On November 24, London celebrated the opening of the fourth annual Russian Film Week festival. The highlight of the event was the world premiere of Klim Shipenko's comedy “Servant”. The Russian premier of the movie is scheduled for the end of December.
“Servant” is the story of Grisha, a young man born with a silver spoon in his mouth. After a car crash Grisha wakes up in 1860 village inhabited by serfs. There he faces a very different lifestyle and has to adapt to the ruthlessness of that age. Milosh Bikovich, Ivan Okhlobystin, Alexandra Bortich, Vadim Demchog, Alexander Samoilenko, Maria Mironova and other famous Russian speaking actors played the main roles in the movie.
The screening of “Servant” took place in the iconic London cinema - ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, which has always been known for the Royal, World and European film premieres. Odeon Luxe has the largest cinema screen in the UK and is one of the few cinemas which interior is similar to the architecture of a classical theatre. Last night, at the Russian Film Week 2019’s big launch, all 800 seats were sold out.
The festival welcomed a number of famous people from Russian and British cinema industries, cultural figures and businessmen, including director of “Servant” Klim Shypenko's, actress Maria Mironova, actor Dmitry Dyuzhev, actor, Andrew Byron, actress Svetlana Kamynina, actress and model Yanina Studilina, Nikolay Storonsky (founder of Revolut), Andrey Andreev (founder of Badoo app) etc.
Filip Perkon, the General Producer of the Russian Film Week, opened the official part of the evening with his speech: “Looking back four years ago at our first festival, I remember dreaming how one day we would host the opening at the iconic Odeon Luxe. I am very pleased that this dream has come true tonight. Especially since this is the first time when we are opening our film festival with a world premiere.”
He explained that this year a record number of applications were submitted for participation in the festival. The Russian Film Week Nomination Committee watched over 430 films. The final program included 36 full-length and 18 short films of various genres: dramas, comedies, historical films, thrillers, action films, melodramas, fantasy, documentaries. As always Russian Film Week presents an entire diversity of genres in the Russian film industry and this is reflected in the choice of the opening film. “At our first festival we started with a military-historical film (“The Hero”, directed by Y.Vasiliev), then there was a science-fiction (“Attraction”, directed by F. Bondarchuk), last year we showed historical drama (“The Story of a An Appointment”, D. Smirnova ),” Filip Perkon recalled.
“Of course, I am extremely pleased that my film opens The Russian Film Week in London. “Servant” is a story about father-son relationships and the means by which parents choose to re-educate spoiled youth. It seems to me that London audience is a perfect target for our film. Many of our wealthy compatriots live here and this plot becomes especially relevant. And this is probably the most “Russian” film in the RFW program; not only it shows modern Russia, but it also brings us back to the traditional Russian village of the XIX century, back to our roots. Despite of the theme, "Servant " is a comedy: a genre that is appealing and accessible to any viewer. It happened that this year I present two of my films at the RFW. My other work, “Text”, is completely different from “Servant.” It is a drama about Russian reality today; there are no metaphors, just the real story about a person’s vulnerability in the face of repression and the way in which our whole life can fit in a smartphone. I am looking forward to meeting with London audience – a very different type of audience – and participating in interesting discussions. Hopefully, they will see me as a director that can convey very different themes through the screen." said Klim Shipenko.
Today Klim is one of the most famous contemporary Russian directors. His track record includes the thriller “Who am I?” with Zhanna Friske, the adventure film “Salute-7” and the production of Dmitry Glukhovsky’s sensational novel “Text” with Alexander Petrov starring, which the audience will see this year. By the way, “Salyut-7” was also included in the program of the Russian Film Week in 2018.
The screening of “Servant” was followed by Q&A session with Filip Perkon, Klim Shipenko and actress Maria Mironova, who played one of the main roles in the comedy. After the show, the guests moved to W Hotel, where the RFW Kaspersky Opening Party took place.
The fourth Russian Film Week will run until December 1, 2019 in landmark venues across London: ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, BFI Southbank, Regent Street Cinema, Ciné Lumière, Curzon Mayfair, as well as in Edinburgh, Cambridge and Oxford. An eight-day film panorama celebrates the best of new films produced by Russian filmmakers worldwide and promotes Russian cinema while bridging the gap between Russian cinematography and the Western world. Overall, 37 movies of different genres and 18 short films are included in the program showing the diversity of Russian cinematography. Besides the opportunity to see new Russian film releases, the guests will have the chance to meet the filmmakers at Q&A sessions, masterclasses, workshops, seminars, public talks, VR-films and art exhibitions. Guests can also meet them at the RFW Industry Forum, a 2-day event of pitching, casting and meetings between Russian and British filmmakers.
The Russian Film Week culminates in the Golden Unicorn Awards focused on the recongnition of international and local filmmakers creating films in Russia and on Russia-related themes. The awards ceremony is expected to be another spectacular show featuring global actors on the red carpet and a Charity Gala Dinner in aid of Natalia Vodianova’s Naked Heart Foundation.
Russian Film Week and The Golden Unicorn Awards was founded in 2016 by Filip Perkon (Perkon Productions Ltd.), co-organizers – Synergy University and Rock Films. General sponsor of The Russian Film Week and The Golden Unicorn Awards 2019 – SIBUR; sponsors – Gazprom Marketing & Trading and Blavatnik Family Foundation. Charity Partner – Naked Heart Foundation. The festival is supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture.
The schedule of all events can be found on the official website http://www.russianfilmweek.org/
For media inquiries please contact Maria Razumova at:Razumova@russianfilmweek.org
Photos of the ceremony- https://yadi.sk/d/tOBF7n6B39qAYQ
Photos from the afterpary - https://yadi.sk/d/RlUzJpwr-Yd7iQ
(Photographers: Olga Kotelevkays and Sergey Petrazhitski
Photos from the afterparty - https://www.splento.com/photos/4OKD
(Photographer: Charlie Burgio (Splento)