Milyausha Aituganova: 2017 Kazan Muslim Film Festival Focuses on its Partnership with Russia – Islamic World Strategic Vision Group

During today’s press conference at Tatar Inform, the organising team of the 2017 Kazan Muslim Film Festival announced several changes and gave insights to the upcoming festival.

In 2017, the selection board of the festival received 782 entries from 61 countries, 60 of them have entered the festival’s competition programme in the following sections: full length feature, short feature, full length documentary, short documentary, Young Russian and the section of National Cinema.

“For the 13th edition of Kazan Muslim Film Festival we have several news. First of all, we have established an absolutely new section of National Cinema within our competition programme, which encompasses 10 films created in the Republic of Tatarstan or devoted to this region. The section involves full length and short feature films, documentary and animation films”, comments Milyausha Aituganova, the executive director of the 2017 Kazan Muslim Film Festival, the director of Tatarkino.

The 2017 festival will be held in partnership with Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group. “This partnership is the main focus of the 13th edition of the festival.
The partnership was proposed by the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, who is currently heading the group. Within the framework of the festival, we are hosting a forum of the industry members representing the countries of this group. At the same time, the films representing 20 countries of the group will be shown in the parallel programme of the festival named Russia – Islamic World”, highlighted Milyausha Aituganova.

The festival organising committee is holding a round table session with the film industry members from the countries of Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group to discuss the current issues of production and distribution is the Muslim World. Among the vital questions to be discussed in the session is the possible ways of cooperation of Tatarstan film makers with the industry members of the Muslim world and the opportunities for films co-production in Tatarstan.

The 2017 Kazan Muslim Film Festival director for programming, Albina Nafigova, gave her overview of the competition programme of the festival. She mentioned an unusual amount of films from South Asia and South East Asia (Nepal, Shri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh) participating in the festival as well as the increase of the number of Russian films and well representation of the films from Arab countries.
“The competition programme is quite exotic”, says Albina Nafigova. This year, the majority of films are from Asia and Africa. The out-of-competition segment of the festival is also worth of attention. For instance, we are going to screen two First Teacher films, one by Andre Konchalovskiy (Russia) produced in 1965 and another is by Upali Gamiath (Shri-Lanka) produced in 2016. Both of them are based on on the famous novel by Chinghiz Aitmatov, whereas each of them representing different cultural and time visions. You can have such experiences only at Kazan Muslim Film Festival”.

A member of the festival selection board, Adilya Khaybullina, gave her insights about the selection of films for competition programme: “It was quite a hard work for the selection board headed by Sergey Lavrentyev (Russia). Together with our colleagues, Ivan Forgacs (Hungary), Sergey Anashkin (Russia, Moscow), we have watched an enormous amount of films. It was a difficult choice. I would like to highlight the quality of two full length feature films by young Russian film directors entered the competition programme: Sofichka by Kira Kovalenko and Amun by Anar Abbasov. You can feel the impact of their teachers: Alexander Sokurov (for Kira Kovalenko) and Aleksey Uchitel (for Anar Abbasov). At the same time, both of them have their own style and vision and may provide keen and tough competition”.

In 2017, Kazan Muslim Film Festival also introduces an independent jury for media composed by leading Russian and international journalists: ProfiCinema journalist, a depute editor-in-chief of the Russian Union of Cinematographers newspaper Vita Ramm (Lithuania/Russia), a film critic Gulbara Tolomushova (Kyrgystan). and the editor of the department of culture of Efir TV channel Dmitriy Pivovarov (Republic of Tatarstan, Russia).

As a tradition, the festival will host the Cinema Time Forum. The 4th edition of the forum will focus on films distribution in Russian and international markets, including the issues of promotion methods, advertising and PR. The forum programme includes a Day of Kazan presentation event, where Tatarstan film directors will present their upcoming projects and the results of spring pitching as well as a meeting with Baigal (director – Ildar Yagafarov) and Mulla (based on the novel by Tufan Minnulin) films crews.

Among the quests of the 2017 Kazan Muslim Film Festival it is necessary to highlight Russian actors Nataliya Varley, Svetlana Svetlichnaya, Vladimir Konkin, Anna Snatkina, Leonid Kulagin, Viktor Merezhko, Marat Basharov, Kirill Pletnev, and Ivan Zolotukhin; a producer Ruben Dishdishyan.

The 13th Kazan Muslim Film Festival will be held from the 5th to the 11th of September, 2017. Since 2005, Kazan Muslim Film Festival is one of the largest film forums held annually in the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. The concept of the festival is reflected through its official motto ‘Through dialogue of cultures to the culture of dialogue’. The festival focuses on films supporting the ideas of peace-building, tolerance and humanity and promoting intercultural dialogue.

The competition and parallel programmes are to be screened at Rodina, Mir, Kinomaks, Korston cinemas and at the Kazan Kremlin. The opening ceremony will be held in Pyramida Culture and Entertainment Complex on the 5th of September 2017. The closing ceremony to be held at Musa Dzhalil Tatar State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet on the 11th of September.

The head of the press office of the festival – Ruslan Shigabetdinov (shigabetdinov.pr@gmail.com / 89272400017)