With the new tourism season opening up this year and Russian charters already making a beeline for Goa, 'Russian Film Days', a film festival organised as part of an Indo-Russian government co-operation initiative, could help Goans get a more layered understanding of Russia, its culture and the aspirations of thousands of Russians tourists who arrive in the state every tourist season.
The festival will be held across two cities namely Panaji and Delhi. This is the first time that the festival is being held in Goa.
The festival is being organised to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and India and will be inaugurated on November 10 at the famous Siri Fort complex in Delhi, where Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolai Kudashev and leading representatives of Russian and Indian cinema are expected to be in attendance.
The opening film is the 2017 drama film ‘Bolshoi', which will be presented by the film director himself, Valery Todorovsky. The movie is about Russia’s most famous ballet and tells the story of two characters, Yulya and Karina, who study at the ballet academy and then compete to become lead dancers in a performance at the Bolshoi Theater.
The opening ceremony in India will see a tribute paid to the legendary Raj Kapoor and his hallmark 1970s film ‘Mera Naam Joker’ which ran successfully across the USSR 45 years ago. Special guest for the evening will be Randhir Kapoor and Kseniya Ryabinkina, a former ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater, who played one of the key roles in the film.
The film festival will travel from Delhi to Mumbai and culminate in Goa at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI). Pathbreaking films such as Light up, Hostage and Closeness will be screened at IFFI. Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev’s new masterpiece titled Loveless is a movie described as an “apocalyptic study of a failed marriage and the subsequent disappearance of a child” in reviews.
Organised by the Cinemarus, a production company in cooperation with Russkoe kino company and supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Russian National Fund of Copyright Holders’s Support, the Filmmakers Union of the Russian Federation, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting India, Directorate of Film Festivals and IFFI the film festival titled ‘Russian Film Days’ will throw open the world of Russian visual arts and films to the people of Goa.
Maria Lemesheva, Editor-in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter (Russian edition) who is also the producer of the forum and adviser of the Filmmakers Union of the Russian Federation said, "We see that our work is already producing results - the mutual interest of Russian and the Indian film industry has grown substantially. This year Indian films have become participants of the Moscow International Film Festival.
Considering the rich history of Indo-Russian cinema relations, I'm sure this year will be vivid and memorable and will give us new interesting and mutually beneficial projects.