Starting on Friday, this year’s Russian Film Festival will run for 10 days at venues across London, as well as selected screenings in Edinburgh and Cambridge. Now in its sixth year, and organised by Academia Rossica and the Russian Cinema Fund, it will feature UK premieres of some of Russia’s most notable recent films from both established and more recent voices.
The programme kicks off with Till Night Do Us Part, a lively-looking comedy of manners set in one of Moscow’s most opulent restaurants and revealing the scandalous lives not only of those that dine there, but also the small intrigues of its eccentric staff. Pavel Lungin, recipient of Cannes’ Best Director Prize back in 1990, will also show his new film, The Conductor, about a man bringing his orchestra to Jerusalem to perform The St Matthew Passion, and who is forced to re-evaluate his life.
Curated by documentarian Vitaly Mansky, the non-fiction slate looks especially interesting. Those keen to see Russian cinema’s reaction to the recent re-election of Putin would do well to check out Winter, Go Away!, a documentary put together by 10 of the country’s most promising young directors chronicling the winter protests that preceded the presidential election. Otherwise, How I Have Eaten My Student Allowance, Milana and Anton Is Right Here (which screened to positive notices at this year’s Venice Film Festival) investigate the lives of disparate people living on the edge.
Other highlights include an Andrei Konchalovsky (Runway Train) retrospective, two animation screenings, and Q&As, discussions and masterclasses with those directors, producers and actors involved.