The opening of the All-Russian Short Film Day was held on December 13 in a digital format. The business programme began with a press conference attended by members of the jury and partners of the Event.
The ceremony was moderated by Yulia Svintsova, editor-in-chief of the MovieSart portal and the Feature Film programme selector for the All-Russian Short Film Day.
She noted that this year we had received participation applications for 205 feature films, 48 documentaries and 57 animated projects. The prize fund amounted to 2 million roubles.
“This year we received applications not only from different parts of Russia, but also from other countries. Everyone being tired of the instability and tension caused by the pandemic, we paid special attention this time to projects that carry positive stories. And, frankly speaking, choosing was a challenge – directors used their films to demonstrate the power of kindness, love of life and family values”, said the moderator.
The stories of kindness were also highly praised by the organisers among the documentary projects.
“We want so much magic on New Year's Eve! The documentaries in the Programme of the campaign were selected according to this principle. Three stories will convince the audience that there are many miracles in life – one should just let them happen”, said Olga Filonova, the selector of the Documentary programme.
Natalia Goydenko, Executive Director of the National Foundation for the Support of Copyright Holders of the, noted the success story of the Short Film Day.
“It brings joy to see how the Short Film Day has changed over these eight years – the boundaries of your activity have been expanding year after year, and now the campaign has become international! It shows that you (organisers - ed.) have set the right vector for development! I wish you further growth and even higher quality of Russian films, so that there would be more socially oriented projects. For my part, I remind the debutantes that they can always apply for help to the National Foundation for the Support of Copyright Holders. We welcome everyone!”, said the participant of the press conference.
Anton Kalinkin, Russian producer, owner of festivals Korotche (Shorter), Realist Web Fest and Web Fest Berlin, member of the Short Film Day jury, told us about the prospects for short films and driving factors.
“I believe, short films have a bright, incredible future! We are gradually approaching the time when the older generation, as well as younger viewers, begin to live more dynamic lives and are likely to consume new forms of content. It is not online platforms, content producers, who wins, but the audience. In my view, the Viewer's Prize most important prize of the Short Film Day!”, said Anton Kalinkin.
He reminded the guests that “today there is not a single film school that does not have a short film course on its curriculum, there is not a single online platform that is not interested in this type of content, and there is not a single film festival that does not have a separate short films programme, although the film festival Korotche (Shorter) remains the main one”. The producer also said that he had discussed a possibility of the government extending its helping hand during his recent meeting with Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova.
“Olga Borisovna Lyubimova and I discussed the prospect of public support to debutantes make their first step. I think that a window of such an opportunity will open in the near future. The authors will have to contribute with a little bit of talent, courage, and professionalism, and everything will be fine”, summed up the expert.
Elizaveta Golovchenko, head of the Centre for Industry Relations of the Moscow Film School (MFS), reminded the audience about the importance of good quality film education, including the short film curriculum, because this format is “important for students, it is like a springboard for aspiring filmmakers”.
“We try to support initiatives related to the popularization of short film, and in this sense the Youth Centre of the Russian Union of Cinematographers is our strategic partner. Our task as an educational institution is to support debutantes, organize sectorial discussion on our platform and improve curriculum in accordance with the demand of the professional community”, - stressed the MFS representative.
Anna Zayarina, director of external communications for Okko multimedia service, assessed the degree of viewer interest in short films.
“Currently the habit of watching films in an online cinema is in the bud. However, we can confidently assert that there is interest in the short-film format. This year we became partners to the Korotche festival and we were happy to join the Short Film Day. Each of us contributes to the development of short film in this country – we expand the geography and strive to ensure high-quality content to the viewer, in particular in the short film format”, said the company's representative.
She added that the collection of the best competitive and out-of-competition short films, as well as films from the European Film Academy collection, will be available on Okko's multimedia service.
Julia Svintsova expressed her gratitude to Okko for the partnership and emphasized that the potential of the online platform is enough to bring short films to every Russian home.
Nina Romodanovskaya, editor-in-chief of ProfiCinema portal, added that short films are valuable because they represent an excellent social cross-section of the whole country.
“Regional short films do not differ in principle from those in the capital – the quality requirements to films are the same everywhere. Regional projects typically raise topics of concern to residents of different parts of our large country. This is the most interesting and valuable thing”, the expert explained.
Janna Buryak, founder of the independent Russian short film agency VOSTOK, and François Serres, director of Europe's oldest festival and forum of immersive and interactive cinema, used the Short Film Day as an opportunity to announce a programme, which had been created in partnership with the French association Prenez Du Relief, also responsible for organising the festival COURANT3D.
“I am very happy to collaborate with François Serres and happy that we can present the results of our work together at Short Film Day. VOSTOK specializes in the short film, and now all new formats are being created in short film timeline, almost without exception, be that XR, VR, AR, 3D, "vertical", AI, etc. This year, our partners from France and we shall present together a programme of films created with artificial intelligence (AI). These will include films written by AI and using AI technology in soundtrack selection, computer graphics, production preparation, financial estimates and many other filmmaking tasks. Together with François, we will offer a lecture on immersive and interactive cinema. We also think of awarding an additional prize to the winners of the event”, said Yanna Buryak.
