MIFF: The Opening Ceremony of the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival (Pics)

The 42nd Moscow International Film Festival opened yesterday at the Rossiya theater, hosted by Alexey Agranovich. The festival began as Vladimir Medinsky, who opens MIFF for the ninth time, delivered remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"It is comforting that even the current difficult epidemiological situation couldn't interfere with our meeting in Moscow, and just like before, we are here to communicate in warm, informal setting, exchange creative plans and ideas, and, most importantly, to see the latest works by Russian and foreign directors, actors, screenwriters, artists. Moscow International Film Festival is rightfully regarded for its warmth and hospitality as well as rich and diverse program showcasing films of various genres and schools. And surely, the festival ignites new stars and gives everyone unexpected and pleasant surprises, "Russia's head of state noted in his address.

On the red carpet leading to the theater entrance, one could see directors Valery Todorovsky, Sergey Miroshnichenko, Russian Foreign Ministry official representative Maria Zakharova, actresses Oksana Akinshina, Anna Snatkina, Ekaterina Guseva, Varvara Shmykova, Yulia Snigir, Maria Kozhevnikova, Olga Kabo, Elizaveta Boyarskaya, Viktoriya Tolstoganova, actors Yury Kolokolnikov, Evgeny Tsyganov, designer Bella Potemkina, jury members, competition participants and others.

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Alexey Agranovich prepared MIFF guests, participants and viewers to "the most business-like, disciplined and calm" edition of the festival.

"Please respect social distancing and wear masks. It's not only about caring about your health and that of those around you, but also caring about the health of Russian and world cinema, "the host said, also introducing the competition programs of the 42nd festival, as well as jury members.

Short Film Competition is set to be judged by Russian-Swiss director Elena Khazanova, British director Guy Davis and Russian producer Marina Zhigalova. The Documentary Competition jury are Danish producer Anne Köhncke, US director Mitchell Johnson and Russian director of photograhy Yury Ermolin.


Main Competition jury members are Swiss-Romanian filmmaker Alexander Iordachescu, UK film critic Brian Viner, Egyptian writer and journalist Mahmood Soliman and Russian actress Marina Alexandrova. The jury chairman is director and producer Timur Bekmambetov.

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"I am extremely excited and grateful, first and foremost to the festival president Nikita Mikhalkov, who sort of blessed me to do the work I am doing today. We are all thinking the same now: what is going to happen tomorrow. And we realize that we will never live the way we used to, and all our thoughts are about the unimaginable future. Our future is in our actions, our suffering, our dreams and it can be found in our cinema that is talking about our present. Hope we will be able to see the picture of the future in the competition films - at least that's how I understand my mission, to help the wonderful team of filmmakers on our jury, "Timur Bekmambetov said, also getting the traditional" chain of power Made by the jewelery company Chopard.

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Bekmambetov also gave the first festival award - special prize "I Believe. Konstantin Stanislavsky "for conquering the heights of acting and faithfulness to the principles of the school of Konstantin Stanislavsky. Famous Russian actress Svetlana Kryuchkova, who recently celebrated her 70th birthday, was awarded the prize.

"What a short way it was, the path that had seemed so long in the beginning. There are so many young people in this hall. Seems I was one of them not so long ago, standing at the foot of the mountain, for conquest of which I'm now getting this prize, "Kryuchkova said.


Actress thanked theater directors who were the first to believe in her: Roman Viktyuk, Anatoly Vasilyev, Anatoly Efros, Georgi Tovstonogov, Oleg Efremov. She also expressed her gratitude to Nikita Mikhalkov: she starred in his film "Family Relations".

Nikita Sergeevich taught me the film actress profession - theater and film are two different professions, I believe. In his hands, I learned a lot, "the actress emphasized.

Afterwards, Svetlana Kryuchkova and Timur Bekmambetov declared the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival open.

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In the framework of the MIFF opening, another opening ceremony took place: that of the 5th BRICS countries' film festival. BRICS countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The official Russian Foreign Ministry representative Maria Zakharova opened the showcase, having read the address to festival guests and participants from the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"Your film festival greatly contributes to the common effort. Despite its early age, it has been acknowledged by wide audience. It is hard to overestimate its significance for development of professional contacts, promotion of national cinema, and finally - for strengthening the unity in the world cultural space, "the Minister noted in his address.

The list of competition films:
"In Pieces", directed by Ruy Guerra, Brazil
"The Silence Of The Rain", directed by Daniel Filho, Brazil
1956, Central Travancore, directed by Don Palathara, India
Biriyaani directed by Sajin Baabu, India
"Red Ghost" directed by Andrey Bogatyryov, Russia
"Back to the Sarmatian Steppe", directed by Alexander Proshkin, Russia
"All About Ing", directed by Huang Zi, China
"Saturday Fiction", directed by Ye Lou, China
Poppie Nongena, directed by Christiaan Olwagen, South Africa
"Salvation", directed by Carmen Sangion, South Africa

The embassies of BRICS countries put forward their nominees to select the festival jury. The chairperson is a filmmaker and cinematographer Sergey Mokritsky (directed the film "Battle For Sevastopol"; participant of the First BRICS countries 'festival and a jury member of the Second BRICS countries' festival in China).

BRICS Festival Jury:
Sergey Mokritskiy (Russia) - director, cinematographer (chairperson)
Mahima Sikand (India) - second secretary of the Indian Embassy in Moscow
Zhang Jingcheng (China) - director, actor, playwright
Madivha Aaron Mudimeli (South Africa) - the charge d'affaires at the South African Embassy in Moscow
Janna Tolstikova (Brazil) - journalist, screenwriter, producer, director, head of the international department at "TV BRICS"

All images courtesy of the Moscow International Film Festival and used with permission. Art Direction by Janet Walker.

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