Moscow Film Fest Kicks Off With Cannes Faves and Local Hopefuls

Cafe Society - H 2016
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The event will close with a local premiere of Woody Allen's 'Café Society.'

The 38th edition of the Moscow International Film Festival kicks off in the Russian capital on Thursday with Ke-Dy (Sneakers), the new pic from Russian veteran director Sergei Solovyov (Wild Pigeon).

The youth drama, adapted from the novel by Andrey Gelasimov, focuses on a young man who blows all his money on a new pair of flash sneakers.

Moscow's official competition lineup features 13 titles including family drama Dokhtar (The Daughter) by Iranian director Reza Mirkarimi; U.S./Denmark period piece 37, directed by Puk Grasten; and Monakh i bes (The Monk and the Demon) by Russian director Nikolay Dostal, written by Cannes award-winner Yuri Arabov (Moloch).

The fest's documentary competition features such titles as Elyse Steinberg and Josh Kriegman's doc Weiner, about disgraced New York congressman and would-be NYC mayor Anthony Weiner, and Marco Del Fiol's art doc The Space in Between: Marina Abramovic and Brazil.

Moscow's main non-competition sections are its 8 1/2 Films sidebar, made up of eight full-length features and one short, and its European cinema spotlight,  European Euphoria: Between Heaven and Hell. The latter's highlights include Cannes competition title La fille inconnue (The Unknown Girl) from Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Rotterdam film Suntan from Greek director Argyris Papadimitropoulos.

The event’s retrospectives this year are devoted to Spanish director Carlos Saura, German helmer Ulrike Ottinger, Korean filmmaker Lee Jun-Ik and Georgian animation director and writer Mihail Kobahidze.

The Moscow Film Festival honors, the St. Georges Awards, will be handed out at the closing ceremony on June 30, followed by a screening of this year's closing-night film, Woody Allen's Cannes opener Cafe Society.