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The Fifth Russian Documentary Film Festival in New York

Ticket Prices and Information:
$14.00: General Screening Tickets
$9.00:   Student/Senior Discount for General Screening Tickets (must show valid ID at box office)
$27.00: Opening Night Film, Ceremony OR Closing Night Film, Ceremony
$40.00: Closing Night Film, Ceremony, and Reception at SSMA Club
The Fifth Russian Documentary Film Festival in New York is organized by The New Review, Inc, the oldest Russian-language magazine in New York, which celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2012 

 
Friday, September 28
7:00 p.m.
Opening Ceremony of the Fifth Russian Documentary Film Festival in New York.
The Opening Ceremony will start with a short introduction of the Festival’s participants – film directors and producers from Russia and the Russian-speaking diaspora, the Festival jury and the sponsors. The hosts of the fifth RDFF are:
 
Jon Alpert – Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director of DCTV, Producer, Reporter
Leonid Parfyonov – Russian news anchor, journalist, author of several enormously popular television programs
and
Ernst Neizvestny – an eminent, world-renowned sculptor.
 
The presentations will be followed by two film screenings:
7:40-9:00
Divine Vision (Part of the Film Competition program)
Presentation to be made by the filmmakers in person
Director: Sergei Murmamed, Ivan Skvortsov. Namedni Studio
Conception and Screenplay – Leonid Parfyonov
This film is dedicated to the centennial anniversary of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. This is a docudrama. The emergence of the Pushkin Museum is the story of Ivan Tsvetaev, Ivan Morozov, and Sergei Shchukin and how they assembled the unique collection of casts of works from ancient Athens to the Florentine Renaissance – and the magnificent collection of Gauguin, Matisse, Cezanne, and Picasso.
2012, 75 min. (Part One of Two)
 
9:00-10:00
The New Review: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.
Presentation to be made by the filmmakers in person
Director: Alexandra Sviridova. As a part of The New Review Russian New York project.
Dedicated to the seventieth anniversary of The New Review, the oldest continuously published Russian émigré intellectual journal. The New Review was founded in 1942 by the famous writer Mark Aldanov and poet Mikhail Tsetlin in collaboration with Ivan Bunin. For decades, this publication has been a cultural center of Russia Abroad. Among its authors were Nobel laureates Ivan Bunin, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky, as well as a plethora of the best-known writers of Russian literature in exile and even Soviet Samizdat. The history of The New Review is one of the important pages in the history of Russian New York in the twentieth century.
2012, 45 min.
***
Opening Ceremony, Film, and Presentation
Saturday, September 29
12:30 p.m.
Let Our Lives Continue In Others 
Director/ Scriptwriter: Georgy Molodtsov, Studia Ostrov, Russia
Film about the director’s mother who comes to Abkhazia to erect a monument on the nearly abandoned grave of her Georgian father. Her half-brother and sister are forbidden to enter the country as they left it as refugees after the war of 1992-1993 between Georgia and Abkhaziya, when 250.000 of Georgians had to left their motherland.
2012, 30 min. 
Saturday, September 29
1:00 p.m.
Man of God. (Part of the Film Competition program)
Presentation to be made by the filmmakers in person
Director: Maria Reshetnikova, New York
The film is about Bishop John of Shanghai and San Francisco, one of the greatest saints of the twentieth century, canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The earthly path of Bishop John reflects the paths of the Russian diaspora like the clear waters of a river. Serbia, China, America… A large group of postwar refugees from Red China were saved largely due to his involvement and through his pleas, given DP status and permitted to immigrate to the US. Many Orthodox churches in the US were raised thanks to the zeal of St. John.
2012. 50 min.
Saturday, September 29
2:10 p.m.
Boba, the Miner of the Great Dramatic Theater. (Part of the Film Competition program)
Presentation to be made by the filmmakers in person
Director: Eduard Staroselsky. Produced by Bravo Film (New York) and the Vyatka Cinevideo Studio (Kirov, Russia).
Festivals and Awards: The “Golden Nike” at the Vmeste (Together) Festival (Yalta, Russia).
When World War II ended, the miner Boris Leskin’s life unexpectedly attached itself to the Great Drama Theater. Leskin was no longer young when he made the decision to leave his beloved theater and try his fortune in America, where he became one of Hollywood’s successful actors. This tale of the life of Boris Leskin is told from two points of view – by Leskin himself and by his famous friend, actor Sergei Yursky.
2011. 50 min.
 
