

This year , the Russian film festival had played at Cambodia, before coming to Thailand. Later this month a Russian film festival would be held in New Delhi, India.

“ We’ve selected the films, according to the tastes of the respective countries “ he stated ,adding that a few Russian musicals were added to the Russian film festival in India “ as Indians have such strong musical traditions, in their films!” He confessed that he was a great love of Indian films, and like many Russians, thought the late Bollywood icon Raj Kapoor, to be ‘God!’

The Russian films in the Bangkok- package, include the 2012 film ‘My Boy friend-Angel’ , a quaint love-story about a real angel who falls for a mortal, Lucky Trouble , starring well-known actress Milla Jovovich, about a village school teacher who’s set to marry a lively city girl, but finds it tough to attend his wedding day, Mothers , a comic drama when the telephone-systems in the country collapse due to over-use, on Mothers Day, the only day in the year that the children remember to call their mums.

The only non-comedy film is 'Brest Fortress', based on the real-life story of the Fascist attack on the same fortress, in 1941. The Director of the film, Alexander Kott, will attend and present the film.

The Russian Film Week in Bangkok runs from 1 Nov- 9 Nov, at the SF Cinema, Central World .

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About LEKHA SHANKAR

SHANKAR LEKHA

I'm an Indian film-writer, based in Bangkok, and write for publications in India & Thailand. I also coordinate and curate film programs in the two countries, at cultural centres/clubs, film festivals.


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