The 38th Moscow International Film Festival scheduled to run June 24 to 29, 2016 will open with the Russian film Sneakers (Ke-dy) directed by Sergey Solovyov and close with CAFÉ SOCIETY directed by Woody Allen.
Sneakers (Ke-dy) is an adaptation of a novel “Paradise Found” written by Andrey Gelasimov . On the eve of his draft day a youngster Sasha nicknamed Jagger decides to spend the modest amount of money he has saved to buy stylish sneakers. By chance the sneakers take him to a girl named Amira, with whom he spends the night. In the morning it transpires that the girl has a nine-year-old son Mitia. The boy is autistic and suffers from some other mental illness. Amira asks Jagger and his friend to help her take the boy to the orphanage.
CAFÉ SOCIETY is set in New York in the 1930s. As he has more and more trouble putting up with his bickering parents, his gangster brother and the family jewelry store, Bobby Dorfman feels like he needs a change of scenery! So he decides to go and try his luck in Hollywood where his high-powered agent uncle Phil hires him as an errand boy. In Hollywood he soon falls in love but unfortunately the girl has a boyfriend. Bobby settles for friendship – up until the day the girl knocks at his door, telling him her boyfriend just broke up with her. All of a sudden Bobby’s life takes a new turn, and a very romantic one at that.
Main Competition of the 38th Moscow International Film Festival
Director Puk Grasten
‘37’ is inspired by a true story set in 1964, New York, where several neighbors witness the brutal murder and rape of Kitty Genovese and do not intervene. The film peeks into the lives of three disparate families, the lonely neighbor and the doorman. We understand their decisions not to act by understanding their day-to-day struggles.
PUK GRASTEN (1986, Copenhagen) attended the European Film College in Denmark and moved to Paris soon after to pursue a BFA in film production at EICAR -The International Film School. In 2009 she enrolled at NYU Tisch Graduate Film Program as a thesis student. Her thesis film 37 (2016), Grasten’s feature film debut, is based on her short film of the same name.
LA MACCHINAZIONE/THE PLOY
Director David Grieco
In the summer of ’75, Pier Paolo Pasolini is editing one of his most controversial movies “Salò”. At the same time he is writing a book, containing a brave condemnation of a corrupt political and financial power. In those same days Pasolini is seeing a young man from the working-class suburbs of Rome, Pino Pelosi. Pasolini and Pelosi meet regularly becoming the talk of the roman suburbs. In these same suburbs move shady characters that have little to do with Pasolini’s poetic view of life. When the negative of “Salò” is stolen from Technicolor’s laboratory, a mortal trap is set for the director. In the night between the first and the second of November 1975, Pier Paolo Pasolini drives to retrieve his film. Truly, and possibly even consciously, he is going straight into an ambush: many accomplices, some willing and some unaware, all alike and all equally guilty, have planned his murder in every minimum detail.
DAVID GRIECO (1951, Rome) started acting in movies at sixteen, at seventeen became an assistant director for Pasolini, Bertolucci and others. Worked as film and music critic and foreign correspondent, wrote a few books, directed commercials, hosted radio and television programs. He made more than 100 documentaries on film directors and movie stars. In 2004 he wrote, directed and produced his first feature film, EVILENKO which won 18 prizes all over the world. Recently, he has made a feature length documentary in Russia called THE FAKE FAIRY TALE.
EXCENTRYCY, CZYLI PO SLONECZNEJ STRONIE ULICY/THE ECCENTRICS. ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET
Director Janusz Majewski
In the late 1950s Fabian, a war emigrant, jazz trombonist and brilliant dancer, returns from England to Poland. Together with a group of local eccentrics and amateur musicians he starts a swing band. After their first gig people’s interest with the band surpasses all expectations. Fabian meets and intriguing Modesta and asks her to perform with his orchestra. They soon become lovers. They are like two colorful birds against the dreary reality. Their looks and behavior arouse a longing for freedom and prosperity. However, one day Modetsa disappears.
JANUSZ MAJEWSKI (5.08.1931, Lwow, Poland) graduated from the department of architecture at the Kraków Technical University (1955) and directing at the Lodz National Film, Television and Theatre School (1960). In 1961 he started to work at the documentary studio in Warsaw. From 1983 to 1990 he was Chairman of the Polish Union of Filmmakers. His feature film debut was the comedy THE LODGER (1966). His filmography includes AVATAR, OR EXCHANGE OF SOULS (1965), LOKIS (1970), JEALOUSY AND MEDICINE (1973), HOTEL PACIFIC (1975), THE GORGON CASE (1977), LESSON OF A DEAD LANGUAGE (1979), ZLOTO DEZERTERÓW (1998), MALA MATURA 1947. Prizewinner of numerous international film festivals.
MARIE ET LES NAUFRAGÉS/MARIE AND THE MISFITS
Director Sébastien Betbeder
Marie is an alluring young woman who lacks self confidence. When she leaves Antoine – a melancholic writer, she meets with Simeon, a jobless journalist. Yet she prefers to let fate decide her future. Antoine and Simeon become obsessed by an elusive Marie. This is a story of desperate souls between Paris and an island in Brittany. It’s also a story about a story being written.
