TSOY by Alexey Uchitel
TSOY by Alexey Uchitel

Russian Film Week in New York rounds out its 2021 program with a final line-up from January 23 – 29, 2021. The festival will open with Tsoy by Alexey Uchitel, the road trip film reimagines the aftermath of rock star Viktor Tsoy’s death in Soviet-era Latvia.

The Russian Film Week USA is founded by New York-based arts non-profit the Cherry Orchard Festival, a producer of international theatrical, classical music and educational programming, and Russia’s Rock Studio Films, which also organizes the Message to Man International Documentary Film festival in St. Petersburg and the Russian Film Week in London (UK). Its mission is to promote global cultural activity.

As Cherry Orchard Festival founders Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis comment, “There is nothing like premiering a brand new Russian film in a packed theater with the director present for a dialogue with the local audience. But the silver lining of our COVID pivot to an online format is that viewers from all over the US are able to watch the film and exchange ideas with filmmakers in live online Q&As. “

“This year Russian studio Rock Films presents American cinephiles with the astonishing visions of a diverse range of Russian filmmakers – some of which have already won awards in Venice and other A-list festivals, such as Sententia and In Deep Sleep,” says Rock Studio Films founder Alexey Uchitel.

“Many of the features are inspired by real-life events or people that have shaped Russia these last decades, whether it’s sports, music, literature or terrorism. It’s been a year of great uncertainty, so we’re very proud of this initial collection of works that premiered as Russia navigated its lockdown. And it’s especially exciting to roll out the red carpet for them to the entire US.”


THE CONFERENCE by Ivan Tverdovskiy, North American premiere. Fictional account of survivor’s guilt about the 2002 terrorist attack in a Moscow theater.

DEEPER! by Mikhail Segal. A young director brings arthouse methods to an adult film production.

GOODBYE AMERICA by Sarik Andreasyan. Comedy: Russian immigrants in the US look differently at Mother Russia.

IN DEEP SLEEP by Marina Ignatenko. Poetic feature debut about a fisherman, who finds his hometown shut down in a deep sleep.

MARA (SIDE EFFECTS) by Alexey Kazakov. Horror film about healer Mara erasing the trauma of a home invasion.

SENTENTIA by Dmitriy Rudakov. North American premiere. Black Nights Film Festival FIPRESCI award. A beautiful, meditative dramatization of the end of Russian poet and Gulag survivor Varlam Shalamov.

SHTETLERS by Katya Ustinova. US Premiere. Award-winning documentary by Russian NY-based filmmaker about the vanishing world of traditional life in Jewish towns (‘shtetls’) in the former Soviet Union. Followed by a Q&A with the director on Jan 27 at 8pm Eastern Time.

SLAVA’S JOURNEY: SECRETS OF SNOW by Steve Haisman & Clive Howard. Documentary about philosopher clown Slava Polunin hauling his Snow Show up to the Russian Artic. Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter.

STRELTSOV by Ilya Uchitel. A sports drama about Soviet-era soccer star fighting to save his reputation.

TSOY by Alexey Uchitel (opening night). Reimagining the aftermath of rock star Viktor Tsoy’s death in Soviet-era Latvia. Followed by a Q&A with the director on Jan 23 at 3pm Eastern Time.

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