Pavilion to be twice size of last year's

MOSCOW — The Russians are returning to Cannes big time, with a Market pavilion twice the size of last’s year stand, which repped the local film industry’s first ever foray onto the Croisette.

A full sked of film presentations, workshops, co-production pitching sessions and director master-classes is planned for the 1,614 square foot pavilion in a prime beach-side location close to the Market and International Village.

Highlights include a round-table discussion on the business prospects for Western producers of independent cinema in the Russian market during a time of financial crisis, scheduled for May 15, and a discussion on co-production opportunities for Russian and international filmmakers that will include representatives from key government funding agencies and leading Russian producers on May 18.

The pavilion organized by the Russian ministry of culture, promotion body Sovexport Film and non-profit group Russian Film Network, is sponsored by companies that include Russian World Studios and Access Industries.

Pavilion organizers see it as a one-stop shop for information on Russian film and filmmakers and said in a statement that this year it would “continue the work already started on the creation of a Russian ‘cultural embassy’ in Cannes.”

In other Cannes Market news, the Croatian Audiovisual Center is also taking an International Village pavilion for the second time since its debut last year, and will be marking its full membership of the European Film Promotion network, which it joined January. Croatian producer Ankica Juric Tilic, a graduate of the EAVE (European Audio Visual Entrepreneurs) producers training program, has been chosen to take part in the EFP’s Producers on the Move scheme.

Croatian director Dalibor Matanic’s 15 minute short “Party” (Tulum) is in official selection at Cannes in Critics’ Week. A story of innocence irrevocably lost with the onset of the war, it is the second film in a series of six short films dealing with the intimate lives of six young girls from six different parts of the world on the same day. The first film in the series “The Draught” (Susa) was screened at Cannes in the Directors’ Fortnight program in 2003.

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