Russian Film Week took place between 30th November and 4th December at London’s historical Regent Street Cinema. The festival featured over 20 of the best Russian films from the past 18 months including 3 world premieres.
Russian Film Week celebrated the designation of 2016 as the UK-Russian year of language and literature as well as Russia’s “Year of cinema”.
By showing the most exciting and critically acclaimed Russian films from the past 18 months, the festival aimed to inform and educate viewers about the richness, depth and variety of contemporary Russian filmmaking, to reach out to audiences above and beyond all cultural or political barriers, and to bridge the seemingly growing gap between East and West.
Alongside multiple screenings, there were many other exciting events taking place across the city, including exhibitions, musical performances as well as master-classes by renowned film directors. Over 40 of Russia’s most talented directors, producers and actors attended the festival to take part in workshops, Q&As and other events.
The jewel in the crown of Russian Film week was undoubtedly the Co-Production Day, where film industry professionals from both Russia and the United Kingdom were invited to network in order to foster future collaboration, to discuss projects, to discover new funding sources and to enjoy the benefits of learning from and working with a different culture.
Within the framework of the Russian Film Week was the establishment of the Golden Unicorn Awards in recognition of excellence in 12 different categories. Nominations were to be decided by a jury of 9 internationally renowned film scholars, critics and industry professionals.
“The reason for the name stems from our cross-cultural mission: the unicorn is a mythical creature that only appears to the select chosen ones and it is found both in Russian and British Folklore dating back centuries. – says Filip Perkon, RFW General Producer and founder. – We all know that the British Royal coat of arms pictures the lion and the unicorn. What is lesser known, is that during the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the 16th Century, the unicorn was inscribed onto the Russian coat of arms”.
In order to further promote a cross-cultural agenda, the nominees included international co-productions with film–makers and actors from a wide range of countries. A nomination for Best Foreign Film About Russia or Set in Russia and a Prize for the Promotion of Russian Culture Abroad was also established.
The winners were announced on 3rd December at The Golden Unicorn Awards Charity Gala, held in support of the Gift of Life UK (Registered in England and Wales, 1140638).
More information can be found at: www.russianfilmweek.org/home.html