Saturday, September 29
3:20 p.m.
The Cinematic Hero – A Century of Russian Mystification.
(Part of the Film Competition program)
Director: R. Saulsky. Produced by the Centre of National Film.
Cinderella and “Inter-girl” were Soviet films and cultural landmarks. A figure on the screen can become a model of emulation for the people in front of that screen. The model can serve either as a healing balm or as a seductive poison. The influence upon the masses of “the most important of all the arts” is difficult to exaggerate. And Russia’s people, following the heroes of their favorite films, found themselves bravely working virgin lands, smashing moral barriers with ease, entering the ranks both of scientist and anti-establishment subcultures. Explore the amazing influence of film upon life!
2011. 52 min.
 
Saturday, September 29
4:20 p.m.
The Movie is Over (Part of the Film Competition program)
Director: Irina Vasilieva, winner of the Grand Prix at the Fourth Annual Russian Documentary Film Festival in New York. Produced by the Fishka Film Studio, Moscow.
Festivals and Awards: Grand Prix of the Pokrov International Russian Orthodox Film Festival IX in Kiev.
The film tells the true story of a woman who abandoned her family to follow the path of high ideals and true love. The director of the film spent ten years observing her subject.  The film she created evokes a broad spectrum of emotions, from surprise to outrage – and it leaves no one untouched.
2011. 52 min. 
  
Saturday, September 29
5:30 p.m.
The Nuremberg That Wasn’t
Director: Igor Holodkov. Conception and Screenplay: Irina Vasilieva, winner of the Grand Prix at the fourth Annual Russian Documentary Film Festival in New York in 2011. Produced by the Fishka Film Studio, Moscow.
The film is a rare Russian mockumentary (a pseudo-recreation of events that never actually happened). The film is based on real-world documents – evidence of the crimes of the Stalin regime. Fully sixty-four volumes of these documents were collected in the 1960s by the Shvernik Commission for the investigation of political repression in the Soviet Union during the period of Stalinism. These documents were gathered in preparation for a Nuremburg-style trial, but the trial was never held. Why did this initiative fail? Why did the trial never begin? Why has the complete truth about Stalin’s “Great Terror” still not been brought to light? The film features renowned philosopher Gregory Pomerants. 
2010. 44 min.
 
Saturday, September 29
6:20 p.m.
Fact or Fiction. (Part of the Film Competition program)
Director: Maria Volchanskaya.
Festivals and Awards: Winner of the Stalker Film Festival for the Best Film and of the Novaya Gazeta Prize.
In this lyrical documentary comedy, Natalia lives with her son and adopted daughter in a rustic village. Her husband is dead and she cannot shoulder the burden of their lives by herself. That is when Natalia decides it is time to adopt more children from the orphanage and to find a new husband…
2011. 52 min.
 
Saturday, September 29
7:30 p.m.
St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio presents:
I Will Forget This Day  
Director: Alina Rudnitskaya. Produced by the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio.
Festivals and Awards: Second prize at the XI “DocumentaMadrid” IFF, Spain, 2011; World Pulse RTP Award and Amnesty International Award at the VIII IFF IndieLisboa, Portugal, 2011; Competition at 51st IFF Krakow, Poland, 2011; Special Jury Prize at the Ninth Window on Europe Film Festival, Vyborg, 2011; Best Short Documentary Film at XXI IFF Message to Man, Saint-Petersburg, 2011; MDR Film Prize and Honorary Mention at Fifty-Fouth Film Festival of Documentary and Animated Films, Leipzig, 2011; Best Documentary at the Fifth World Independent Film Award, Warsaw, Poland, 2011; “Award Danzante” at Thirty-Ninth International Film Festival in Huesco, Spain, 2011, etc.
The film highlights the “demographic problem” in Russia (where the death rate, amazingly and disturbingly, has outpaced the birth rate for years now). The film delves into a fantastically intimate and yet socially crucial question: what does a woman think and feel in the five minutes before her abortion?
2010. 27 min.
The Lemon Seller (Part of the Film Competition program)
Director: Maxim Yakubson. Produced by the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio.
The poet Roald Mandelstam lived in post-war Leningrad. From childhood, he suffered from osseous tuberculosis. Among his frequent guests were the artists of the “Arefyev circle,” a.k.a. the Order of Mendicant Artists. Fifty years later, a fresco entitled “Archers,” painted by one of his friends, was discovered beneath the wallpaper in the room where Mandelstam once lived. This is a film about a talented poet and the painters who were his friends – important figures in Russian postwar culture little known in the West.
2012, 27 min.
 
