The first official press conference of the 45th Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) was held on Wednesday, 5 April. The main questions were answered: who will head the main competition jury, what countries will be visiting the main Russian film festival and what cinema the selection committee of the MIFF in 2023 is focusing on.
Ivan Kudryavtsev, the keynote speaker of the press conference and chairman of the MIFF selection committee, began his welcome speech by answering the latter question: this year, the main vector will be directed towards youth and their problems.
During the seven days of the festival, visitors will see films produced with the help of more than 60 countries, not counting Russian representatives. The greatest number of films (23) will be from China, which has successfully emerged from the covid crisis, and the main theme, according to the organizers, will be the issues of youth around the world. Young filmmakers and heroes of their works will be the focus of the usual MIFF programmes, as well as brand new sections.
“A striking new trend we’ve seen this year is the attention that Russian and international cinema are paying to youth issues. The pandemic has been the start of the production of films that are entering this year’s MIFF and other festivals. Having found themselves in isolation along with their children and relatives, filmmakers realized that there is a big gap between different generations; they need to build bridges and find a common language,” told to journalists the chairman of the selection committee.
Among the 12 films in the main competition, two Russian films are to be presented. One is Andrei Zaitsev’s “14+ Continuation”, a sequel to the teen film from eight years ago. The second Russian film in competition is ‘First Love’ by Svetlana Proskurina.
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Indian cinematographer Rahul Rawail, who began his career as an assistant to Bollywood directors Raj Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor, will chair the jury this year. The jury also included Russian actors Alexey Guskov and Svetlana Ivanova, actress Samal Yeslyamova from Kazakhstan and Colombian film director Ciro Guerra.
The traditional documentary, short film and Russian premieres sections will be judged by a jury led by Chinese filmmaker Hao Yun, Italian director and screenwriter Giorgio Cugno, and Russian film director and producer Aleksey Uchitel, as reported by Eurasia Today, a partner of TV BRICS.
Returning to the prevalence of youth themes at this year’s film festival, Ivan Kudryavtsev mentioned the second important piece of news: in 2023, the festival will have student accreditation, which will be granted to over 500 students from twelve specialized universities in Russia. It will be on a par with the MIFF’s guest accreditation and will entitle students to attend two festival films a day for free.
Students will have the opportunity to take part in various events – meetings with competition programme directors, lectures, and master classes. Film critic and film historian Sergei Lavrentyev will be in charge of lectures, and he has also announced a new out-of-competition programme, ‘Screen Wars. Episode IV: Cinema Strikes Back’. This segment will show films originally shot in the 1950s for the wide screen as an alternative to evolving television content.
New out-of-competition sections include Art-Core, dedicated to artistic culture, ‘Recipe for Success’, which will feature joyful and sad stories of triumph, and the retrospective ‘Night Over Chile’.
The 45th Moscow International Film Festival will be held in the Russian capital at several venues from 20 to 27 April 2023.