The best Russian films of the previous year are included in the programme of the Toronto Russian Film Festival (June 7th to 12th ). Besides, the Canadian filmgoers will have a chance to meet with the actors, film directors and producers - in brief, with all those who represent the modern cinema of Russia.
Although the Toronto film fest is only 3 years old, it has gained both popularity and a solid status. The Russian Ministry of Culture has offered its support to the festival this year. This year’s programme consists of 11 films. No contests will be organized and no prizes will be given. This will be simply a festival of Russian culture.
“Our audience includes mainly the Russian-speaking Canadians”, the festival’s programme director Alyona Zhukova, a scriptwriter and a writer, says. However, there are English-speaking filmgoers too.
"What is needed here is serious dramaturgy. For example, the film “Ivanov” by Vadim Dubrovitsky based on Chekhov’s play of the same name, or “Boris Godunov” by Vladimir Mirzoyev based on Alexander Pushkin’s play. And as regards the film “Zhila-byla odna baba” (“Once upon a Time There lived a Woman”), we can say that it is an epic historic drama that presents a great interest for the Canadian filmgoers."
The festival’s films have English subtitles. The only exception is made for the last work of the prominent Russian actress Lyudmila Gurchenko who died a year ago, “Pyostrye Sumerki”. Many people from the far-away districts of Toronto are expected to attend the party dedicated to Lyudmila Gurchenko that will take place at the Royal Ontario Museum. There are more than 200,000 ethnic Russians in Toronto. New names in the Russian cinema world spark a lot of interest. “Let’s take, for example young actresses Agniya Dikovskite who played the main role in “Boris Godunov” and Darya Yekamasova who played the main role in the film “Once Upon a Time There Lived a Woman”, Alyona Zhukova says, adding that the meeting with Slava Ross, the author of the film “Siberia Mon Amour” is expected to trigger a similar interest, and the theatre will be packed to capacity.
"First, Canadians know that Luc Besson was the distributer of this film. Besides, this film has already received many awards. When it was shown in New York, 4 showings were organized instead of the two planned originally. And the theatre was overcrowded. Ross is often referred to as the new Tarkovsky."
In accordance with the well-established tradition, several documentaries and 2 films made by Russian Canadians are included in the programme of the Toronto fest. And one more thing here. Specially for children an animation series will be shown there too. The organizers believe that Russian families in Canada should not lose contact with Russian culture.