Vasily Grossman. “I Understood That I Had Died”

In Competition.
Director Elena Yakovich, RACORD-TV, Russia
56 min, 2014.

The documentary is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Grossman’s death. Vasily Grossman’s novel “Life and Fate” was called “War and Peace of the XX century”. The manuscript was confiscated by the KGB and the writer’s life turned into tragedy. Grossman passed away before his novel was published. Finished in 1959 this anti-Stalin novel was published only in 1980 in Switzerland.
The documentary will be presented by the film’s director.

The Main Headquarter

In Competition
Director – V. Lisakovich
Studio “Sovinfilm”, Russia
60 min, 2013.

This film is a story about the Main Headquarter of the Russian Army during the First World War. The Main Headquarter was the center of Russian supervision of all fronts of the Great War. The documentary is based on the unique chronicles of this period of time: the original shots of the Headquarter, war scenes from the Russian-German frontline, the Romanov family, Emperor of Russia Nicholas II, and the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich.

Awards: “Gold Eagle”, the main prize of the Russian National Academy of Cinema (2014)

The Blockade. When He Healed Only Compassion

In Competition
Director – Grigory Ilugdin
MIRIAM-MEDIA Studio, Russia
45 min, 2014.

The film is based on medical personnel’s war-diaries from the Military Medical Academy’s archive in Saint-Petersburg: notes by doctors and nurses, official reports from hospitals, records of blood tests, surgeries, and deaths. The contributors of the film are veterans of the Second World War – former doctors, nurses, and patients. Their stories are truthful accounts of one of the most dreadful tragedies in the history of the war.


In Competition
Director – Alina Rudnitskaya, Russia
62 min, 2013.

This film is a sincere story about a day in the Hemotransfusion Station in a Russian province. Several women of different ages, with diverse characters and fortunes are driving from village to village collecting blood for hemotransfusion storage. Dozens of donors, dozens of destinies… This surrealistic bleeding picture moves us to the old, simple idea of the fragility of human beings.

Awards: Grand-Prix at the IFF ArtDocFilm (2013).

Straightening Sigh

In Competition
Directors – Nikita Tikhonov-Rau, Olga Arlauskayte
Studio ArtVideo, Russia
85 min, 2014.

This story is a sliver of hope in the land where Osip Mandelstam was executed, where unemployment and corruption are growing – in the land of the Russian Far East.

The film will be presented by Gildia of Documentary Film and Television (Russia).

[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”WXWRCHuPNno&rel=0″ width=”560″ height=”315″ anchor=”watch trailer”]

Writer “Pi”. The Attempt of Identification

In Competition
Directors – Boris Karadzhev, Georgy Ryabushev
Studio “CLIO”, Russia
75 min, 2013.

An eminent writer as well as a great mystificateur, Victor Pelevin intrigues not only through his post-modern prose, but also through his anonymity. He is a writer-phantom who has never appeared in public, but has made a great impression on the minds of the Moscow intelligencia. In the film, the most famous Russian novelists, critics, and publishers talk not about Pelevin’s prose but about the writer himself. Among the narrators are Natalya Ivanova, Vladimir Sorokin, Dmitry Bykov, and others.

Russia’s Open Book: Writing in the Age of Putin

In Competition
Directors – Sarah Wallis, Paul Mitchell
Intelligent Television, Inc., USA
60 min, 2014.

Who are the new Russian Tolstoys and Dostoevskys? American film-makers present the most popular Russian writers from the time of Perestroyka and “Putin’s era”. Stephen Fry, a famous American actor, reads excerpts from the texts of modern Russian literature – six new names: Bykov, Petrosyan, Prilepin, Starobinets, Sorokin, and Ulitskaya.

This film will be presented by Yeltsin Centre (Moscow), The Intelligent Television, Inc., The Institute of Translation, and the film-directors. In English only


In Competition
Director – Alexey Naumov, Russia
40 min, 2014.

This film is dedicated to the Via Dolorosa of an ordinary Russian man in Saratov county – count Alexander Medem. Baptized during the First World War this descendent of an ancient Baltic family was executed for his faith during the communist terror in the Soviet Union. Count Alexander Medem is one of the New Martyrs, Confessors and Heroes of Faith of Russia in the XX century.

Non-Stop City

In Competition.
Director – Alexander Gurianov, Russia
45 min, 2013.

This story is about the tragedies of the automobile industry monsters – Detroit and Tolyatti. So different in triumph, yet so similar in failure.

Mamas, Kids and the Law

In Competition
Directors – Kyrill and Ksenia Sakharnov
Sugar Studio, Russia
55 min, 2013.

This is a story about the adoption of a paralyzed Russian girl by an American married couple. This little girl was among the last 64 Russian orphans adopted by foreign parents before the law named after Dima Yakovlev prohibited any international adoption from Russia.

The documentary will be presented by the film’s director.

[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”DGnQJgK1s9Y&rel=0″ width=”560″ height=”315″ anchor=”watch trailer”]

Everything That We Are Doing

In Competition
Director – Angelina Golikov
Studio “Ostrov”, Russia
55 min, 2013.

