Wednesday is the day of final premières of international and national documentary competition and the first day of the animation competition screenings. And now – to details.
IC 9, the final group of international competition films. Estoy Feliz by Nastia Korkia is the only Russian work in the programme. It is a very personal film about her mother who got cancer and went to the shamans of the Amazon forests to heal. As the director says, “The biggest revelation for me was, how much a person can simultaneously be unable to come to terms with the reality and strong to do everything their way, to have both fear and determination.” Connected, by Aleksandra Maciejczyk, also deals with an illness transforming the relationship between two people. We see an elderly Polish couple that come to a skiing resort. But it soon becomes evident that climbing a mountain is a much bigger challenge for their relationship that we could expect.
The national competition also holds its final screening (although the films will be repeated). This group of films deals with underexplored parts of our country. It includes How Big Is the Galaxy? by Ksenia Yelyan, a snowy film about the Dolgan, a small-numbered peoples living beyond the Polar circle and trying to preserve its culture against the pressure from the outside world. And Alexey Evstigneev’s short film The Track about a narrow-gauge railway, which is the only connection between the village Otdalenny in the Caucasus and the world.
In the evening, international animation programme screening will start at Velikan Park — a 100-minute block that includes works by Konstantin Bronzit, Leonid Shmelkov, as well as beginning and experienced animation directors from around the world.
The second block of In Silico competition will be screened at Aurora cinema. Even more experiments can be seen in Aurora, where the Helsinki cooperative films will be screened as part of the Nordic Avant-Garde programme. The Icelandic video art exhibition continues at the Museum of the History of Photography.
Panorama.doc documentary programme will show the last work by Agnès Varda – Varda by Agnès, a sort of an attempt at an autobiography and drawing conclusions, but made in that marvellous manner that for 60 years clearly characterized this remarkable author.
The Surreal Cinema programme shows two St Petersburg premières. Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach, a classic of British social realism. Film critic Yegor Belikov writes, “Sorry We Missed You might seem mockingly simple: two parents go to work, return home and raise their children, repeated many times per week (the dad has only one day off, both are very busy, so the children get out of hand). And yet it is captivating: you sit and worry for them, how will they survive, these blue collars.” It will be followed by I Was at Home, But by Angela Schanelec, one of the main authors of the Berlin school of filmmaking. Film critic Nikita Smirnov writes, “Angela Schanelec’s films look into children, adults and animals and either compare their situations (an attentive viewer will find similarities), or the ways of existing on screen. In order to do this, Schanelec exposes her own direction by compiling a film not just from what is evident, but from absences and omissions, by leaving for herself only a static camera, and for her characters – a minimum of lines and gestures in which actors can find refuge from her unwavering gaze.”
The Collapse of Socialism will show Material by Thomas Heise. Curator Katerina Beloglazova talks about the film. “Thomas Heise’s Material (2009) is a monumental 3-hour-long record of the events of autumn of 1989, images that he personally shot with a Betacam and that are followed by his other videos and deliberations on the history of Germany up to 2008. It is one of the most detailed records of the transit from East to West Germany.”
The Chantal Akerman retrospective will show News from Home, an experimental attempt of the European director to reconstruct her life in New York of the early 1970s, but five years later. According to Dennis Lim, a film expert and director of programming at the Lincoln Center, this film is “a brilliant experiment in self-portraiture and sound-image relationships that both derive their power from paradox… conjuring an indelible sense of both place and displacement.”
Lendok Open Film Studio will host an event by B2B Doc, an informal collective of documentalists from the Baltic to the Black Sea. B2B Doc is a co-production platform for filmmakers living and working between the Baltic Sea in the North and the Black Sea in the South. European film producers’ workshop will start at 9 a.m. (registration required). Discussion topics include: how to enter the international market with your project, what potential does a local story have, whete to look for financing and what tools help achieving your goals. After the workshop there will be an open pitching of projects, at the end of which experts will provide their feedback to filmmakers and might select some of them for further participation in B2B Doc’s events.
In the evening, St Petersburg School of New Cinema will host a workshop by a Dutch video artist and director Pim Zwier.