The Message to Man International Film Festival, which will take place in St. Petersburg from October 20 to October 28, 2023, presents its first out-of-competition programmes and opens accreditation for the media. The Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives and the Committee for Culture of Saint Petersburg.
The selection committee of the programme directorate for the 33rd Message to Man International Film Festival has completed the selection process and will be ready to announce the competition programme lineup by the end of September. In the meantime, the Festival reveals part of the extensive out-of-competition programme. Traditionally, the Superreal Cinema programme curated by film scholar and journalist Andrei Plakhov will introduce the audience to the most highly anticipated new feature films. Additionally, other special programmes will be presented at the Festival’s venues: Workshop by Petr Shepotinnik and New Voices by Mikhail Ratgauz, and more.
«Messages to Man’s special out-of-competition programmes are designed to expand the intellectual scope of the Festival, which remains centered on documentary cinema. In today’s landscape, it can be challenging to differentiate between documentary and fiction, reality and its artificial imitation, reliable information and propaganda, or truth and the so-called post-truth. The Superreal Cinema programme encourages us to view this contradiction as a fundamental issue in contemporary culture and cinema. The films featured in this programme often transcend conventional genre and cinematic boundaries. In one way or another, they all engage with real facts, but through creativity and vision of their creators, they are transformed into a subjective ‘super-reality’», – Andrei Plakhov, curator of the Superreal Cinema programme.
- The Book of Solutions (Le livre des solutions), directed by Michel Gondry; France, 2023, 102 min;
- Vacation (Каникулы), director Anna Kuznetsova; Russia, Finland, 2023, 118 min;
- The New Miracle (Новое чудо), directed by Alexandra Strelyanaya; Russia, 2023, 95 min;
- About Dry Grasses (Kuru Otlar Üstüne), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan; Türkiye, 2023, 197 min;
- The Nature of Love (Simple comme Sylvain), directed by Monia Chokri; France, 2023, 110 min;
- Frau (Фрау), director Lyubov Mulmenko. Russia, 2023, 105 min.
«The Workshop programme offers the viewer a glimpse into the creative laboratory of outstanding Italian directors, whose films are recognized as classics of world cinema. It serves as a retrospective of the documentary filmmaker Mario Canali’s work over the past decade. His documentary studies focus on Marco Ferreri, Gillo Pontecorvo, Vittorio De Sica and the Taviani brothers. Additionally, the programme includes a film dedicated to the legacy of American director Douglas Sirk, whose work profoundly influenced many European filmmakers, most notably Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Sirk’s films defied the conventions of Hollywood cinema during the 1940s and 1950s. As we continue to search for new works, our intention is to expand the thematic and stylistic boundaries of our ‘workshop.’ We won’t limit ourselves solely to filmmakers’ stories», – Petr Shepotinnik, curator of the Workshop programme.
- Vittorio D., directed by Mario Canale, Annarosa Morri; Italy, 2009, 93 min;
- Gillo, directed by Mario Canale, Annarosa Morri; Italy, 2007, 93 min;
- Douglas Sirk – Hope as in Despair, directed by Roman Huben; Switzerland, 2023, 76 min;
- Marco Ferreri: The Director who Came from the Future, directed by Mario Canale; Italy, 2007, 93 min;
- Passion and Utopia, directed by Mario Canale; Italy, 2015, 93 min.
«We live in an era of cinema hyperinflation; its overproduction is evident to everyone. The primary focus in cinema has become the art of the average. It becomes all the more challenging in this stream to find auteurs who are determined to think and sound distinctively. The inherent goal of the New Voices programme was the search for films that are difficult to be compared to immediate analogs. Can cinema be taught to think in a new manner? Seven young directors whose films are included in this year’s programme seek an answer to this question», – Mikhail Ratgauz, curator of the New Voices programme.
- Safe Place (Sigurno mjesto), directed by Juraj Lerotic; Croatia, 2022, 103 min;
- The Maiden, directed by Graham Foy; Canada, 2022, 117 min;
- Astrakan, directed by David Depesseville; France, 2022, 105 min;
- Unrest (Unrueh), directed by Cyril Schäublin; Switzerland, 2022, 93 min;
- Magnetic Fields (Magnitika pedia), directed by Giorgos Goussis; Greece, 2021, 78 min;
- The Island (L’île), directed by Damien Manivel; France, 2023, 73 min;
- Nobody Meets Your Eyes (Kukaan ei katso sinua silmiin), directed by Jesse Jalonen; Finland, 2022, 64 min.
Aside from that, the Message to Man International Film Festival opens accreditation for media, journalists, and bloggers. Applications for accreditation can be submitted on the festival’s website until October 6, 2023: https://message2man.com/for-the-press/accreditation-press/
In October, residents of Saint Petersburg and its visitors will once again have the opportunity to see more than a hundred carefully selected films from around the world. As one of Russia’s oldest cultural institutions, the Message to Man Film Festival has chosen its mission to engage audiences in the most relevant documentary, short, live-action, animated and experimental cinema.
Screenings of the Festival’s films will take place at Saint Petersburg’s central venues: the Dom Kino film centre, the LenDoc film studio, the Aurora, Rodina, and Velikan Park cinemas, Dom Radio, as well as the Order of Words bookshop.
The selection committee of the programme directorate for the 33rd Message to Man International Film Festival is in the final stages of selecting films for the competition and will announce the competition programme lineup no later than September 21, 2023.