Russia's Kinotavr Festival to Kick Off on Sunday

This year's edition focuses on movies by established directors.

MOSCOW – On Sunday, Kinotavr, Russia’s main national film festival, will kick off in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

The feature competition includes 16 films, most of which were made by established directors -- unlike last year’s edition, which had a high proportion of feature debuts.

Some of the movies in the competition had their premieres at major international festivals earlier this year. Alexei Mizgiryov’s Konvoy (Convoy) participated in the Panorama program of this year’s Berlinale. The movie, which was produced by high-profile Russian director Pavel Lungin, focuses on two young people who arrive in the morning at one of Moscow’s train stations and spend a day together there.

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Kokokoby, directed by Avdotya Smirnova, who won Kinotavr’s best debut prize for Svyaz (Affair) six years ago, has the tagline "an eternal comedy of Russian life." The movie explores the lives of two women who become unlikely friends -- a resident of St. Petersburg and a provincial girl who comes to the city on a short visit.

Zhit (Living) by playwright-turned-director Vasili Sigarev, had its world premiere at Rotterdam International Film Festival last January.

The other highlights of the main competition are Ya Budu Ryadom (I’ll Be By You) by Pavel Ruminov, Iskupleniye (Atonement) by veteran director Alexander Proshkin and Svetlana Baskova’s Za Marksa… (For Marx…).

Boris Khlebnikov’s Poka Noch Ne Razluchit (Until Night Do Them Part) will be the opening night’s movie, and Renat Davletyarov’s Stalnaya Babochka (Steel Butterfly) will be screened as the festival’s closing night film.

Kinotavr’s industry part will feature several roundtable discussions, including "Cinema Fund in a Dialog," sponsored for the federal fund for social and economic support to the domestic film industry, and pitching sessions for producers.

The festival’s prizes are to be awarded at the closing ceremony on June 10.