The Moscow International Film Festival is among the oldest film festivals in the world. The first time it was held was in 1935 and the Judges were headed by Sergei Eisenshtein himself, but the chronology of the festival begins in 1959, when it became a regular event. It is significant that the rebirth of the Moscow International Film Festival occurred in the 1960s of the past century, at the time of the Thaw, when cinema experienced the influx of a new generation of directors, whose spiritual experience was shaped under the influence of the great victory over fascism.
Over the past decades the renown and influence of the Moscow Festival on the world film making process have grown significantly. Prizes were awarded to outstanding masters of world cinema – Akira Kurosawa and Stanley Kramer, Federico Fellini and Ettore Scola, Andrzej Wajda and Francesco Rosi, Krzysztof Zanussi and Damiano Damiani, Gleb Panfilov and Sergei Gerasimov, Bernard Blier and Alexandr Rogozhkin. The Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) has a lot to pride itself on. It paved the way for filmmakers who later became known throughout the world like Istvan Szabo and Kaneto Shindo, Krzysztof Kieslowski and Aki Kaurismaki, Kohei Oguri and Humberto Solas. In 2010 the honorary prize for contribution to world cinema went to the French director, author of the legendary “A Man and a Woman”Claude Lelouche. The Moscow Festival honoured remarkable representatives of the acting profession. Over the years the prize “I Believe. Konstantin Stanislavsky” for acting achievements was awarded to Jack Nicholson and Jeanne Moreau, Meryl Streep and Harvey Keitel, Fanny Ardant and Daniel Olbrychski, Gerard Depardieu, Oleg Yankovsky and Isabelle Huppert. In 2010 this prize was awarded to the outstanding French actress Emmanuelle Beart.
The festival has always mirrored the socio-political changes taking place in Russia, our tempestuous modern history has always aroused the interest of numerous guests from all over the world. Our Festival is intended not merely for professionals and journalists, but also for the wider audience. Suffice it to say that in 2010 the number of viewers reached almost 200,000. For four years in a row the Moscow Festival is hosted by the “Mediafest” company. The largest foreign movie empires strive to schedule premiers in this country, assessing the large viewing potential of Russia as the most promising in the world. It is no accident that despite the financial difficulties caused by the economic crisis, the last Moscow Festival hosted a special “Moscow Forum of Film Co-production”, where the festival management offered producers from different countries an opportunity to discuss major problems of film production.
More than 200 guests from all over the world attended the 32nd MIFF, including noted filmmakers, journalists, film critics. The number of journalists who are accredited at the festival, is steadily rising and exceeded two thousand. The guests could enjoy a varied program of more than 200 movies from 50 countries. Moscow viewers could re-discover the Italian Sergio Leone, whose retrospective was held within the festival framework. Personal retrospectives were dedicated to French director Claude Chabrol and the last Alexander Sokurov’s documentary series “Intonation”.
The Jury of the anniversary festival was headed by the remarkable filmmaker Luc Besson. His movie “Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adele Blanc-Sec” was screened at the closing ceremony.
For many years now the Moscow Film Festival has been presided by the Russian director and actor Nikita Mikhalkov.
Sveta and I will go…
Windows to Russia!