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By Film Threat Staff | October 2, 2001

The New York Festival of Russian Films (NFRF) will return for its third annual run from October 14-20. The festival will launch at New York’s Ziegfeld Theater with the U.S. premiere of Nikita Mikhalkov’s controversial “The Barber of Siberia” starring Richard Harris, Julia Ormond and Oleg Menshikov (“East-West”). The festival will close with the first U.S. screening of “Taiga Romance,” a fierce, bloody and passionate love triangle within the Soviet military.
“This festival is unique as it features both exciting new films and classics from the past,” says Robert Altman, Honorary President of the NFRF. “Russian filmmakers have produced many great films and have significantly enhanced cinematography as an art form. Last year’s festival was a great success and I am pleased to be involved again.”
This year’s NFRF will present the U.S. premieres of 14 new Russian features, including Alexander Sokurov’s “Taurus” (an official selection at Cannes 2001), Sergei Solovyev’s “Tender Age,” Leonid Maryagin’s “101st Kilometer,” Andrej Razenkov’s “Aurora Borealis” and Sergei Bodrov Jr.’s “Sisters.” The festival will also provide a rare opportunity to view contemporary Russian documentaries, including Vladimir Moss’ “Tsar’s Hunt,” Sergei Miroshnichenko’s “Moscow Angel” and Sergei Luchishin’s “Portrait,” which took first prize in the Cannes Shorts Competition this year. The festival will also include two acclaimed documentaries by Chris Marker on celebrated Russian figures, “The Last Bolshevik” (on the life of Medvedkin) and “One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich” (on the films of Tarkovsky). Also in this program are several U.S. premieres: Kira Muratova’s “Minor People,” D. Meskhiev’s black comedy “Mechanical Suite,” and A. Aristakesyan’s dark “Place on Earth.”
The festival and its Chairman, Alexander Zhurbin, will also show the influence of Russian filmmakers on world cinema with a special program of features which highlights the contemporary and classic work of expatriate Russian filmmakers who brought their vision to other countries. Included in this program are the Australian-lensed “Russian Doll” starring Russian actress Natalia Novikova, Slava Tsukerman’s New York cult classic “Liquid Sky,” a film by New York-based Boris Frumin “Black and White,” the German-based “Quickie” directed by Sergei Bodrov Sr. and starring Vladimir Mashivok and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and the Turkish “Balalaika” about Russian prostitutes in Turkey.
Also included in the festival will be a special presentation by Professor Maya Turovskaya comparing the differences and similarities between Russian and American films, and a program of Russian avant-garde video art to be held at the Anthology Film Archives. There will also be a special charity event on October 16 at International House (500 Riverside Drive) dedicated to the late bard, poet and actor Bulat Okudzhava, which will include special screenings of his film performances.
The New York Festival of Russian Films will have its opening and closing night screenings at the Ziegfeld Theater (141 West 54th Street), while the remainder of the program will be held at Clearview’s 59th Street East (239 East 59th Street).
The festival is proud to work in association with American and Russian leaders in the arts and government, including the NFRF Honorary Presidents Robert Altman and Nikita Mikhalkov, Mikhail Gorbachev, Susan Sontag, Roy Scheider, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoy, Prince Vladimir Galitzine and internationally acclaimed filmmaker Alexander Sokurov.
For more information, call the festival office at 212-619-0333 or visit the The New York Festival of Russian Films web site.
Check out’s FILM FESTIVAL ARCHIVES for more fest news!

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