Sundance Winners in the Jury, Million-Rouble Debutants Pitch and the Largest Online Cinema in Russia

This year the Festival will take place from 24 to 28 September online. This was reported at the press conference, announcing the main film event of the year, by Deputy Minister of Culture and Archives of Irkutsk Region Olesya Polunina:

«This time the Film Festival will be held on the basis of the Internet cinema tvzavr, which provides 5 virtual halls bearing very symbolic, native names for us ( «Baikal», «Angara», «Irkutsk», «Olkhon», «Barguzin»). In these halls, you will be able to choose something that will surely be a discovery for everyone and will remain in your memory, for 24 hours during 5 days.»

The press conference was held on the eve of the Russian Cinema Day. Olesya Polunina wished the representatives of the Irkutsk cinema community and all film lovers to have a great Cinema Day and expressed her hope that the Russian cinemas would show a lot of good, interesting, meaningful movies, and the audience would have something to choose from.

It is worth reminding that the Baikal Film Festival n.a. V. Rasputin is supported by the Government of Irkutsk Region and the Ministry of Culture and Archives of Irkutsk region. Also, such a significant event always finds support from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

                                 

Maria Kelchevskaya, member of the Selection Committee, director of the Irkutsk Regional Film Fund, member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation, spoke about the films selection for participation in competitive and non-competitive programs: 

«Out of 249 applications, the Selection Committee has chosen 25 works for the competition program, and 10 works for the non-competitive program. These are films by directors from Russia, the United States, Sweden, Slovakia, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, Moldova, France, the Czech Republic, China, Armenia, Italy and Spain. Despite the fact that the choice of films was, as always, very wide, the members of the Committee tried to come to terms notwithstanding that it was very difficult to communicate in a new way.»

The Selection Committee also includes:

  1. Olga Krasnoyarova, associate professor of Journalism and Economics Department at the Baikal State University of Economics and Law, member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation; 
  2. Elena Murzina, Head of Regional Film Distribution Department of the OGAUK «Irkutsk Regional Film Fund»; 
  3. Elena Utrobina, Deputy Director for General Affairs of the Irkutsk Regional Film Fund, Executive and Program Director of the Festival; 
  4. Polina Stepanova, member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation, Head of the Film Production Development Department of the Irkutsk Regional Film Fund; 
  5. Nadezhda Zaitseva, Director General of PR-firm Podkova, journalist, lecturer in journalism and advertising at the Irkutsk National Research Technical University; 
  6. Tatyana Skorokhodova, actress, member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation and the Screen Actors Guild, lecturer of Irkutsk Branch of Russian State University of Cinematography; 
  7. Tatyana Shemetova, philologist, associate professor of film, television and multimedia directing in Irkutsk Branch of Russian State University of Cinematography;
  8. Julia Yakimova, festival debut film promotion specialist (St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television); Georgiy Boguslavskiy, director-animator, teacher at the Shar Animation Studio School; Maria Aristova, director of TV documentary projects of GTRK (State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) «Irkutsk». 

On September 23-24, the festival hosts the oldest regional pitch in the country for the sixth time. This year it will be called VI Baikal Debutants Pitch 2020.    

Yuri Yashnikov, Head of the Youth Center of the Irkutsk Regional Branch of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia, director, producer, and screenwriter, talked about this traditional Festival project: «We are proud that in 2015, the Irkutsk cinema community decided to organize a pitch event earlier than any other non-metropolitan region. And we are grateful to the People and Environment Festival for help with this project.»

Yuri Yashnikov noted that this year the organizers managed to negotiate to increase the prize from the Presidential Grants for Civil Society Development Foundation by half: this time the amount will be 1,000,000 rubles. 

Elena Utrobina, Executive and Program Director of the Festival and Deputy Director of the Irkutsk Regional Film Fund, told about the Festival Jury: 

«Our Finnish colleague Liina Härkönen who has been a member of the Board of Directors and Selection Committee of the Tampere International Film Festival (Finland) for many years, became the chairman this year.»

Also, the number of experts evaluating works of the Festival participants includes:

  1. Russian documentary filmmaker Yulia Kiseleva (Moscow). Among her most famous works are the films Brain. Evolution and Brain. Second Universe
  2. Doctor of Philology, ethnographer, member of the Union of Russian Writers, Director of the Regional Center for Russian Language, Folklore and Ethnography, Professor of Irkutsk State University, Head of Research Laboratory for the Study of Traditional Culture of Siberia, author of many works on Siberian folk culture Galina Afanasieva-Medvedeva (Irkutsk); 
  3. Directors of the film Honeyland, multiple winners of international film festivals, including the national American film festival Sundance, Oscar nominees, winners of the 18th People and Environment Baikal Film Festival Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska (North Macedonia);

Elena Utrobina also spoke about the nominations of People and Environment Festival and about the traditional film school, which will be available for viewing in the virtual hall Barguzin. 

The film school will be opened with a creative meeting with the President of the People and Environment Festival, documentary filmmaker, producer, teacher, Honored Artist of Russia, winner of two State Prizes of the Russian Federation Sergey Miroshnichenko. The online meeting will take place on September 24 at 15: 00 (Moscow Time). 

On September 25, as part of the master class «Nature vs. Progress: aspects to Finnish documentaries», Liina Harkonen, the Chairman of the Festival Jury, will talk about the relationship of the so-called «Golden Era» of Finnish documentaries with the problems of nature and innovative technologies. The seminar starts at 15: 00 (Moscow time.)

On September 26, the master class «How to hunt reality?» by the winners of the 18th Baikal Film Festival Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov will take place. The authors of the film Honeyland will use their creative experience to tell about the stages of a successful film creation. The beginning is at 15: 00 (Moscow time.)

On September 27, a very interesting master class will be held by Yulia Kiseleva, a jury member, director, screenwriter, and producer of documentary films. The workshop entitled «How to raise money for a film» will be particularly useful for documentaries. Yulia will talk about ways to find funding for a non-fiction film from crowdfunding to international co-production. The beginning is at 15: 00 (Moscow time.)

Reference

The19th People and Environment Baikal International Film Festival was established by the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation and the Irkutsk Branch of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation and has been held since 1999. Its main organizer is the Irkutsk Regional Film Fund. The President of the Festival is a documentary filmmaker, producer, teacher, Honored Artist of Russia, winner of two State Prizes of the Russian Federation, professor, Head of the Workshop of the Non-Fiction Film Directing Department at the All-Russian State University of Cinematography Sergey Miroshnichenko.





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