Competition program.
FIVE ANGLES OF DOVLATOV Competition program
Directors: Aza Babayan, Vadim Dubnov
Armenia – Russia
52 min. 2015

Five angles of Dovlatov’s life and writing. The film-team digs to the roots of Dovlatov’s epoch and tells us about the circumstances under which the writer lived and wrote. Dovlatov’s relatives, friends, and famous critics tell their stories about him. He seems not to belong to himself anymore, – but real live Dovlatov is running through these legends to his readers. Dovlatov’s places, from old Tbilisi, Petersburg, Ukhta and Tallinn to Queens, New York, are shown in this film-excursion about one of the most popular writers of contemporary Russia.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere Russian.

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Competition program
Director – Eugenie Borzov
60 min. 2015

This film is about two outstanding people – composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and politician Alexander Konovalov. They met when they were under twenty and they were always committed to this lifelong friendship, despite the tragedy of the Russian revolution and exile in France and USA. Alexander Konovalov began his career under Rachmaninoff’s care. However, he did not become a musician but a brilliant politician and a member of Russian Provisional Government. The film refers to his documents, letters, diaries and memoirs. Some of the unique archival materials have never been presented to the public. It was filmed in Russia, France, and USA

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere

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Competition program
Director – Beata Bubenets
Ukraine – Russia
75 min. 2015

The film’s main character, a Chechen man named Ruslan, has been involved in all the military conflicts of recent years: Ichkeria, Abkhazia, Tiraspol, the Maidan, Crimea and the Donetsk Basin. War is his natural habitat; it has formed his lifestyle, his thought process and his feelings. Avoiding embellishment or moralization, the director creates a hard, honest image of the “new abrek” – a man of absolute freedom, and one who is prepared to fight for this freedom in any country, against any regime. A man living outside the state, outside the law, outside of any race or tribe. A man who is passionate in battle, and indifferent to the comforts of home. Accented in a socio-political way, the camera creates a subtle and precise psychological portrait of a Maidan “foot soldier”, setting him against the historical cataclysms the society he belongs to is undergoing. Just as it happens in the classic stories about the “free abrek“, a quiet teacher – a figure from another type of world altogether – captures his attention and reorients him toward actual life.

Language: Russian, Ukrainian, English Subtitles. American premiere

Awards and festivals: The IFF Artdocfest-2015 – “Best Feature-Length Film”, The IFF for Human Rights ‘Stalker’ – “Best Art-Film”, The National Award “Laurus” – “Best Art-Film”.


Competition program
Director – Irina Vasilieva
Fishka Studio. Russia
80 min. 2015

American premiere

The main character of the film may not have committed the murder for which he was sentenced to death 25 years ago, but definitely contemplated it. The sentence was later commuted to life without parole. The director watches the subject for a quarter-century, witnessing the former atheist gradually gain faith. As in the classics, suffering brings cleansing. The only liaison between the prisoner, the world, and Heaven, is the prison chaplain. Together, they represent the eternal duo of sinner and saint. Cain and Abel. They have nowhere to hide from each other. Which is which? It is unclear whose burden is the heavier one.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere

Awards and festivals: National Award “Nika” for “Best Non-Fiction Film”


Competition program
Director – Yury Veksler (Germany)
80 min 2015

The film is dedicated to Friedrich Gorenstein, an outstanding Russian writer and screenwriter, who did not fit – and did not want to fit – into the mainstream of Soviet literary canon of the 1960-70s. Since 1980s, for over 20 years, he had lived and worked in Berlin, where he died in 2002. The film is not only a story of his life but a great collection of portraits of his friends – Andrei Tarkovsky and Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrei Bitov, Victor Yerofeyev, Yevgeni Popov and Boris Khazanov, among others. Most of the archival materials used in the film are shown for the first time.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere

Awards and festivals: National Award “Laurus”, IFF Artdocfest (2015), FF “Meridians of Pacific Ocean” (2016, Vladivostok).

