The inauguration of Russian Film Days, held at Osianama in Liberty Cinema, was a star-studded affair. Along with Russian celebrities, Randhir Kapoor, Dino Morea, Bappi Lahiri, Neville Tuli, film historian SMM Ausaja, Shibani Kashyap, Neelima Azim, Ishaan Khattar, Dillzan Wadia, Raina Agni, Renu Chaudhary, Lezlie Tripathi among many others were present at the do.
Almost during half a century, the cooperation between the USSR and India in all spheres was associated with an active cultural exchange, the basis of which was cinema. The Indians learned about Russian culture and history from Soviet films, as India’s cinema in turn won all hearts of millions of people in the Soviet Union. For the older generation they are not only vivid recollections of youth, but their characters’ names sound to them as a password to the circle of friends, with stars such as Raj Kapoor, Hema Malini & Mithun Chakraborty especially inspiring the love from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Fostering this tradition of cultural relationships the Russian National Fund of the Copyright Holder’s Support along with the Filmmakers Union of the Russian Federation in partnership with Osianama, India’s pioneering cultural institution, is organizing the Russian Film Days Festival at the iconic Liberty cinema in the capital city of Indian Cinema – Mumbai.
This event will bring both Contemporary and Classic Russian Cinema along with helping to foster Indo-Russian cinematic partnerships. The Contemporary Film section will be marked by two World Premieres with the Opening Film “Without Borders”, and the Closing Film “The Teacher” which will be ahead of the Russian release scheduled for November 26.
The Film Screening Program contains 20 films [?1] – classic & contemporary films of different genres, providing an opportunity to get an idea about the modern Russian cinema from both artistic and commercial standpoint. All contemporary films are from 2015 with the only exception being “Viy” – the highest grossing Russian film of 2014 with $40 million at the box office. Also, the second part of this film is in co-production with China, and India is supposed to be the shooting location for its third part.
The Classic films Section has a Focus on the cinematic legend – Sergei Einistein along with films by other eminent directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky, Mikhail Kalatozov, Dziga Vertov. Also a small section dedicated to the Indo-RussianCollaboration is included. (See Screening Schedule Attachment #1)
The venue of the Russian Film Days Festival will be Osianama at Liberty, the famous art-deco cinema now a part of Osianama’s vision for India’s Cultural Development. The Russian Delegation who will be attending this event include many eminent personalities and celebrities, such as the Director of the Cinematography Department of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation – Vyacheslav Telnov; the Director General of FSUE Melody Firm Andrey Krichevsky; the First Deputy Chairman of the Filmmakers Union of Russia Oleg Ivanov; along with producers, directors and actors: Alisa Grebenschikova, Anna Churina, Oleg Stepchenko, Olga Zaitseva, Arina Borisova, Egor Koreshkov and other filmpersonalities. (See Attachment #2) The Russian Delegation will be headed by the Advisor of the Filmmakers Union of theRussian Federation, the Editor-in-Chief of The Hollywood Reporter Russia magazine Maria Lemesheva.
The forum agenda of the Russian Film Days Festival also includes meetings of actors and film directors with the audience, visits to Indian film studios, press-conferences and round tables, as well as social and business events.
The venue of the Festival was carefully chosen. Mumbai is the recognized film industry capital of India and one of the most important economic and cultural centers of the country. The Russian Film Days in this metropolis will contribute to the development of new relations with the creative and business communities of India, while strengthening the cooperation in the filmmaking industry as well as towards the development of the cultural exchange so sharing our genuine and positive intentions as a strategic partner of India.
“We really hope the art of cinema will become a connecting link between the peoples of Russia and India and to help us better understand each other. The Russian Film Days is a starting point for the revival of cultural and business cooperation traditions between our countries”, Maria Lemesheva stated with confidence. And it is hard to quarrel with this statement as also with the sentiments of Neville Tuli, Chairman of Osianama, who added: “The Indian Russian links have been deep and genuine, with the Soviet cinematic heritage, one of the greatest in the world, and a force of much inspiration during past decades. This relationship now needs to be strengthened and brought onto new platforms so as to rebuild with the changing values, technologies and priorities, but with a clear love and respect and continuity with our cultural heritage and shared histories.” Sarfaraz Alam, President Indian Film Festival. Russia, adds “The Festivals are good to keep the relation on and show case some quality films to each other. We can see the growing demand and love for the films in both the countries. The second step is to start distributing films in a big way.”