Tenth Kazan International Muslim Film Festival opens in Kazan

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This year, 50 films from 22 countries are included in the competition.

(Kazan, 5 September, Tatar-inform, Lucia Kamalova). The 10th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival opened in Kazan last Friday night. The ceremony took place at Piramida centre and, traditionally, began with the festival’s dignitaries walking on the red carpet. The list included Dutch director Jos Stelling, Russian actress director Vera Glagoleva, director Konstantin Lopushansky and many others.

The ceremony began with a vivid interactive prologue dedicated to cinema, after which Kazan Is Humming composition from Altyn Kazan (Golden Kazan) opera was presented to the audience.

The ceremony’s host was People’s Artist of Russia film actor Boris Scherbakov and Tinchurin Theatre actress Rezeda Salyakhova.

“Thank you, Tatarstan, for the Kazan Festival for the tenth year being one of the global cultural events,” said Scherbakov welcoming those gathered. This year, 50 films from 22 countries are included in the competition.

After Tatar national dances were performed, the flags of participants were brought onstage, after which Boris Scherbakov read out a welcoming telegram from Russia Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky.

Tatarstan State Council Chair Farid Mukhametshin welcomed the festival on behalf of local authorities, saying the festival’s geography and number of participants increased year to year.

He went on to read out a message from Tatarstan President. “Remarkably, the festival born in the year of celebrating Tatarstan capital’s 1000th anniversary marks its tenth year in the Year of Culture and Turksoy declaring Kazan the culture capital of the Turkic world. Over the time, not only has this festival become a significant event in the Russian cultural life but it has won the acknowledgement of the global cinema community, firmly establishing itself as a ‘humane film festival’. Today, it is a unique platform for exchange between domestic and foreign culture figures,” the message read.

Tatarstan cinema would soon turn 90 years old, said Farid Mukhamethsin. “I am sure that Tatarstan cinema will both hold a winning place on TV screens and in all cinemas. This is what we try to achieve through festivals like this,” he explained.

Russian Council of Muftis Chair Ravil Gainutdin was invited to come onstage. He thanked Tatarstan authorities for support in organising the festival.

“I am proud of us having established the Kazan Film Festival. We are known as a Muslim festival held in Kazan. It is my pride and joy to open this anniversary edition. I pray to Allah that our festival be given success in the future,” Ravil Gainutdin said and declared the festival open.

Jury chairman Khojakuli Narliev delivered welcoming remarks as well. It would not be easy for the jury to select best films from the list of participants so long, he predicted, adding that Tatarstan had a great scriptwriter who had “created a great piece, the new Tatarstan”, former president Mintimer Shaimiev.

Russian actress Vera Glagoleva who had directed a film One War that had won the Grand Prix of the 5th Kazan Festival was then given the floor. “I was happy when people thanked me in Kazan for my film. I remember being awarded your festival’s Grand Prix five years ago. It was an amazing feeling that I am reliving now,” she said.

The ceremony concluded with a song Go Ahead, Festival, performed by an All Star band.