German fest will host first Russian Day

MOSCOW — Russia’s re-emergence as a filmmaking nation will be marked in a special one day focus on movies from the territory during next month’s Cottbus Film Festival, Germany.

The festival, which marks its 18th edition November 11-16, is one of the world’s leading showcases for film from Eastern Europe.

The Russian Day, the first in the festival’s history, is being held “to recognize the rapid development which has seen Russia advance again to become the most important film nation in the East European region,” organizers said in a statement.

Films due to be screened November 12 include the international premiere of Katya Shagalov’s “Once Upon a Time in the Provinces” and the German premiere of Pyotr Todorovksy’s anti-war drama “Riorita.”

The festival’s regular Focus program is devoted to ‘new cinema from the Baltics,’ with the emphasis on films about the coming of age for young adults – chosen to chime with the festival’s own anniversary.

The program includes three films examining the challenges faced by young women: “Monotony” about a young country woman who tries, and fails, to become an actress in the capital city, a debut by Latvian director Juris Poskus; “The Collectress” (Kristina Buozyte, Lithuania), about a woman who explores her lack of emotional feeling by making role-play videos; and “Where Souls Go” (Rainer Sarnet, Estonia), about the hidden fears of two teenage girls.

A retrospective marking the 40th anniversary of the events of 1968 in Czechoslovakia – when a thaw in the Communist regime was brutally crushed by a Russian-lead invasion – will include Czechoslovak feature films from the 1960s and contemporary newsreel reports on the dramatic events of the time.

The festival’s competition line-up is due to be announced later this month.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more