SÉBASTIEN BETBEDER (1975, Pau, France) Is currently based in Paris. After his studies at the Beaux Arts in Bordeaux, he completed his degree in Tourcoing at the Fresnoy. His first feature Nuage (2007) was screened in competition at Locarno. His filmography includes LES NUITS AVEC THÉODORE (2012), 2 AUTOMNES, 3 HIVERS (2013) and VOYAGE AU GROËNLAND (2016).
MONAKH I BES / THE MONK AND THE DEMON
Director Nikolai Dostal
A new brother, Ivan Shaposhnikov, settles in the friary. But dark forces follow him into the monastery and from time to time they materialize as Legion (at least that is how he introduced himself to Ivan). Legion has chosen Ivan as the object of his devilish work, tempting him in every possible way in an attempt to make him abandon the chosen path of God. But the greater the temptations, the stronger Ivan’s spiritual powers grow…
NIKOLAY DOSTAL (21.5.1946, Moscow) graduated from the journalistic department of the Moscow University, and started working as a second-unit director on the Mosfilm Studios. In 1981 Dostal graduated from Georgi Danelia’s workshop of the Higher Courses for Directors and Scriptwriters, and one year later made his directorial debut with the film OZHIDAETSYA POKHOLODANIE I SNEG. International success came to Dostal with his fifth feature film, OBLAKO-RAY (1990), which has received many prizes both in Russia and worldwide. Among his other most famous directorial works are: A SMALL GIANT OF BIG SEX (1992), MELKIY BES (1995), KOLYA – PEREKATI POLE (2005), PETE ON THE WAY TO HEAVEN (2009, Golden George of the 31st MIFF and acclaimed TV-series: THE PENAL BATTALION (2004), ZAVESHCHANIE LENINA (2007) and RASKOL (2011).
DOKHTAR / THE DAUGHTER
Director Reza Mirkarimi
The strict and traditional Mr Azizi leads an uneventful family life in an oil town of southern Iran. Then one day, exasperated by her father’s authoritarianism, Setareh announces she is off to Tehran to say farewell to one of her best friends who is leaving Iran for good. Unfortunately, the engagement celebrations of Setareh’s younger sister are taking place simultaneously. Despite her father’s objections Setareh takes the plane for Tehran. This act of disobedience sets in motion a series of perturbations that upset the calm tranquility of the paterfamilias.
REZA MIRKARIMI (27.1.1967, Tehran) graduated from the Fine Arts University in Graphic Arts. His cinema activities began in 1987 with a series of shorts followed by two TV series for young people. His 1999 first feature, THE CHILD AND THE SOLDIER, has won several national and international awards. His 2000 second feature UNDER THE MOONLIGHT (2001), dealing with social and religious issues, won the 40th Critics’ Week Best Feature Award at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival. A fifth feature, AS SIMPLE AS THAT, won the 2008 Golden St George Best Film Award at the Moscow IFF. Three of his films have been entered by Iran for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar: SO CLOSE, SO FAR (2005), A CUBE OF SUGAR (2011) and TODAY (2014).
EL SONIDO DE LAS COSAS / THE SOUND OF THINGS
Director Ariel Escalante
Claudia loves being a nurse. Handling adrenaline, controlling emotions, saving lives. At home everything is different: there’s a room to clear out, she needs to find a new roommate. Claudia is unable to deal with her cousin’s recent suicide, even though she is doing a great job of hiding it from people. But when an old acquaintance comes back to her life with an illness and in need of her support, she will be finally forced to confront the weight of loss.
ARIEL ESCALANTE (1984, San Jose, Costa Rica) studied Political Science at the University of Costa Rica and Film at the International School of Film and Television (EICTV) in Cuba. Two-time winner of Best Short at the Costa Rica International Film Festival (CRFIC), he also worked as an editor. In 2010 he was selected for a Creative Residence by Concordia University and the Bureau of International Education of Canada to start writing the script of “The Sound of Things”, his first film as a director. He is currently teaching Directing and Screenwriting at Costa Rica’s Film School.
QUASE MEMÓRIA / OBLIVIOUS MEMORY
Director Ruy Guerra
Carlos is a man afflicted by memory problems who meets himself in a time warp. Young Carlos faces old Carlos’ oblivion, who does not even remember his own face. They receive a package. But it looks strange. The knot tied around it, the smell, the writing on the envelope: the package could only have been sent by his father, Ernesto, who has been dead for years. A father who always engineered unexpected situations. In this time warp, one Carlos remembers and the other Carlos forgets their fun memories of this brilliantly mad father.
RUY GUERRA (22.8.1931, Mozambique) studied at IDHEC film school in Paris from 1952. In 1958 he started his career as an assistant director in several French films. Later on he immigrated to Brazil, where he directed his first feature film, THE HUSTLERS (1962). He has directed 14 features, won over 60 awards, with national classic THE GUNS (1964), A QUEDA (1976), ERÉNDIRA (1983), MALANDRO (1986) and TURBULENCE (2000). His PORTUGAL S.A. was shown in competition of the 26 MIFF.