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Competition program
Director – Grigoriy Ilugdin
Grig-Film Studio. Russia
45 min. 2015

It’s 1940 and Europe is engulfed in war. Russian émigrés, Nobel laureate writer Ivan Bunin and his wife Vera Muromtseva-Bunina rent out a villa on the outskirts of Grasse. Here, throughout World War II, they will hide their Jewish friends – the writer Bachrach, and pianist Aleksandr Lieberman with his wife Stephania. “Righteous man of world”, an honorable role, both Bunins are not officially ascribed. Viewers will find out about the life and emigration of A. Lieberman, and see footage of the unveiling of a memorial plaque in the pianist’s hometown Briansk (2015). This film was created with the support of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) and the Holocaust Center.

Q&A with a representative of the RJC.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere


Competition program
Director – Viktor Ilyukhin (USA)
30 min. 2015

Actors Anthony Lopez and Rachel Handler want to revive their theater careers after a long hiatus. Rachel was once a promising young actress, but after a terrible accident caused her to lose her leg. The two meet in the theater Nicu’s Spoon, where everyone gets a chance regardless of sex, age, skin color or social standing. Rachel, Anthony and the other participants of the troupe try to achieve acknowledgment of their talent, and most importantly, to learn to believe in themselves again.

Q&A with the director.

Language: English. American premiere


Competition program
Director – Boris Karadzhev
New Course Studio. Russia
30 min. 2015

In the life of poet Osip Mandelstam, the Perm Region plays an especially tragically role. On June 3, 1934 Mandelstam was exiled to Cherdyn, a small town in the Urals, for a poem he wrote the previous year: We Live Without Sensing The Country Beneath Us. After two weeks in Cherdyn, he continued to Voronezh, but Cherdyn left an indelible mark on the poet’s work. The film is a psychological reconstruction of the exile of Mandelstam – the poet banished under the administrative number “1044”.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere

Awards and festivals: The IFF for Human Rights ‘Stalker’ – Honorable Mention

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Competition program
Director – Tatyana Malakhova
Telekompania AB-TV, Russia
40 min. 2015

Well-known opera-film director Vladimir Gorikker conquers his interlocutor with his artistic temperament, charisma and charm. Using his profound knowledge of music, he has created masterpieces in a rare genre that has been undeservedly forgotten in our time. His opera-films presented a confluence of excellent dramatic acting (Smoktunovskiy, Glebov, Beliavskiy, Pechernikova, Zeldin), with the greatest voices of Soviet opera (Lemeshev, Oleinichenko, Atlantov, Petrov, Kibkalo, Milashkina, Siniavskaya). The film was made in honor of the director’s 90th anniversary.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere


Competition program.
Director – Yuriy Malugin
Ostrov Studio. Russia
40 min. 2015

This is a story about blind and deaf people who come to know the world through touch. They differ in age, profession and life experiences: psychologist Aleksandr Suvorov, PhD; psychologist, artist and writer Irina Povolotskaya; mechanic Aleksey Gorelov; and Alena Kapustyan, who grew up in an orphanage. These people are united by their willpower and the desire they share, to live full lives. They are all members of the theater project The Touchables. The special “Theater of Touch” was created by well-known Russian actor Evgeny Mironov; the theater’s producer is actress Ingeborga Dapkunayte.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere

Awards and festivals: The IFF for Human Rights ‘Stalker’ – Honorable Mention, The IFF ‘Radonezh’ – Honorable Mention.

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Competition program
Director – Sergey Miroshnichenko
Ostrov Studio. Russia
98 min. 2015. Part 2

This is the official film of the 2014 Winter Olympics. But the film is not only about sport. First and foremost, it is a study of the complex phenomenon of the contemporary human: the leader, the winner – his/her psychological makeup, and how it interacts with his/her environment. The subjects of the film represent different countries, and speak different languages: Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Czech… But their voices meld together in the telling of a single story about the price of victory, not only in sport.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere

Awards and festivals: The Open Russian Film Festival ‘Kinotavr’, International Documentary Film Festival (Brazil), Kraków Film Festival, Palermo International Sport Film Festival.

