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Russian Film Week Launches in London

Ice Breaker Ice Breaker/London Russian Film Week

Some of the best contemporary Russian film will reach new audiences this week courtesy of Russian Film Week in London.. 

The festival, which launched yesterday, is a collaboration with London's Raindance Film Festival, the British Council and the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation as part of the UK–Russia Year of Language and Literature. It also celebrates the 2016 Year of Russian Cinema.

One of the main goals of the festival is to showcase high calibre Russian cinema from the past two years to an international audience. Filip Perkon, the festival's founder and general producer, said that organizers started from scratch when it came to planning the program. 

“In the beginning, when no one knew about us, we consulted our advisory board about the best films and then just phoned the studios and asked for them. Then, when information about the festival started to spread around, the studios started sending us films. In the end, we chose our films from about 200 candidates,” he said at a press conference to mark the opening of the festival earlier this week.

On show is an eclectic mix of films: from award-winning blockbusters to new features that have not even been released in Russia yet. 

From the former group, film buffs can enjoy Anna Melikyan’s “About Love” which tells several unlikely love stories set in Moscow. The film won the grand prize at the Kinotavr festival in 2015. 

Attendees will also get a sneak peek of “Big Village Lights,” the debut feature of newcomer Ilya Uchitel, the son of the renowned director and producer Alexei Uchitel. 

Other program highlights include some of the most talked about films of 2016, such as “The Student” by Kirill Serebrennikov, based on a play by Marius von Mayenburg and “Icebreaker,” a surprise big budget disaster film by Nikolai Khomeriki, mostly known for his arthouse dramas. 

At the end of the festival an expert jury will award prizes at the Golden Unicorn Awards, which recognizes Russian and international contribution to the film industry.

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