Two pedagogues, Anna and Jessie Mara, with the help of Russian artist Oleg Mityaev, created a chorus consisting of children from dysfunctional families. Under their supervision, children not only learn how to sing, but also gain an understanding of sympathy and compassion. The children help suffering people by rehearsing in the Children’s Cancer Hospital and in the women’s prison.

“I Was Your Son, Russia!”

In Competition
Director – Valery Shatin; Producer – Irena Gorovets
70 min, 2014. USA.

This film is a story of the glory and exile of Emil Gorovets, a famous Soviet singer in the 1960s. His voice – turning from tenor to baritone – was bright and full of tonal and emotional interpretations. He sang songs in Russian and Yiddish; he was the first who sang translated American and European chansons. He emigrated from the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1970s to continue his successful career in the US. This film is a dilogy. The first film will be presented at the festival by Mrs. Gorovets, Emil’s widow.

The Subscriber is Temporary Unavailable

In Competition
Director – Arman Yeritsyan
“Fishka-Studio”, Russia
30 min, 2014.

This film could be depicted as “a funny story about death” or, in contrast, “a sad story about a funny coffin-maker”. All his life the hero of this film has lived in his native small Armenian town; all his life he has made coffins for his neighbors. He could write a novel about what is a “good coffin”. But he understands that nobody should write a “coffin-novel” or make a documentary about a coffin-maker because a man must just live a good life and at the end of his life just lay to rest in a good coffin.


In Competition
Director – Annna Shishova, Russia
52 min, 2013.

After the downfall of the Soviet Union, the Russian world dispersed throughout various countries and continents. With the hope of finding paradise, new Russians collapsed into new temptations. This film is about an adventure full of misery of a Russian girl who dreams of joy in India.

Festivals & Awards: The Best Art-Movie award at IFF ArtDocFest, Russia.

Russian Dream

In Competition
Director – S. Debizhev
Studio of S-Petersburg Documentary Films, Russia
52 min, 2013.

This film is about the adventure of an American woman — a Slavicist full of illusions and fantasies about Russian people and Russian winter. This story is about sympathy and misunderstanding between people belonging to different cultures and countries, about an open world without borders.

This film will be presented by the heroine of the film and the Executive Director of the studio


Not In Competition
Director – Lucy Kostelanetz, USA
96 min, 2006.

This is a story of the famous Russian avant-garde artist Sonya Dymshitz, the first wife of famous Soviet writer Alexey Tolstoy, and the remarkable story of surviving under the most oppressive circumstances in the Soviet Union.

The film is created by American film-director Lucy Kostelanetz, former president of The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (New York). The film will be presented by the film-director.

The Holocaust – is It a Wallpaper Paste?

In Competition
Director – Mumin Shakirov
Studio “Baktria-Film”, Russia
56 min, 2013.

Two sisters are participants in a TV trivia show and answer: “The Holocaust is… is a wallpaper paste!” Whose fault is it that young Russians do not know anything about the Holocaust? Whose fault is it that they do not know the history of their own country and know nothing about the Second World War? The film-makers try to find the right answers to these questions. They take a trip with two naïve young women to Auschwitz, the WWII concentration camp in Poland, to discover the truth about the Holocaust.

Festivals & Awards: Awards: The Union of Russian Journalists’ Award at XIX IFF “Stalker” (2013).

«…with God Against Man»

In Competition
Director – Semyon Pinkasov, USA
48 min, 2014.

Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese General Consul in Paris during WWII, was a very successful diplomat. He was not Jewish, but could not close his eyes on the genocide of the Jews and devoted his life to helping these people survive. His career was destroyed and he died suffering. Today, few remember the heroic Portuguese consul. The story of consul Mendes was recreated by a Jewish film-director and Russian immigrant, Semyon Pinkasov.

The film will be presented by the film-makers and the American Center named after Aristides de Sousa Mendes. In English only.

“Goodbye America!” or the Last Movie by Alexander Dovzhenko

In Competition
Director – Alexander Andreev, Russia
30 min, 2013.

This film is about the tragedy of a great artist under Soviet ideological pressure. Alexander Dovzhenko was a top Russian film producer and director during Stalin’s era. He was awarded two Stalin Prizes. His last movie “Goodbye America!” (1951) was based on the book by Annabelle Bucar, an American diplomat who decided to stay in the Soviet Union with her loved one. This movie was the last attempt of the great film-director to break up the Soviet ideological frames and create a true love story full of drama. The film was a complete fiasco for Dovzhenko.

From Russia with Math

In Competition
Director – Alex Kaplan, producer Elena Ukanovsky. USA
52 min, 2013.

Film-makers from Boston tell a story about a math-school for gifted children. The school was created by pedagogues-émigrés from Russia. Founded in 1987, the Russian School of Mathematics currently teaches over 11,000 elementary and secondary students throughout the US using Russian educational methods of study in mathematics.

This film will be presented by the film-makers.

Alex’s Meadowland

Non-competition program
Director – Alexey Pogrebnoy, Russia, 30 min. 2008

This film-novel is about the Orlovsky family – one of the first farming families in post-Soviet Russia. Starting in the 1990s the director watches over all generations of the family – their struggle against the Soviet legacy in modern Russia and their effort to revive Russian agriculture. He creates an amazing film-poem about the man of the land.

Q&A with the film-director.