Russian Film Week 2019: The Big Launch
On November 24, London celebrated the opening of the fourth annual Russian Film Week festival in the iconic London cinema – ODEON Luxe Leicester Square. The highlight of the event was the world premiere of Klim Shipenko’s comedy «Servant». The Russian premiere of the movie is scheduled for the end of December. «Servant» is the story of Grisha, a young man born with a silver spoon in his mouth. After a car crash, Grisha wakes up in 1860 village inhabited by serfs. There he faces a very different lifestyle and has to adapt to the ruthlessness of that age. Milosh Bikovich, Ivan Okhlobystin, Alexandra Bortich, Vadim Demchog, Alexander Samoilenko, Maria Mironova, and other famous Russian speaking actors played the main roles in the movie. The screening of «Servant» was followed by Q&A session with Filip Perkon, Klim Shipenko, and actress Maria Mironova.
The festival welcomed a number of famous people from Russian and British cinema industries, cultural figures and businessmen. Filip Perkon, the General Producer of the Russian Film Week, opened the official part of the evening with his speech: «Looking back four years ago at our first festival, I remember dreaming how one day we would host the opening at the iconic Odeon Luxe. I am very pleased that this dream has come true tonight. Especially since this is the first time when we are opening our film festival with a world premiere.» He explained that this year a record number of applications were submitted for participation in the festival. The Russian Film Week Nomination Committee watched over 430 films. The final program included 36 full-length and 18 short films of various genres: dramas, comedies, historical films, thrillers, action films, melodramas, fantasy, documentaries.
«Of course, I am extremely pleased that my film opens The Russian Film Week in London. «Servant» is a story about father-son relationships and the means by which parents choose to re-educate spoiled youth. It seems to me that the London audience is a perfect target for our film. Many of our wealthy compatriots live here and this plot becomes especially relevant. And this is probably the most “Russian” film in the RFW program; not only it shows modern Russia, but it also brings us back to the traditional Russian village of the XIX century, back to our roots. Despite of the theme, “Servant ” is a comedy: a genre that is appealing and accessible to any viewer” said Klim Shipenko. Today Klim is one of the most famous contemporary Russian directors. His track record includes the thriller «Who am I?» with Zhanna Friske, the adventure film «Salute-7» and the production of Dmitry Glukhovsky’s sensational novel «Text» with Alexander Petrov starring, which the audience will see this year. By the way, «Salyut-7» was also included in the program of the Russian Film Week in 2018.
The fourth Russian Film Week will run until December 1, 2019, in landmark venues across London: ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, BFI Southbank, Regent Street Cinema, Ciné Lumière, Curzon Mayfair, as well as in Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Oxford. An eight-day film panorama celebrates the best of new films produced by Russian filmmakers worldwide and promotes Russian cinema while bridging the gap between Russian cinematography and the Western world. Besides the opportunity to see new Russian film releases, the guests will have the chance to meet the filmmakers at Q&A sessions, masterclasses, workshops, seminars, public talks, VR-films and art exhibitions. The Russian Film Week culminates in the Golden Unicorn Awards focused on the recognition of international and local filmmakers creating films in Russia and on Russia-related themes. The awards ceremony is expected to be another spectacular show featuring global actors on the red carpet and a Charity Gala Dinner in aid of Natalia Vodianova’s Naked Heart Foundation.