I don’t know about you, but I’m still reeling over the loss of the beloved BAMA Cine Art movie theater in downtown Buenos Aires. Sure, there are other places to get my foreign/indie/weirdo/fantastic film fix on, but a part of me is still wondering if I’ll ever love again. Anyway. Luckily, later this month the first-ever Russian Film Festival is coming to Buenos Aires, giving us all a chance to sink our teeth into contemporary Russian cinema and learn directly from its actors, directors, and producers.
From November 21-27 at both the Cinépolis Recoleta (you might know it better as the Village Recoleta cinema) and Argentina’s own Russia House, you’ll be able to learn about the legacy of Russia’s culture and history through a diverse variety of lenses. After each film is screened, interactive debates and Q&A sessions will be held to further the conversation and spark engagement among both the audience and the film’s creators.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of collaboration between Argentina and Russia, meaning the film festival is a great cause for celebration. Thanks to support from Russia’s Ministry of Culture, the Russian Embassy in Argentina, and the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Buenos Aires (known as Russia House), you’ll have the chance to discover the nuances of the Russian Federation.
So, who are some of the VIP’s that will be participating? How about Danila Kozlovsky, Russia’s most popular contemporary actor? You probably know him from the show Vikings (he plays Oleg of Novgorod), or his roles as Grigory Mishin in McMafia, Count Dmitry in Rasputin or David in Dovlatov. He worked at the prestigious Bolshoi, and has acted alongside Keira Knightley and Gerard Depardieu, among others. At just 34, he’s premiering Trainer, his first film as screenwriter and director, at the festival.
Natalia Merkulova and Alexey Chupov are a directorial duo whose films touch on themes that most creatives tend to avoid. Their first film, 2013’s Intimate Parts, tells the story of unfulfilled desires and fantasies, bringing a new perspective to erotic storytelling. Their latest film, The Man Who Surprised Everyone (2018), was screened at the Eastern European Film Festival in Buenos Aires in addition to the Venice Film Festival and being nominated for a Golden Globe. During the upcoming festival, Merkulova and Chupoy will present 2017’s About Love. For Adults Only (psst! John Malkovich is in this one) and will engage in dialogue with the audience following its screening.
The schedule of screenings is not yet available, so stay tuned for the details. A complete list of the films is as follows: Trainer, Bolshoi, Dylda (Beanpole), Another Woman, Vyshe Neba, The Bull, A Russian Youth, Odessa, About Love. For Adults Only, Arrhythmia, Jumpman, A Rough Draft (Chernovik), Decision: Liquidation, and The Fixies: Top Secret.
All of the films are worth checking out, but read on for our selection of the movies that are at the top of our list.