The present MIFF is taking place at the time of deep changes in the film industry and the festival movement. The advent of international streaming (primarily the activities of NETFIX and AMAZON) transforming our notions of a premiere screening, which are fundamental for class A festivals, to which the MIFF belongs, clash with the peculiarities of cinema and festival legislation in separate countries and the EU as a whole. A number of problems arose from the shift in the festival dates, which for reasons beyond our control was belatedly coordinated with FIAPF, International Federation of Film Producers Associations, regulating the cooperation between festivals and the right holders.
There are other more important factors in shaping the program: the change of generations in cinema, a shift in the tastes of the critics and the various audience groups, global and local changes in the cultural, economic, technological and artistic context which we often overlooked. For these reasons the present program contains new (or thoroughly forgotten old) elements which will hopefully heighten the polemics inside and outside the Festival.
While selecting films for the competition and out-of-competition screenings we tried to proceed from the current cinematic process which is very much unlike the homogenous film art of the classic periods. The art-house space will include premieres of forthcoming commercial hits. Besides the Competition, Russian and international premieres will appear in the program “Specter”. The aging of the population of the World and especially of the Eastern countries will be reflected in the revived “Third Age” program.
Somewhat belatedly we react to the growing influence of TV series in national and international culture. The program “The First Episode” introduces the latest TV series from Russian and other countries into the Festival screenings.
In addition to Russian works the Festival business venue presents projects by our Finnish and Turkish colleagues as well as the pitching of debut films. Our immediate plans include steps to turn it into a truly international venue despite all the sanctions and other obstacles.
Alongside the innovations which many viewers will consider questionable, there will be the traditional programs which will hopefully evade the decay and stagnation. Starting with “Eight and a Half Movies” to “Euphoria” and “Russian trace” they lay the basis for the stability of the MIFF on the eve of the forthcoming shakeups in the filmmaking process as a whole.
Kirill Razlogov
Festival Program Director