Russia’s first festival devoted solely to European film will open in the ancient city of Vologda in July.
The VOICES (Vologda Independent Cinema from European Screens) festival — backed by the Russian ministry of culture and the French embassy in Moscow, as part of a French-Russian cultural year — will screen 45 European debut or sophomore films.
Russian films will be included in the program — although not in a separate category, said Igor Gouskov, head of the fest’s selection.
Gouskov said Russia was changing and opening up to new cultural possibilities. Vologda, founded in 1147, the same year as Moscow,was one of the most beautiful of Russia’s provincial cities, with many historic churches and well-preserved ancient wooden houses.
“This is the first film festival in Russia devoted to European cinema; Russia is part of Europe and we see film as a way of exploring this,” Gouskov said.