MOSCOW — Cutting edge cinema gets a boost from top of the range automobiles this week, as the debut edition of the 2Morrow Film Festival unspools in Moscow.
As well as being the main sponsor of the event, contributing a top prize of $100,000, Audi also claims to be a source of inspiration for the festival, which opens in the Russian capital on Oct. 26 and runs through Oct. 29.
“Our philosophy is: Making special films is like making special automobiles. You have to have a certain vision,” said Audi Russia topper Till Brauner at Monday’s press conference that announced final program and jury.
“You can make a blockbuster movie … but sometimes you realize you don’t want only to see blockbusters, but something special,” Brauner said, adding that he had developed the fest concept in informal discussions over two years with fest prexy, the Russian helmer Ivan Dykhovichny.
Audi hopes that other sponsors will come on board in the future, but Brauner has confirmed already his endorsement of the event for next year.
2Morrow’s profile is certainly adventurous, trying to cut away from established local fests that have a more traditional brief, most notably the Moscow Intl. Film Fest, which comes round every June, and has long proved somewhat staid in its profile.
The new fest, by contrast, is titled a festival of “modern cinema.”
It presents a competish slate of 10 pics, judged by a jury headed up by Dutch arthouse filmmaker Jos Stelling, as well as around 30 films in Panorama in a packed four-day schedule.
Steve Buscemi’s “Interview,” an adaptation of a script by the late Dutch director Theo Van Gogh, opens the fest, while Stelling’s own new film, the Ukrainian-themed “Dushka,” winds it down.
Other competish fare, largely garnered from other fests, includes “Once” by Irish director John Carney, Czech director Petr Nikolaev’s “It’s Gonna Get Worse,” Estonia’s “Magnus” and Russian director Natalia Mitroschina’s “Sluchay.”
As well as the cash rich director prize, they will be judged in four other categories: visuals, sound, acting and story.
If the launch of a new fest in Moscow is not exciting enough, added frisson comes from the fact that its start up organizers are Interfest, which ran the Moscow Intl. Film Festival for more than 30 years until 2006. The org’s break up with MIFF was far from amicable, it is understood.
Most observers agree there’s a need for some fresh air on the Russian fest scene, for an event that aspires more to the dynamism of Rotterdam than the classic “Class A” event. And with local acquisition of arthouse fare steady if not spectacular, the opportunities of a new fall showcase for specialty product look encouraging.