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Competition program
Director – Semyon Pinkhasov, USA
40 min. 2016

The film’s subject is American artist Gregory Perkel. His life is divided into two halves: his first 40 years he lived and worked in the Soviet Union, but for nearly the last 40 years he has lived and worked in the United States. His views on art, politics, emigration and life, as well as the views of his loved ones, friends and colleagues about Perkel and his art, are the basis of this film.

Q&A with the film director.

Language: English. American premiere


Competition program
Director – Eugene Khovayev
Ostrov Studio. Russia
45 min. 2015

In 2015 Moscow hosted the XV P.I. Tchaikovsky Memorial International Music Festival. 36 pianists competed in the “Piano” category. Four of them are the subjects of this film: the French beginner Luca Debargue, the torch-bearer of the Russo-Lithuanian musical tradition Lukas Geniusas, the very young American George Lee, and Dmitriy Masleev – an unknown pianist from the remote Russian region of Buryatia. These young pianists all have different lives, different artistic paths, different styles, and one goal: to win the prestigious contest.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere


Competition program
Director – El Earthbourne, USA
52 min. 2015

During World War II, a Russian teenager from Tsarskoe Selo (outside St. Petersburg) was sent to work in Germany. Being from a family of political prisoners, after the War he refused to return to the Soviet Union, choosing instead to immigrate to the United States. The path of the film’s subject, a well-known American artist, takes him from being a laborer at a “necktie factory”, to being a member of the National Academy of Design. It is the path of a self-made man.

Q&A with the film’s subject.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles.


Competition program
Director – Yelena Yakovich
40 min. 2016

In her memoirs, Nadezhda Mandelstam said that it was during her husband’s first arrest, which was accompanied by a police ransacking of his house, that she realized the objective of her life: to rescue and save for posterity his unpublished poetry. In Mandelstam’s case, the saving of his archive made the difference between the survival and destruction of the poetry he had written in the 1930’s. From 1946 until 1957 the “sacred folder” lay inside the desk drawer of Ignatiy Bernstein. His daughter Sofia Bogatyreva tells the story of this folder. The film features recordings of Osip Mandelstam’s voice reading his poetry, recorded in the 1920’s by the founder of Russian audio-archival science, Sergey Bernstein.

Q&A with the director and S. Bogatyreva, member of the National Slavic Society (USA).

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere

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Non-Competition program
Director – Olga Arlauskas
ARTVIDEO Studio. Russia
43 min. 2014

No one doubts that children are our future. But what happens to a child who is not like the rest? Disabled, for example? How are they different from their peers? Do they dream of different things? Do they laugh and cry differently? Home, town, school, the sun, the wind – these things are shared by all. However, certain forces in this world make it so that children with limited abilities are isolated from the others. The film shows what inclusion looks like in practice, when disabled children live alongside the rest, attend a regular school, and when they are not subjected to the delineation of “in, out”. The young heroes tell the stories of their own lives and problems.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere
Awards and festivals: The IFF “Radiant Angel” (2014), The IFF “Film Without Borders” (2014), The International TV Film Festival of Documentary Melodrama (Saratov, 2015).


Non-Competition program
Director: Sergei Debizhev
St. Petersburg Studio of Documentary Films
Film Studio “2 Captains”
80 min. 2014

This film is about a man whose works were strictly forbidden in Soviet Russia and even his name was not to be spoken. Ivan Solonevich is a Russian philosopher, political activist and publicist; one of the founders of Russian Sambo, a Russian martial art sport. The prophecies of this amazing Russian thinker sound even more relevant now and some historical parallels can be made, which help us to understand more clearly some of the events taking place in the world today.

Language: Russian, English Subtitles. American premiere
Awards and festivals: IFF «Massage to Man» – Honorable Mention,, National Award “Laurus”, (2014) – Honorable Mention, National Award «NIKA» (2014), IFF «Window to Europe» (2014) – “The Best Nonfiction film”.