Saturday, September 29
8:40 p.m.
Anna Akhmatova. Those Contours Will Not Quench Within
Director-essayist: Anna Polibina
This short documentary made in a genre which very popular among young generation of Russian film-makers – film-essay based on computer graphics.
7 min.
Written by Sergey Dovlatov. (Part of the Film Competition program)
Director: R. Liberov
About the difficult fate of the well-known Russian émigré writer – with that special and inimitable brand of humor that was Dovlatov’s own trademark. Sergei Dovlatov was a leading Soviet émigré writer noted for the laconic irony and graceful irreverence of his stories about his homeland. This film is a construction of photos, drawings, and computer graphics.
2011. 52 min.
***
 
Sunday, September 30, 1:00 p.m.
A Diary from Burnt Ghetto (Part of the Film Competition program)
Director: Evgeny Tsymbal. Produced by the Horosho Production Studio.
Festivals and Awards: Won a prize at the Saratovskye Stradaniia International Documentary Melodrama Festival.
The film tells the story of a teenage girl who miraculously survived the Holocaust. Tamara Rostovskaya, nee Lazerson, was in the Kaunas ghetto when she wrote her diary, the extant fragments of which became the basis for the film. Rostovskaya tells us, in the first person, about the murder of her family, about the ghetto, about the Lithuanians who helped her during the war and who were thereafter killed in the Gulag.
2011. 50 min.
 
Sunday, September 30, 2:00 p.m.
Ernst Neizvestny’s Bronze Age. Film II.
(Part of the Film Competition program)
Directors: A. Shishkov and Elena Yakovich. Produced by the RAKORD-TV Studio.
This documentary is the great sculptor’s monologue about time and about himself. Ernst Neizvestny contemplates man at war and the temptations of power, tyranny, and the crisis of contemporary culture. He talks about the cultural “Thaw” period in the USSR under Khrushchev and reminisces about his friends of the generation that came of age in the 1960s. When this film was first shown in Russia, critics called it “the most honest film of the spring season in Russia in 2012.”
2012. 45 min.
Sunday, September 30, 2:50 p.m.
Inside the Squaring of the Circle
(Part of the Film Competition program)
Director: Valeriy Shevchenko. Produced by the Vetrov-Realnoe Kino Film Studios.
Festivals and Awards: Won Best Short Film at the Russia Open Documentary Film Festival and also Best Student Film at the Kinoproba Film School’s International Festival Workshop.
After the official New Year’s Tree celebration in the Kremlin, children go to the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square, where their parents are waiting…
2011. 17 min.
 
The Mark (Part of the Film Competition program)
Presentation to be made by the Filmmakers in Person
Director: Olga Arlayskas. Produced by the Artvideo Studio.
Festivals and Awards: Recipient of the United Nations Award at the Stalker IFF as well as prizes at ARTDOCFEST, the National Laurel Wreath Award.
A penetrating film about people with Down’s syndrome and autism whose lives are an endless torment… It is a cinematic study of the limits of humanity and human diversity. Do we help them or do they help us?  With prominent Russian actress Evgenia Simonova and politician Irina Khakamada. Screening was sponsored by Capital Builders Group, Inc., USA.
2011. 26 min.
Sunday, September 30, 4:00 p.m.
Closing Ceremony.
Screenings devoted to the Russian avant-garde artists.
The Russian Concept. Monologues about Russian Non-Conformist Art.
(Part of the Film Competition program)
Presentation to be made by the filmmakers in person
Director: Igor Sopronenko. Signature Media Production, 2011
This documentary explores non-conformist Russian art and features several Russian artists whose works are considered masterpieces and classics of conceptual art. Among the artists interviewed are Vitaly Komar, Aleksandr Kosolapov, Oleg Vasiliev, Vagrich Bahkchanyan and Leonid Sokov. The film also includes interviews with American and Russian art critics and contains many works of non-conformist artists from The Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union in the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, and also from private collections.
2011. 46 min.
Odnoralov’s Coat (Part of the Film Competition program)
Presentation to be made by the filmmakers in person
Director: Nina Zaretskaya. Produced by Art Media Centre, TV Gallery.
As all Russian literature came from Gogol’s The Overcoat, as the phrase famously goes, so may all of Russia’s post-war “Nonconformist” art come from Mikhail Odnoralov’s “Coat” (Lidia Iovleva). This film is about the fate and life of an artist in a totalitarian state, about dissidents and free spirit, about immigration and art. 
2012. 60 min.
6:20-7:00 Closing Ceremony. Q & A
8:00-11-00 Closing Reception at the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club. (283 Lexington Ave.)

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