October 23, 2017

The Tenth independent documentary film festival RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W has come to a close. 21 documentaries have been screened over the course of three days, among them – 16 American premieres from 6 countries. 17 films were screened in the Competition program. 9 film directors from Armenia, Poland, Russia and the U.S. took part in the festival. Among the festival’s guests were American film director Jon Alpert, sixteen Emmy Awards laureate and two-time Academy Award nominee; American film director Kieko Tsuno, Emmy Award laureate; Steven Cymbrowitz, New York State Assemblyman; Paul Litvinov, a famous Soviet dissident; Nina Alovert, well-known photographer; Serge Hollerbach, an academician of the National Academy of Design, and others.

The festival was welcomed by the City and the State administration. The Mayor of New York City Mr. Bill de Blassio sent his Greeting Address to the festival. The New Review Corporation was given a Diploma by the New York State Assembly. The festival was welcomed by all major public organizations of the Russian-speaking Diaspora, among them – one of the oldest organizations, the Pushkin Society in the U.S. The Pushkin Dom from Russia also welcomed The New Review.

The festival took place at two venues in Manhattan and two venues in New York State.

The 10th anniversary of the RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W coincided with the celebration of the 75th jubilee of The New Review, the organizer of the festival project. Several art exhibitions were shown during the festival’s days, including the “Russian-American Painters” presented by the Kolodzei Art Foundation and a photo exhibition of Nina Alovert’s works. The New Review also organized three roundtables: “100 Years of the Revolution – 100 Years of the Russian Exodus”, “From America with Love. American Slavists and the Russian Perestroika”, and “Nonfiction: New Forms, New Genres, New Reality” as well as the presentation “Unpredictable Faces of Russia: Pro et Contra” in cooperation with the National Writers Union and the poetry readings by Russian-American New Yorkers.

The general sponsor of the 10th RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W is the Zimin Foundation.

Though the 2000s are often called The Post-Truth Era, the non-fiction films presented at the 10th RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W demonstrated an accurate representation of the major socio-political problems of the modern world. The main accent of the festival program pointed to some of the most important conflicts of current society: human rights, freedom of speech, writers’ independence from censorship, and remembering the Holocaust in the 21st century.

This year festival jury included:

Lucy Kostelanetz, film director, former president of the Flaherty Seminar;
Helga Landauer, film director and poet;
Vitaly Komar, artist, co-founder of the Sots-Art;
Jeff Bliumis, sculptor;
Alla Roylance, librarian and program curator, Brooklyn Central Library;

This year the Grand Prix and the Faces of Russia Award were newly designed and presented by sculptor Jeff Bliumis and designer Alex Soldier.

Grand Prix of the Festival 2017
Grand Prix of the Festival 2017

Winners and Nominees of the 10th RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W:

Grand PrixThe Man Who Was Too Free, directed by Vera Krichevskaya and Mikhail Fishman (Russia)
Special Jury PrizeI Was Bitten by a Shark, directed by Maksim Kobzev (Russia)
“Faces of Russia”Natalia Gorbanevskaya. I am not a Hero, directed by Ksenia Sakharnova and Cyrill Sakharnov (Russia)

Jury Diplomas:

– In the “Best Cinematography” nomination category – Six Musicians and the City, directed by Tatyana Danilyants (Armenia – Russia)
– In the “Best Original Screenplay” nomination category – Naum Korzhavin. Time was Given, directed by Pavel Mirzoev (Russia)
– In the The Best Visual Effects nomination category – «Free to Rock», directed by Jim Brown, produced by Douglas Yeager (USA)

Diplomas of The New Review Corporation:

– In the “Russian Literature on the Screen” nomination category – Should the Clover Rustle in the Meadow… Yevgeny Yevtushenko, directed by Nina Zaretskaya (USA-Russia)
– In the “Russian History on the Screen” nomination category – A Quarter of a Century, directed by Alexander Guryanov (Russia)
– In the “Free Word” nomination category – Life in Word and Deed, directed by Eugenia Golovnya and Julia Mavrina (Russia)
– In the “Free World” nomination category – «Free to Rock», directed by Jim Brown, produced by Douglas Yeager (USA). Diploma and the Crystal Globe Award
– In the Genius Loci nomination category – Picture to Remember, directed by Edward Staroselsky (USA)
– In the “Remembering the Holocaust in the XXI Century” диплом и награда, – фильм Karski and the Lords of Humanity, directed by Slawomir Grünberg (Poland). Diploma and the Bronze Statue
The Humanitarian Award for the invaluable contribution to the protection of the rights of people with disabilities – Olga Arlauskas (Russia). Diploma and the Crystal Angel Award
– In the special nomination category “For the Creative Contribution to the Promotion of Russian Culture in the U.S.” – film director Elena Yakovich (Russia)
– In the special nomination category “For the Contribution to International Cooperation in Nonfiction Cinema”Open Studio LenDoc (Russia) in the year of its 85th anniversary. Diploma and the Crystal Globe

– Diploma and Award of the Pushkin Society in the U.S. was awarded to the film Naum Korzhavin. Time Was Given, directed by Pavel Mirzoev (Russia)

Photos from the Opening Reception:
Photo: Anna Golitsyna

“HUDSON NOTE” reading:
Photo: Anna Golitsyna

Round table discussion “American Slavists and the Russian Perestroika”
organized by The New Review in co-partnership with the Harriman Institute, Columbia University. Photo: Anna Golitsyna