SECTION: Russkiy Den
The Russian cinema market has also remained quite stable in 2018. A small increase could be posted with 412 films released in 2017 (2016: 408). They included 87 Russian productions (2016: 93), meaning that the market share for domestic films stayed the same at 21% (2016: 22%). The total number of cinema-goers in Russia continued to grow, from 200.6 million in 2016 to 217.2 million in 2017. The figures are going in the same direction for 2018 (as of September), with Russian productions accounting for less than 20% of the 305 films released in the cinemas. With almost 130 million viewers, it remains to be seen whether the previous year's record can be reached or surpassed.
Politically, nothing has changed in Russia in the past year. The conflict with Western Europe and the USA continues. The problem areas of Ukraine, the Crimean question, military involvement in Syria and the European economic embargo remain unchanged and, unfortunately, unresolved. Diplomatically, there was a slight period of detente after the meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin in Helsinki, but this quickly passed. In addition, Russia's relationship with Britain, the outgoing EU member, has deteriorated. The British accuse Moscow of murdering bothersome Russians living in exile on its territory by using secret service methods. Russian President Vladimir Putin vehemently denies this. The continuing house arrest of the film and theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov, who is accused of embezzlement, targets a politically critical filmmaker and contributes to an unsettling feeling within the Russian film scene.
The film industry continues to be affected by these political conflicts since they represent the framework for general cultural relations. In the absence of any cooperation with Western partners, the Russian film industry is left to its own devices. An amendment to the film legislation presents Russian film festivals with new bureaucratic and financial hurdles when deciding to programme foreign films. The state has an appropriate means of exerting influence by being able to decide to support or not support certain undesirable film projects and their distribution. And this is also a clear example of where Russia has been separated from the West. Heroic films such as SALYUT-7 or VREMYA PERVYKH | SPACEWALKER (FFC 2017), which identify with a "glorious" Russian-Soviet past, were enthusiastically received by many millions of cinema-goers in Russia. On the other hand, independent films ARRHYTHMIA and NELYUBOV | LOVELESS, which were feted at international festivals in 2017 (including Cottbus) and critically address development in society, opened in Russian cinemas, but were only able to reach a very small number of cinema-goers with around 350,000 admissions apiece. The same fate befell the new film by director Kirill Serebrennikov – LETO – which had its world premiere in the Competition at Cannes this year.
The FilmFestival Cottbus will be presenting a selection of Russian films. There are two titles in the Feature Film Competition: PODBROSY | JUMPMAN by Ivan I. Tverdovsky and AYKA by Sergej Dvortsevoy. Both are international co-productions. Alexey Telnov's documentary ZHIZN VECHNAYA | ETERNAL LIFE will have its German premiere in the Spectrum sidebar. Traditionally, Russkiy Den presents a multi-faceted overview of current Russian production output with five feature films, including this year's Grand Prix winner from the Moscow Film Festival – TOYON KYYL | THE LORD EAGLE by Eduard Novikov. The Short Film Competition features DTP | ROAD ACCIDENT by Anna Dezhurko and VZYATKA | THE BRIBE by Alexey Kharitonov. MM
The Russkiy Den section is supported by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.
ELEPHANTS CAN PLAY FOOTBALL
SLONY MOGUT IGRAT V FUTBOL
Russia / 2018 / 105 min