[PRESS RELEASE] 2019 RUSSIAN FILM WEEK NEW YORK ANNOUNCED

A NEW FILM FESTIVAL
CELEBRATING INDEPENDENT AND COMMERCIAL FILMS THAT REPRESENT THE DYNAMIC LANDSCAPE OF RUSSIAN FILMMAKING TODAY

DECEMBER 6-13 IN MANHATTAN

Presented by The Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation and Rock Studio Films

18 Films * 22 screenings and Q&As * 10,258 prospective viewers
15 star guests, directors and actors

The 2019 Russian Film Week in New York (RFWNY) – a new film festival celebrating independent and commercial films that represents the dynamic landscape of Russian filmmaking today. The event, which will take place in New York City, December 6-13 at the SVA Theatre (333 W 23rd St), Peter Jay Sharp Theatre and Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway) and the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway (1871 Broadway).

RFWNY was co-founded and successfully re-launched in 2018. This partnership aims to develop a multi-state, annual week-long showcase, in an effort to present independent, commercial, documentary and arthouse Russian films with subtitles to mainstream US audiences.

“At a time when some want to highlight differences among us, we want the 2019 Russian Film Week in New York to be a bridge to unite people across the oceans,” said founders and presenters Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis of The Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation. “We truly feel that artistry is a powerful force and can be the catalyst to show our commonalities.”

Highlights of Russian Film Week in New York include:

ACID

Movie screening and discussion / Q&A with film director Alexander Gorchilin
Acid is a silent manifesto of the generation of twenty-year-olds in search for life’s meaning. The main characters have been abandoned in a world adorned with concepts such as family, friendship, love, and opportunities. They justify their reckless and infantile behavior by the lack of communication with their parents, since they grew up without fathers. Now, the time has come for them to face adulthood.

ANOTHER WOMAN

Movie screening and discussion / Q&A with director Anna Parmas and actress Anna Rytsareva.
Masha’s successful life has her completely consumed in her work until she discovers that her husband has been having an affair with his twenty-something fitness trainer. Her life begins to spin out of control, as she struggles to balance work, child-rearing and navigating the breakdown of her marriage. Desperate to keep her family together, Masha won’t stop at anything to get her husband back, including turning to supernatural forces. But her new life opens up new opportunities, and she wonders if this old barely flickering flame is really worth reigniting. This feature-length comedy debut by Anna Parmas is full of superb performances and witty punchlines.

THE BATTLE

As a street dancer, Anton is building a remarkable career: his team wins all the battles, he is a recognized choreographer, and all his future depends on dance. When Anton loses his hearing in a tragic accident, all his plans and all hopes are destroyed. Finding himself in an empty and strange world of silence, Anton gradually realizes that this is not the end. His passion for dance, the will to win and his love of life show him a new way to his cherished dream. And his greatest battle is yet to come.

HIGH ABOVE

A young girl spends her summer in a countryside resort under the strict supervision of her mother. A young guy with a secret past draws her attention. The girl does not foresee that her life will change forever after meeting him, and her feelings will send her high above the sky.

THE LENIN FACTOR

It’s been almost three years since the start of World War I, the bloodiest war in the history of humanity. Vladimir Lenin is an immigrant, living in Zurich. Having devoted his life to preparing the revolution, Lenin “missed” its beginning and is now searching for an opportunity to return to Russia and annex control of the situation.

THE SNOW QUEEN: MIRRORLANDS (Animated movie)

A powerful king nearly lost his family due to the Snow Queen’s evil deeds. He finds a way to withdraw all the magic from the world – they who master the magic powers get trapped in the Mirrorlands. The only one who can stop him and keep the fairytale in our world is Gerda – as her own superpower is not sorcery but her faith in kindness and friendship. The Snow Queen herself along with trolls and pirates will help Gerda in her new adventures.

VAN GOGHS

Movie screening and discussion / Q&A with Aleksey Serebryakov and Sergey Livnev conducted by the film’s director Sergey Livnev
Winner of four Russian National Film Academy Awards (Nika), Van Goghs sensitively explores the complicated relationship between Mark Ginzburg, an artist, and his oppressive father Viktor, a famous conductor Mark moved from Latvia to Israel just to escape his father’s shadow, but now circumstances have forced the two to live under the same roof again. Will they manage to see beyond their mutual dependency and rediscover the love they have for each other? An exceptionally moving film about families, and how they shape our expectations from – and perceptions of – life.