Yulia Svintsova reminded the participants that foreign market players took part in the event last year through the efforts of VOSTOK agency.
Announcing the program of events, the moderator noted that special attention this year would also be paid to the so-called family content – the audience would see works made in new genres.
“I'm very happy that this year's Short Film Day includes a separate animated films programme. Animated cartoons earlier included in different sessions of the Event were mostly stories for children, toddlers and family viewing. This year's programme will introduce guests of the event to the wonderful, bright and unusual world of auteur animation, creators of which focus on viewers of different ages and create genuine works of art, recognized by experts around the world at the most prestigious film festivals”, said Aliona Sychova, film critic, animation film producer, curator of the animation programme within the Short Film Day.
Dmitry Yakunin, General Director of the All-Russian Short Film Day, noted that the event promotes not only short films in Russia, but also provides maximum support to young talents in regions.
“Over the years of events for young filmmakers we have travelled around the country and presented a considerable number of bright, colourful, holistic and memorable works to the opinion of the professional community. It is an honour for us to support young authors not only in the capital and major cities, but also in other regions of Russia, to give an additional impetus to the development of their creativity. Indeed, it's important for us to understand the importance of the Short Film Day, which is as a kind of bridge between the ‘big’ industry and small initiatives, a platform that consolidates the short film industry”, Yakunin concluded.
It should be noted that the All-Russian Short Film Day-2021 is held from December 13 to 31 in a hybrid format. The event, organized with the support of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, is held for the eighth time and is a symbolic summing up of success stories and achievements in the short film industry in recent years.
Works of the contestants will be assessed this year by Anton Kalinkin, owner of Korotche and Realist Web Fest festivals, filmmakers Yuri Bykov and Vladimir Khotinenko, and Nina Romodanovskaya, editor-in-chief of ProfiSinema portal.
Categories – Best Feature Film, Best Animated Film, Best Documentary, Best Premiere Film, Best Director, Best Director’s Work in Documentary, Best Script, Best Cinematography,
Categories for the Social Project Video Contest: in “View from the Outside” – Best Director and Best Script for a Feature Film; in “View from Within” – Best Director and Best Script for a Feature Film.
There will be a separate audience vote on www.shortday.ru. The audience will be presented with 13 feature films, including three feature film premieres, eight animated films, and three documentaries.
The films participating in the competition starred famous Russian actors – Yulia Aug, Anton Bogdanov, Pavel Derevyanko, Alexander Petrov, Alexander Robak, Anna Sliu, Maryana Spivak, Aglaya Tarasova and others.
The list of films presented for screening includes winners of Russian short film festivals, How to Turn on the Fire That Has Gone by Sergey Filatov (Grand Prix of Korotche festival), Avako by Kseniya Pchelintseva (winner at Kinoshok and Let's Live festivals), Guilza by Dinara Abdrashitova (winner of the National Youth Film Award), Friend by Andrey Svetlov (Grand Prix of Visions).
The program also includes several debuts. Among them are Alexander Petrov's first short film Angel as well as Street Light by Vladislav Ikonnikov, the winner of the 2021 Debutantes Pitching.
In addition, participants of the Event will have a chance to enjoy a selection of foreign films – nominees for the European Film Awards, programme of the short film distributor Flixsnip, immersive film programme from the short film agency VOSTOK, as well as pictures that participated in the largest Russian animation festival in Suzdal.
The Short Film Day programme includes works by winners of the leading Russian and international film festivals; non-commercial screenings of international short film programmes; educational and business events; interviews with the leading film experts dedicated to short film; Short Film Night; flash mob My First Short Film.
A separate programme is dedicated to social short videos. On December 16, the Illuzion cinema-theatre will run the winners of the video contest about social projects A Good Story.
The organizers are preparing a special programme dedicated to the memory of Kirill Emilievich Razlogov.
The audience will also see the premieres of the documentary series You Are from the Future-2 and Let's Get Down to Science.
The project will be summed up on the Short Films Night on December 21.
Keep track of the schedule on the Event’s website – https://www.shortday.ru/#raspisanie. Information is updated regularly.
The event is organized by the Youth Centre of the Russian Union of Cinematographers, MoviStart Producer Centre, with the support of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives.
Partners – Roskino, Rossotrudnichestvo, National Foundation for the Support of Copyright Holders, Okko multimedia service, Moskino, APKiT, Roskulttcenter, Animated Film Association, RED Carpet Studio, Canon, independent short film agency VOSTOK, EASTWOOD AGENCY, Kinolibre, New Institute for Cultural Research, Open Russian Festival of Animated Film, cinema-theatres Illuzion and Zvezda, short film distributor Flix Snip.
Educational partner – Moscow Film School.
General information partner – ProfiCinema portal.
Media partners – the Russian Union of Cinematographers, Animated Film Association, MovieStart, Digital Reporter, Film Distributor's Bulletin, Kino-Theatre.ru, festival film promotion company CINEPROMO, Cinemaplex, Time Out, Kinoafisha, TV Workers, Kinoreporter, the Information Portal for Young Filmmakers, Art-Moskovia.