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The Best European Cinema at St. Petersburg’s WestWind Festival

Labyrinth of Lies (2014) West Wind 2016

Love film and live in St.Petersburg? Look no further than WestWind film festival, which kicks off in Russia’s northern capital today. Supported by European Film Promotion (EFP), the event aims to promote European films within the Russian market and bring the best contemporary cinema to a wider audience.

The five-day features no less than seven European Oscar submissions for Best Foreign Language Film and two Russian premieres. The films, already selected by their home country as the best production of the year, will be distributed in Russia for the first time as part of the festival.

“I expect the Russian audience to be interested in the project,” said Karin Dix, the EFP project director, in an interview with The Moscow Times. “Communication seems to be the hardest task of modern life. We hope that by representing the diversity of European culture through these films from 9 different countries, we can enter into an active and engaged dialogue with the Russian audience.”

Alongside film screenings, visitors can enjoys live Q&As with directors, producers and actors as well as an extensive events program. Films will be screened at Cinema Lounge Angleterre, a cinema complex located between Saint Isaac’s Cathedral and the Moyka river.

West Wind Festival runs through October 23 at Cinema Lounge Angleterre. 24 Malaya Morskaya Ulitsa. Metro Admiralteyskaya.  

Program Highlights

Adult Life Skills

The comedy “Adult Life Skills,” produced in U.K, has already picked up awards at the East End International Film Festival and the TriBeCa Film Festival. The story follows Anna, a hermit 30-year-old who still lives with her mother and afraid to find herself. A series of unexpected events get Anna thinking about her life and how to move on.

October 19 at 19:30 pm English with Russian subtitles


This Slovenian-Italian drama involves one story told in three chapters through the eyes of two brothers and their mother. “Drevo," which means “the tree” in Slovenian, shows how a family who are safe behind the walls of their home slowly find it turning into a prison when tragedy strikes.

October 20 at 21:15 pm Slovenian and Albanian with Russian subtitles


Adopted from the 2011 novel “Amok,” producer-director Donato Rotunno tells the story of an unnamed, troubled 13-year-old boy with an absentee dad and a mother who makes a living by performing webcam sex in the room next door. A chance meeting with a beautiful girl causes the boy’s life to spiral out of his control. This Luxembourgish drama was awarded “Best Screenplay” at the Trophees Francophones du Cinema Awards.

October 21 at 19:00 pm Luxembourgish with Russian subtitles

Labyrinth of Lies

Set in 1958, just 13 years after the war, this historical drama sees a journalist and a young prosecutor struggle to bring a former Auschwitz commander to justice. In doing so, both enter a dark web of lies, secrets and taboos which show that Germany is not quite ready to deal with its immediate past. 

October 22 at 19:30 pm German with Russian subtitles


Closing night of the festival sees a screening of Paddy Breathnach’s “Viva” and a Q&A with the director. A dramatic family love story, “Viva” examines the value of love in a world where everything is for sale. Drag performer Jesus dreams of being a performer in Havana, but when his dreams become reality an encounter with a stranger changes everything.

October 23 at 20:00 pm Spanish with Russian subtitles

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