Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Second KinoArt Festival in Toronto November 5 – 8 for The Love of Russian Film, Music and Art

Screenshot: KinoArt Festival in Toronto, November 5 – 8, 2009

KinoArt Festival
For The Love of Russian Film, Music and Art

Russian Directors Restake Claim to Their Classic Literature

with North American Premieres of

Anna Karenina and Taras Bulba

at the 2nd KinoArt Festival

running November 5 – 8 in Toronto

For Immediate Release

(October 30, 2009 – Toronto, ON) – Western filmmakers have had their turns. Now new, groundbreaking, culturally-authentic versions of Anna Karenina and Taras Bulba will be on offer at the second KinoArt Festival.

The Russian Film Festival, which runs in Toronto from Thursday, November 5th, until Sunday, November 8th, 2009, will also offer Russophiles a long-awaited sequel to Assa, the film that galvanized the underground Russian rock scene back in 1987. Also featured is the North American premiere of Metro, a stunning and unique documentary on the monumental Moscow subway, the first film of its kind to cover this subject. As well, there’s the 2008 Russian box-office hit We are From the Future, Andrei Maliukov’s time-traveling adventure that takes place in St. Petersburg during the fierce defense of the city in 1942.

After a successful launch in 2007, KinoArt Festival is back and this year brings with it the massive premiere of Anna Karenina along with legendary Russian director Sergey Solovyev and actress Tatyana Drubich. Solovyev’s version of the Leo Tolstoy’s epic love story will turn heads and provoke cinematic debate.

"We are very excited to bring Toronto our second KinoArt Festival," says Alla-Ani Poliakova, Founder and Executive Director of the Festival. "Our goal has always been to chronicle the evolution of Russian films, past and present through our film event, and this year we are really thrilled to be offering the most impressive feature films, documentaries, and shorts, some never before seen, and bring that to North America, specifically Toronto."

Other highlights at KinoArt include director Kirill Serebrennikov’s Yuriev Den, about a famous opera singer, which won the Grand Prix at Warsaw International Film Festival in 2008.

Making its debut in Toronto is Taras Bulba, directed by renowned director Vladimir Bortko it is based on the book by Nikolai Gogol (called "one of the 10 greatest books of all time" by Ernest Hemingway). Famously embraced by Hollywood as a starring vehicle for the late Yul Brynner, it’s an enduringly controversial story about Ukraine's Cossack warriors and their campaign to defend their lands from the advancing Polish armies.

From the notorious Russian director Alexei Balabanov, comes Morphine, his interpretation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s A Country Doctor's Notebook. The film’s screenplay was written by another famous Russian director, Sergei Bodrov, Jr. This joint effort recounts the events of 1917, the turbulent year of the Russian Revolution.

Shultes takes the audience on an existential voyage to Moscow, into the heart of Russia’s capital. The film is shown through the eyes of an ordinary Muscovite, who lives in an ordinary apartment building somewhere on the outskirts of the city, alone. His only connection to reality: his notepad.

The Festival closes with a searing documentary, Process directed by Alexander Zeldovich and devoted to the anniversary of the 1952 execution of the Jewish anti-fascist committee of the former U.S.S.R. Process, co-presented by the Jewish Film Festival, will be followed by a Q&A.

The same evening, visiting director Sergey Solovyev (Anna Karenina) will screen Assa – a Russian cult favourite from the late 80’s. His original film gave voice to the underground rock music scene, with the lead played by the charismatic rocker Victor Tsoy (the film’s soundtrack features a number of songs performed by a variety of Russian rock singers). Following the screening of Assa, after a wait of 22 years, will be the North American premiere of the sequel Assa 2. Solovyev’s sequel portrays the new generation in contemporary Russia, within a complex structure that references Solovyev’s own Anna Karenina.

Of note, Thomas Lahusen, Professor of Eurasian Cultural History at the University of Toronto and documentary filmmaker, together with Sergei Kapterev, senior researcher at the Institute of Film Art in Moscow, will participate in a panel on the present, past, and future of Russian cinema on November 6. Some of the questions raised will be the politics of documentary film, the problem of film exhibition and preservation, and the relevance of the Soviet cinematic experience to contemporary Russian and world cinema.

Following the panel discussion, a stunning debut will occur - the world premiere of Their Kingdom, a 1928 documentary from Soviet Georgia presented by Sergei Kapterev, with a post-screening Q&A. The film, by Mikhail Kalatozishvili, had been considered lost until its first two reels were discovered at Russia’s State Film Archive. Sergei Kapterev holds a Doctorate in Cinema Studies from New York University and is the author of the book Post-Stalinist Cinema and the Russian Intelligentsia, 1953-1960.

Also, Lahusen will present his own two short films; The Province of Lost Film and The Photographer at KinoArt on November 7.

Tickets can be purchased at the Venues night of screening
And (in Russian)

Gala Opening: $20 Adults, $12 Students and Seniors - includes Gala Post Reception
Main Program: $12 Adults, $10 Students and Seniors

Isabel Bader Theatre
93 Charles Street West
Tel: 416.585.4523

Regent Theatre
551 Mt. Pleasant Road

Slavic Department at University of Toronto
121 St. Joseph Street
Tel: 416.926.2075

The following list outlines KinoArt Festival 2009’s sponsorship line-up:
Ministry of Tourism; Canada Heritage; U of T Slavic Department; United Stars; Brunella; Steam Whistle; Finn-Tastic; Ethnic Channel Group; Next TV; Tokmakov TV;; West East Newspaper; Express Gazeta; Mix TV; Nasha Gazeta


For more info, to request screeners, to set up interviews, get GAT:
Ingrid Hamilton h/o: 416-482-6142 c: 416-731-3034
Vitaly Gurevich c: 416-888-3744

3rd Russian Film Festival, 30 October — 8 November 2009
Apollo Cinema. London, Tel. 0871 220 6000
More information on

links: 9th Annual Russian Film Week NYC November 2009 17th Honfleur Russian Film Festival (France) - 25 - 29 November 2009 Cinema of Russia "Анна Каренина" без Анны Карениной
Екатерина Барабаш, Санкт-Петербург-Москва Татьяна ДРУБИЧ: Сегодня самоубийство Анны Карениной сочли бы глупостью
Анастасия ПЛЕШАКОВА Промо-ролик нового фильма Сергея Соловьёва «Анна Каренина»

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