St. Petersburg Intl. Media Forum Launches

Catherine Mtsitouridze, SPIMF's general producer, presents the program curators and their lineups

LONDON — The St. Petersburg Intl. Media Forum launched Wednesday with a lineup of screenings spread across 10 programs, each curated by a leading Russian film critic.

Catherine Mtsitouridze, SPIMF’s concept creator and general producer, said that the curators of programs had enjoyed complete freedom during the selection process.

“For the film selection for the Media Forum, it was essential to ensure 100% freedom of expression for the curators, our friends and like-minded fellows. Trust is the key success factor in our work,” she said.

The event opens with Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy” and closes with the world premiere of Susanne Bier’s “Serena,” which stars Jennifer Lawrence.

The Mamentum section features four films by French directors that appeared at Cannes: Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria,” Francois Ozon’s “The New Girlfriend,” Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent” and Benoit Jacquot’s “Three Hearts.”

The section’s curator, Alexander Mamontov, commented: “Our program includes four of the current season’s timeliest films that survived the trial of these leading world festivals.”

The Trofey section looks at political leaders and their role in the key events of the 20th and 21st centuries, as depicted in film. It includes Giuseppe Ferrara’s “The Bankers of God,” Uli Edel’s “The Baader Meinhof Complex,” Patrick Rotman’s “Power,” Diego Velasco’s “Zero Hour,” and Marco Tullio Giordana’s “Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy.”

The Kor-Kor section, which was curated by Vasily Koretski, looks at films from North Korea. It includes Kyun Soon Jo’s “A Broad Bellflower,” Daniel Gordon’s “A State of Mind,” Anna Brоinowsky’s “Aim High in Creation,” and Kil-in Kim’s “Center Forward.”

“The Kor-Kor program was intended to invite the Russian audience to observe life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from two angles. The first section of the program includes documentaries about the DPRK filmed by Western filmmakers. The second section features films from the DPRK.”

The N-L-PO section, which features science fiction pics, includes Hugo Santiago’s “Invasion,” Elio Petri’s “The 10th Victim,” Virgil Vernier’s “Mercuriales,” Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “World on a Wire,” and Peter Wollen’s “Friendship’s Death.”

Boris Nelepo, N-L-PO curator, commented: “This program has been created to illustrate how varied science fiction can be. It includes five films from five countries. It encompasses various decades and contains works by classics and first-time directors alike.”

The Britannica section, which looks at British films, includes Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin’s “What We Did on Our Holiday,” Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip to Italy,” Dictynna Hood’s “Wreckers,” and Rob Brown’s “Sixteen.”

Alexey Medvedev, Britannica’s curator, commented: “In brief, the essence of Britishness is probably a good-natured surprise at the absurd world (the keystone of British humor) together with a determined assertion of opinions and honor (the gentleman’s code). British filmmakers do indeed fight for their place in the world of cinema. And they succeed. It goes without saying that this is what Russian cinema needs today.”

The Non-Fiction program includes Charlie Paul’s “For No Good Reason,” “Bjork: Biophilia Live” from directors Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton, “Dior and I,” which will be introduced by director Frederic Tcheng, Nancy D. Kates’ “Regarding Susan Sontag,” and Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s “The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument.” Alena Bocharova and Kirill Sorokin are the curators.

The Locarno Local program, which presents the best films from Locarno, includes Paul Vecchiali’s “White Nights on the Pier,” Pedro Costa’s “Horse Money,” Eugene Green’s “La Sapienza,” Lav Diaz’s “From What Is Before,” and Peter von Bagh’s “Socialism.” Boris Nelepo, Locarno Local curator, commented: “These five films are very unlike each other, both in style and narration. Perhaps the only quality that unites them — and for Locarno, it’s a crucial one — is the absence of cynicism and belief in the limitless possibilities of cinema.”

The Teen Spirit program includes Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ “The Kings of Summer,” Eric Tessier’s “The Pee-Wee 3D: The Winter That Changed My Life,” Agnes B.’s “My Name Is Hmmm…,” and Daniel Carbone’s “Hide Your Smiling Faces.” Alexey Medvedev, Teen Spirit curator, commented: “The Teen Spirit films are stories of growing up told simply and humorously, played with drive and an appetite for risk.”

The Gala of TV Series program includes “True Detective,” “The Leftovers,” “Extant,” “Penny Dreadful,” “The Knick,” “Homeland,” and “Londongrad.”

The Pilots program includes Roman Volobuyev’s “Tomorrow,” Alexey Agranovich’s “Glavkniga,”
Boris Khlebnikov’s “Salacious People,” and Evgeny Nikitin’s “Rashkin.” Denis Gorshkov is the Gala TV curator.

The Media Forum, which is organized by Roskino with the support of the government of St. Petersburg, runs until Oct. 10.

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