For the full list of films, please visit:

www.russianfilmweekusa.com/events/list/

In June of 2019, RFWNY started a new initiative to promote Russian movies: we presented free screenings of two Russian films (with subtitles) at New York’s Wolfe’s Pond Park in Staten Island, as part of the NY City Council’s Cultural Initiative, supported by New York City Councilman Joseph C. Borelli (district 51).
LISTINGS INFORMATION:
 
Russian Film Week in New York (RFWNY) takes place in New York City December 6-13, 2019 at the SVA Theatre (333 W 23rd St), Peter Jay Sharp Theatre and Leonard Nomoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway) and the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway (1871 Broadway).
For tickets and information, please visit: www.RussianFilmWeekUSA.com
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About the presenters:
Cherry Orchard Festival (www.CherryOrchardFestival.org) is a leading independent international arts organization with a solid reputation for presenting musical performances, theatrical productions, multi-disciplinary performing and visual arts attractions by a stunning array of global artists to audiences in the US. Founded by Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis in 2013, the festival is now embarking on its 7th season and has presented more than 55 unique world-class events, concerts and theatrical performances to over 90,000 audience members.
Rock Films Studio (http://www.rockfilm.ru) was founded in 1991 by film director Alexey Uchitel. Since then, the studio has produced 45 feature and documentary films which have received over 100 awards at international film festivals, and were distributed theatrically both in Russia and abroad. The films include The Major (Cannes Film Festival) and The Fool (Locarno) by Yury Bykov, More by Alexandra Strelyanaya (Karlovy Vary), and others. Besides film production, Rock Studio Films is involved in two additional festivals – Message To Man in Saint Petersburg and Russian Film Week in London.

Age Out (2019) Movie Review

Review courtesy of LastHouseOnTheRight.com. Their review is from a screener copy provided by the filmmakers.

We’ve all seen numerous shows and films showing happy new families united by the noble institution of adoption. In fact, adoption is often the happy ending at the end of a heartwarming movie. From Little Orphan Annie on through to the Blind Side, the list goes on and on.

But what about those kids who never get their happy ending? What happens to the child whose ride never comes to pick them up? Age Out begins by exploring this theme, and meanders its way into an improbable whodunit combined with a strained, muted love story.

Continue reading “Age Out (2019) Movie Review”

Night Sweats (2019) Movie Review

NOTE: Screener copy provided for review.

Aloof New York City stages solid, but not provocative if one’s paying attention, indie thriller. Skater’s sexy night ends in roommate’s bizarre death. He finds cause of death while eluding corrupt antagonists. Two leads’ chemistry’s fine, but not fiery.

Expanded, spoiler-light review.

Night Sweats is told in lower-class parts of the Big Apple where the glamour of Manhattan is always distant. Yuri, a skateboarder who moves to NYC (Kyle DeSpiegler), is enjoying the company of Mary Kate (Mary Elaine Ramsey). Their session of coitus is interrupted by the vomiting death of Yuri’s friend (John Francomacaro). From there, Yuri uncovers the cause of friend’s death while avoiding a motorcycle man (Brett Azar) and the fury of a self-help company president (John Wesley Shipp). When the ending reveal happens, it’s not very shocking if one’s paying attention to a certain character’s reactions.

Overall, I enjoyed Night Sweats. The chemistry between Yuri and M.K. lacks spark, but I don’t fault the actors. With the exception of Shipp’s blustering, the plot and low-key atmosphere typical of indie films doesn’t allow over-emoting. I can’t immediately place which true events Night Sweats is based upon, but the disaster that would occur if the plot happened on a wide scale is creepy to think about.

Directed by Andrew Lyman-Clarke. Written by Clarke from a story by Seth Panman. Runtime: 99 minutes.