Die Mitte der Welt/Center of my World
Director Jacob M. Erwa
After a summer away at camp, Phil returns home to find that his mother, Glass, and twin sister, Dianne, aren’t speaking to one another. Not willing to confront his family during the last days of the summer holidays, Phil escapes to hang out with his best friend, eating ice cream and playing dress-up. As the school year begins, a new student arrives – the handsome and mysterious Nicholas. Smitten, Phil watches his crush as he runs around the track after school, and is thrilled when Nicholas returns his feelings.
Jakob M. Erwa (1981, Graz, Austria) studied Art & Design, later worked for several film production companies. In 2001, he realized his first short TRÜBE AUSS!CHTEN and began studies at the Academy of Television & Film in Munich. Also active as a writer, painter, musician, singer, composer, and actor. His feature debut HEIL WELT (2007) was shown in Perspectives competition of the 29 MIFF and was awarded for Best film both on German and Austrian festivals.
Director Ralston Jover
In the Philippines, street kids are called batang hamog, literally, children of the dew. Deprived of a happy childhood in a loving family, they resort to petty theft on highways just to scrape by. The film focuses on four of such kids. One is kidnapped after a foiled theft, and another gets run over by a car. The remaining two will stop at nothing to survive.
Ralston Jover (Manila, Philippines) attended Creative Writing and Film Studies at the Mowelfund Film Institute, started writing screenplays in college. Had his first big break in 2006 with THE BET COLLECTOR (28 Moscow IFF competition). In 2007, wrote FOSTER CHILD, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight. In 2009, directed his first full-length film CHILDREN METAL DIVERS which won Best Film prizes in Vancouver, Turin, Barcelona and Lyon and gained Best Screenplay awards in Thessaloniki and the Skip-City D-Cinema Film Festivals in Japan. His social drama THE DOG SHOW took part at the Cannes L’Atelier in 2012.
DNEVNIK MASINOVODJE/TRAIN DRIVER’S DIARY
Director Milos Radovic
Statistics say that during his professional career every train driver unintentionally kills 15 to 20 people. Ilija is a 60-year-old train driver, close to retiring. He holds the infamous record of 28 kills committed during his career. Ilija’s 19-year-old adopted son Sima follows in his father’s footsteps. He’s terrified, unwilling to become a killer. But days go by and there are still no accidents, and Ilija, anxious his son is not going to become a proper driver, takes the matter in his own hands.
Milos Radovic (1955, Belgrade, Yugoslavia) studied film directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, graduated in 1982. Worked as a scriptwriter, directed commercials and documentaries, collaborated with the Belgrade television. One of his five theatre productions, CANARY SOUP, was staged off Broadway. In 1987 his short THE SUDDEN AND PREMATURE DEATH OF COLONEL K.K won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. All in all, his works have received around 60 international awards. Among his works are HAPPY END (1989), MALI SVET (2003), PAD U RAJ (2004)
Director KIM Jongkwan
Eunhee is an actress who also plays in her real life. One day, she meets 3 different men and changes her own character each time she dates them, just like taking a role in the play. One of her is clever and polite, another is boyish and honest, and the last seems elegant and mature. Though each of her performance full of lies seems going smoothly, everything is about to be messed up at the end.
Kim Jongkwan (1975, Daejeon) graduated from the Seoul Institute of the Arts and majored in Film. HOW TO OPERATE A POLAROID CAMERA (2004) was screened at several film festivals. SLOWLY (2005) and PHANTOMS OF THE ARCHIVE (2014) were screened and awarded at domestic and international film festivals. In 2008, he filmed and theatrically released LOVERS (2008), a compilation of his own short films. He directed COME, CLOSER (2010), a full-length omnibus film, which was screened in the Panorama section of the 15th Busan
The Singing Shoes
Director Radoslav Spassov
After the fall of the Berlin wall, now in his old age, the composer Edward Kazasyan discovers that his late wife, the singer Lia Ivanova, who survived communist labor camps, was forced to work for the secret services. Their dossiers in the State Security archives and her diary from childhood reveal the complicated fate of the singer, who strove the conquer the big stage while juggling a «second life» imposed on her by the system. Torn by doubts that his life was contrived and false, he once again relives their love and career in his loneliness, trying to find his place in this living puzzle.
Radoslav Spassov (14.6. 1943, Ostrov, Bulgaria) graduated from Moscow Cinema Institute (VGIK). Filmed as cinematographer more than thirty films, among them: THE EXAM (1971), MANLY TIMES (1977), ADVANTAGE (1977), AND WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? (1988), THE GOAT (2009). In 1993 he Spassov made his directional debut with A DAY OF FORGIVENESS. His second film STOLEN EYES (2005) was shown in competition of the 27 MIFF and won Silver St. George award for the Best Actress (Vesela Kazakova). THE SINGING SHOES is his third director’s work.