'Shine a Light' to close event

Russia’s national festival Kinotavr will open with Alexander Proshkin’s competition player “Live and Remember” on June 7 and close with Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones docu “Shine a Light” on June 15.

Announcing the program for the 19th fest, which runs in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, TV mogul and fest topper Alexander Rodnyansky celebrated the growth of the local industry.

“For the 15 places in the main competition program, we looked at around 130 films,” he told a Moscow press confab.

Rodnyansky also said that three films from its past script-pitching program will be in competition this year.

Since Rodnyansky took over the event from founder Mark Rudinshtein three years ago, it’s been accenting business and encouraging special events at places like the Locarno Festival to get Russian industryites to look beyond their borders for opportunities.

As a result, three films in the main competition are co-productions.

Mikhail Kosyev-Nesterov’s “The Ocean” is a co-production with Cuba; Alexei Uchitel’s “The Captive” had Bulgarian coin behind it; Guka Omarova’s “Native Dancer” draws on Kazakh and European coin.

Fest will also fete vet auteur Alexei German Sr. and vet critic Armen Medvedev at the opening and closing galas, respectively.

Kinotavr’s board of directors is also growing, now including Konstantin Ernst of Channel One and Oleg Dobrodeev from pubcaster holding company VGTRK as well as moguls such as banking supremo Petr Aven and billionaire aluminum businessman Oleg Deripaska.

Top prize this year comes with a cash award of 625,000 rubles ($27,000). Fest jury will be headed by director Pavel Chukhrai (“The Thief”). Other jury members have yet to be confirmed.

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