Visit the official Night Sweats website. View the trailer:

Cherry on Top: A Look at the Horror-Filled Adventures of Ernest P. Worrell

Ernest P. Worrell, the prolific pitch man shilling all sorts of products in the 1980s, is the result between John Cherry’s opportunism and Jim Varney’s rubber-faced charisma. Ernest became an advertising icon who moved into the star protagonist of seemingly a zillion movies. Being the idiot yokel gave struggling actor Varney a steady paycheck, fame, and fortune.

I have some nostalgia for Ernest’s antics — one of the first movies I saw on VHS was Ernest Goes to Jail. However, my now adult sense of humor can take idiotic attempts at hilarity in small doses. Let’s trace the creative evolution though a sample of horror-themed works. Continue reading “Cherry on Top: A Look at the Horror-Filled Adventures of Ernest P. Worrell”

Hype Check: Bad Boys For Life Trailer

Finally, the tag team of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back in Bad Boys for Life long after their box office drawing power dipped. The red band trailer for the third movie in the buddy cop action franchise glimpses at major set pieces and the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. As presented, the duo’s friendship hasn’t missed a beat. There are two things that would keep me awake: Smith’s presence toning down Martin’s annoying habits and the cool outrun/synthwave/whatever-it-is visuals of Miami.

Not surprisingly, the For Life trailer shows its Michael Bay influence with explosions and the required our-heroes-are-cool attitude. Bay won’t be missed, but will audiences welcome back Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as major movie stars? Whether this spectacular trailer makes for a really spectacular movie remains to be seen. Bad Boys for Life, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, is set to launch in January 17, 2020.

Status From Yonder - May 15, 2018 at 12:11PM


Posted first on Twitter. Follow @redheadedmule

So, The Shape of Water Is Apparently A Big Oscar Winner

Now’s the time for Fox to eagerly tout their upcoming Blu-ray release!

Famous people got fancy and prepared for adulation at the 90th Academy Awards happened last night. The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro, won four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. Such major successes will carry momentum when Shape’s DVD/Blu-ray/4K comes out on 16 March.

I didn’t watch last night’s Oscars, but followed the event’s winners. Haven’t cared about its ceremony or presentation since David Letterman hosted. (Ah, the innocent days when Letterman and Adam Sandler were the height of comedy.) However, I’m happy to see Jordan Peele win Best Original Screenplay and Blade Runner 2049 win two Oscars: Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. Continue reading “So, The Shape of Water Is Apparently A Big Oscar Winner”

The Atoning Review

The filmmakers provided a screener for review. This review avoids mentioning major spoilers.

The horror-suspense film The Atoning, directed by Michael Williams, gives a distorted view of an American family. The first act of the movie show this family, mother Vera, father Ray, and son Sam going through the motions inside of their home. Witnessing routine after routine is odd enough until the family sees strange visions of other people. Later, the movie shows who has to do some actual atoning, including confronting some coal-black demons, and why. Continue reading “The Atoning Review”

Accidental Courtesy Review

Unlike his profession as a musician, Daryl Davis’ methods of fighting racism isn’t always a crowd pleaser. Accidental Courtesy, the documentary featuring Davis, covers his befriending some Ku Klux Klan members and the impact of his actions. It’s a fascinating watch for how Davis thinks outside the volatile box of race relations.

As a younger (millennial) Black man, I have some mild ambivalence to Davis’ work. He has had success in turning some of his hood-and-robe-wearing friends away from the Ku Klux Klan and its sociopathic hate. For that, I am grateful that Davis illustrating face-to-face social interaction can make a difference. However, it’s a one-man movement about crossing the aisle meaning it’s slower kind of change, doesn’t end the Klan, and can send mixed signals. Some of the tensest moments of Accidental Courtesy is when Davis talks those who don’t approve of his methods, such as a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a meeting with two younger Black protesters in Baltimore. Also, Courtesy throws in footage of Donald Trump in a seemingly last-minute attempt of relevance. Davis remains hopeful while living on the brink of the Trump presidency, but how Davis deals with the alt-right would require an update a few years down the line.

Accidental Courtesy is sometimes hard to watch, but I find Davis’ effort a net positive for improving race relations. It has shown me, someone who practically lives online, how we, in general, should value getting to know each other in the flesh. Americans should be exposed to more films showing the fight against racism in action.