Main Competition jury press conference report
On October 2, 2020, the press conference with the jury of the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival's Main Competition took place. The press conference participants were Russian director and producer Timur Bekmambetov, European filmmaker Alexander Iordanescu, British film critic Brian Viner, Egyptian writer and journalist Mahmood Soliman and Russian actress Marina Alexandrova.
«I am grateful for having been invited to gain insight into the films that are in line with the ideals and values declared by the festival’s co-founders many years ago. I am probably invited for our wonderful team to establish the criteria, according to which we’re going to judge the film. And I would like our decisions to be discussed together. It’s a new role for me, and I imagine this week as a search process to find out what is today’s cinema and the cinema of the future,» Timur Bekmambetov noted.
Alexander Iordanescu also thanked MIFF organizers for having invited him to be part of the jury.
«It is very important for me to be here and work with the colleagues from all over the world at the festival. It is essential nowadays. Love for cinema isn’t about love for national films, it’s love for stories that resonate with you,» the filmmaker emphasized.
Mahmood Soliman emphasized the importance of the festival taking place online and during such hard times. Brian Viner agreed with him.
«It feels like the cinema suffered a devastating blow. People already go to the cinema less because of streaming, and the pandemic has added to the concerns about the traditional cinema’s future. However, I’m sure that cinema will cope with this challenge, because collective viewing at the cinema is essential, and no comfy couch and watching Netflix can replace that. Moscow International Film Festival is one of the most significant showcases and the first one that had been postponed, but took place in the end. And it shows that even in these troubled times, one can power through and hold forums like this,» Brian Viner said.
Timur Bekmambetov is a devotee of the innovative «screenlife» format, to which MIFF dedicated a special section, and he also underlined that traditional cinema is «here to stay».
«Maybe it will change its form and reflect the reality we live in and human feelings more precisely which in the end is the most important thing in cinema. My pledge of fidelity to the traditional cinema is my next movie, «Fau. Escape From Hell», and it is set to hit the screens next year. Hope that cinema stays alive and well, and so does the film distribution,» Bekmambetov said..
He also noted that the Moscow International Film Festival «has always been dedicated to real people's problems, open to political statements, for the films that are outside the box for the establishment, and I would really like our festival to be a competition of filmmakers, not of nations or countries». Bekmambetov added that «a film festival isn't the World Cup, filmmakers win here, not countries».
Russian actress Marina Alexandrova is the only woman on the MIFF jury this year.
«I think that art has power, hope it conquers all pandemics, and people will come to the cinemas. Hope that the film art won't die and we won't only watch movies at home on TV. I would really like to believe that! Being on this jury feels great. It wasn't by accident that I played Empress Catherine the Great who was trying to make others lean to her side. I hope that my opinion will be heard in this gender inequality,» Alexandrova said.
She also emphasized that «all turning points and any crises — global or local — can cause transformations in the world of art.»
«At the festival, I would like to see the pictures that will set direction to this decade and to future generations, because it is nowadays that creatively bold and cool projects can be born. I hope I'll see some of them here,» Marina Alexandrova concluded.