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Non-Competition program
Director – Anna Dranitsina
Saint-Petersburg Documentary Film Studio. Russia
30 min. 2014

Over the course of a lifetime, a person spends about a year riding the metro. Most of that time, we are in a hurry and do not notice what’s going on down there, underground. But life at a depth of 60-70 meters demands special attention: the watchwomen in their booths, the sellers of stuffed toys in the trans-platform passages, the beggars, the musicians, the sellers of useless trinkets in the train cars: all of these people form a special social stratum that exists separately from the world on the surface.

American premiere
Awards and festivals: IFF «Massage to Man» – Honorable Mention, IFF «Window to Europe» (2014) – – Honorable Mention.


Non-Competition program
Director – Eduard Staroselskiy
Bravo Studio, USA
45 min. 2014

This film is about the lives of blind musicians. About the way people without sight fit into their relationships with their families and society. Making a film about such a topic, it is very difficult not to be tempted to fall into the extremity of feeling pity for these disabled people. But it is important to move past this. The film shows the inner life of these blind musicians: their art, their joys, their failures and successes. We become acquainted with their individual talents. Q&A with the director.

Language: English


Non-Competition program
Director – Marina Razbezhkina, Russia
90 min, 2013

This film is a visual effort to understand the main changes in Russia in the past century. The film was made by famous Russian film-director in a very unusual genre of allusion: modern reality is created in the discourse of old photographs made by Russian photographer Maxim Dmitriev in 1913. Our contemporaries, people of different social groups and occupations, recognize themselves in the old images and think about life in the past and about Russian modernity.


(USA, 1946)
The film was restored by: The Schulberg, USA / The Waletzky, Israel

Stuart Schulberg, a young United States Army officer, was one of the members of the team of people who, in 1945, went in search of documentary footage of Nazi atrocities, shot by the Nazis themselves, to use for the international prosecution of Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. This film was created by combining the documentary materials found by this team, along with footage of the trial itself. In 1948-49 this film was broadly shown in Germany, in order to show the Germans the atrocities of their own nation’s former leadership. In the US, however, the film was shelved and prohibited from being screened in schools, universities, or to the public. Only in the 2010’s was the film restored and screened a few times in private showings, thanks to the daughter of the director – American producer Sandra Schulberg.

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The film is being screened in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg International Tribunal against Nazi war criminals, as part of the program “Remembering the Holocaust in the 21st Century”. The film will be presented by the daughter of the director, producer Sandra Schulberg.


For 40 years of his career Jon Alpert has produced and directed dozens of documentaries, winning 16 Emmy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, four Columbia DuPont Awards, two Overseas Press Club Awards and a Peabody Award. He is the Co-Founder/Co-Executive Director of the Downtown Community Television Center, the theater of the 9th RusDocFIlmFest-3W.

Festival presents:

Director – Jon Alpert
DCTV Production, USA
40 min, 2015

Cuban Congresswoman Mariela Castro – daughter of Raúl and niece of Fidel Castro – confronts decades of cultural and institutional homophobia to serve as a tireless champion of the rights of Cuba’s LGBT community.

Language – English, Spanish

Director – Jon Alpert
DCTV Production, USA
45 min, 2016
A non-theatrical Work-in-Progress Screening for feedback.

“Media Enabled Musketeers” project focuses on the issue of covering disability and on raising disability awareness by mass media in the US and in Russia. It is intended for both professional journalists and persons with disabilities. Professional journalists, journalism students and “citizen-journalists” with disabilities are formed into mixed ability teams, which will then produce short documentaries about issues that affect the disabled communities.

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Anna Bedinskiej. In Another World (Poland – Russia)
Anastasia Bezrook. Everybody Goes to Tractor (Russia)
Maria Evteeva. Surviver.ru (Russia)
Vladislava Zhukovskaya. My Farther Pitirim (Russia)
Daria Ivankova. My 1990th (Russia)
Maxim Lukianets. Life (Russia)
Cristina Kuzhakhmetova. Beauty (Russia)