Russia to Run Film Festival in Nice as Cannes "Alternative"

Moscow Kremlin - H 2015
AP Images

Moscow Kremlin - H 2015

The event, run by Russian state film archive Gosfilmofond, is set to take place in May and feature movies rejected by major international festivals, many of which "have become biased," Gosfilmofond's head says.

Russia will launch a film festival in Nice, France as "an alternative" to the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2016, screening movies that were rejected by major international fests.

"Many well-known festivals have become biased, especially Cannes, Venice and Berlin," Nikolai Borodachev, head of the Russian state film archive Gosfilmofond, which is set to run the event, was quoted as saying by the Russian daily Izvestia.

"When I was at Locarno this year, I had this idea of a festival that will be an alternative to Cannes," he went on to say. "Let them have a festival in Cannes, and in Nice, we will screen films that were not accepted by large international forums."

2016 will be "the year of cinema" in Russia, which means extra funding for the film sector and, specifically, for international promotion of local films. However, the Nice festival will not to be limited to Russian films, focusing on movies from Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa, according to Borodachev.

He added that the new festival's selection will consist mainly of movies rejected by Cannes, Berlin and Venice and the dates of the event will roughly correspond with those of Cannes.

"The distance between Cannes and Nice is short and journalists are likely to come see these films to understand why they were rejected by Cannes," he said.

A small festival of Russian films has been running in Nice since 2013. During this year's Locarno Film Festival, Gosfilmofond organized a screening of the Russian documentary Krym. Put na rodinu (Crime. The Road to the Motherland).

Aired on Russian state TV this March, the film presented a version of events surrounding Russia's annexation of Crimea that was in line with government propaganda. Locarno rejected the documentary.