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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Glitzy Yalta Crowd, Young Directors Mix at Kinoforum

During its heyday, the Soviet film industry produced as many as 150 feature films a year. Including television movies, documentaries and children's films, the figure climbed well above 300.

In those pre-perestroika days of heavy state subsidies and ideological control, one major all-Union film festival was all it took to highlight the year's achievements from the 15 republics and to announce the award winners -- not necessarily the best, but always the most prestigious and politically correct.

Nowadays the ratio is reversed. While movie production in Russia has taken a precipitous plunge because of financial difficulties, film festivals of all kinds have mushroomed. This year alone, the events have included an actors' festival, a women's cinema festival and a children's film festival, as well as the St. Petersburg foreign film Festival of Festivals, the Non-Stolen Cinema Festival in Moscow and the International Moscow Film Festival.

The fanciest and most exclusive festivals usually take place somewhere on the balmy Black Sea coast, like the Kinotavr festival in Sochi and the Kinoshock in Anape. The upcoming week-long Kinoforum, which will welcome a glitzy crowd of stars and guests, is scheduled to begin in Yalta on Jan. 20.

Kinoforum, which like many of this year's festivals is designed to promote a particular theme, will provide a "film model for the 21st century," showcasing works by young movie directors who have emerged over the past five years and who have already made names for themselves at home and at festivals abroad.

The films on the Kinoforum program have already been seen and reviewed by the Russian press, many are in the permanent repertoire at the Moscow Cinema Center, and all have been awarded one prize or another.

As a group, they represent the very best of what new independent cinema has to offer. Individually, however, they represent a diverse range of moviemaking styles and themes -- the 1990s are clearly a time of exploration rather than consolidation.

The Yalta festival will include showings of the psychological tale "Makarov" (Vladimir Khotinenko, 1993); the postmodernist thriller "Duba-Duba" (Alexander Khvan, 1992); the contemporary teenage drama "Love" (Valery Todorovsky, 1992); the stylized tragedy of Stalinist high society, "Moscow Parade" (Ivan Dykhovichny, 1992); the biting satire of Russia's new capitalist wave, "Window on Paris" (Yury Mamin, 1993); the gloomy portrait of village life, "Oh, You Geese!" (Lydia Bobrova, 1992); the nostalgic and frightening reminiscences of growing up under the Soviets, "Russian Ragtime" (Sergei Ursulyan, 1993); and the fictionalized account of the murder of Commissar Frunze on Stalin's orders, "The Tale of the Unextinguished Moon" (Yevgeny Tsymbal, 1990).

Kinoforum will also present works by directors from former Soviet republics in addition to a survey of new East European cinema, a film market and business seminars.

Five winners will be selected for Kinoforum awards according to ratings given by all of the festival's participants and viewers. Each of the winners will receive funding to produce a short-length feature dedicated to cinema's 100th anniversary in December, 1995. The five works will then be presented as a group.

The director who gets the highest score among the five winners will also receive $15,000 worth of film stock as a contribution toward his next film.