The Opening Ceremony of the 40th Moscow International Film Festival

2018 Moscow International Film Festival, Opening Ceremony. Photo by Alexey Yushenkov.

The Moscow Theater of Musical, Moscow, Russia, April 19, 2018

Press release/MIFF Press Office

Photo courtesy: MIFF Press Office

On the red carpet leading to the theater entrance, one could see the Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, Russian President’s special representative on international cultural cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy, Moscow State Duma deputy Evgeny Gerasimov, the Gosfilmofond (State Film Fund) head Vyacheslav Telnov, MIFF jury members Paolo Del Brocco, Nastassja Kinski, Anna Melikyan, John Savage, Liang Qiao, Olga Sviblova, Elizabeth McIntyre, Saulus Berjinis, Samy Naceri, Oliver Morton, Russian director Ivan I. Tverdovsky, and competition participants Yang Ge, Ferzan Ozpetek, Dustin Feneley, Kieran Charnock, Desray Armstrong, Sez Niederer, Laborde Mercedes, Kim Jae-han, Maeng Se-chang, Kim Youchul.

On the red carpet also were actresses Olga Kabo, Aglaya Tarasova, Irina Miroshnichenko, Ekaterina Volkova, Valeriya Kozhevnikova, Darya Poverennova, Maria Kozhevnikova, Irina Bezrukova, Blanca Blanco, Yang Ge, actors Samy Naceri, Igor Vernik, Andrey Sokolov, Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, Marat Basharov, Ivan Kolesnikov, Kuzma Saprykin, Aleksandr Ryapolov, directors Vladimir Naumov, Viktor Merezhko, singer and Russian representative at Eurovision song contest Yulia Samoylova, TV presenter Elena Letuchaya.

Traditionally, the showcase’s guests were greeted by the president of the Moscow International Film Festival, Nikita Mikhalkov.

The ceremony started with the address by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the speech read by the Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky.

«Moscow Film Festival is always a big, significant, truly festive event that attracts the attention of the industry professionals as well as of cinephiles from all over the world. The showcase is praised for its remarkable history, rich palette of the works presented at the festival, its welcoming, hospitable atmosphere. Performing its spiritual, educational and enlightening mission, MIFF preserves its traditions, introduces the Moscow audience to quality, deep cinema. And of course, I would like to note its essential role in strengthening international humanitarian and personal contacts, its significant contribution to the popularization of outstanding achievements of Russian and world cinema, » the address read.

Vladimir Medinsky added not only his gratitude to MIFF, but also said that «Russian cinema is on an unparalleled rise».

«Every second viewer has seen Russian films this year. This rate has been unheard of since the Soviet Union era. This is the direct result of the work done by the masters of cinema, of your talent and professionalism. Not only directors or actors are talented, but also producers, who can fight for our viewers, » Medinsky underlined.

The first part of the ceremony was hosted by actress Aglaya Tarasova and actor Igor Vernik. They presented the festival prizes, the documentary competition jury, and the short film competition jury. The best documentaries will be chosen by the head of Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Sheffield Doc / Fest Director, and CEO Elizabeth McIntyre, Lithuanian documentary film director Saulus Berjinis. The short film competition winner will be selected by French actor Samy Naceri, actor, producer and scriptwriter Oliver Morton (US), and Russian director Ivan I. Tverdovsky.

The presentation of the competition participants of the 40th Moscow International Film Festival was accompanied by the song ‘Music’ performed by actress and singer Valeriya Lanskaya.

Then, the hosts presented the main competition jury: this year, the jury members are producer Paolo Del Brocco (Italy), actress Nastassja Kinski (Germany), director Anna Melikyan (Russia), actor John Savage (US), director Liang Qiao (China).

By tradition, the MIFF president Nikita Mikhalkov gave to the head of the jury, Paolo Del Brocco, the «chain of power» with the image of Saint George, Moscow’s patron saint.

«We should give you the chain, don’t be afraid, even if you’re bound with it, it’s Chopard-made. It’s important because every time ahead of our jury gets this chain, his first thought is to flee with it. But it won’t work, it’s too heavy,» Mikhalkov told Del Brocco jokingly.

The MIFF president also noted that he is certain the jury headed by Brocco will make an honest decision, «however unexpected it may be, even for those who are awarded in the end».

«It is a great honor and pleasure to head such renowned jury, with such masters of cinema being its members. Moscow Film Festival is a prestigious event that has played and is still playing a key role in the world cinema process. Cinema is the art that is best at uniting people, I think. We hope, we fear, we dream, while watching movies. Cinema is inclusive, it unites cultures and peoples.

Nikita Mikhalkov and Paolo Del Brocco declared the 40th Moscow International Film Festival open.

By tradition, at the opening ceremony, the honorary prize «For outstanding contribution in
the world cinema» is given. This year, it went to actor Oleg Tabakov, who passed away on March 12, 2018. The ceremony participants honored the memory of the great actor with a minute of silence.

A student of Oleg Pavlovich Tabakov, actor, director and the new artistic director of ‘Tabakerka’, Vladimir Mashkov, remembered that Tabakov «liked being proud of his theater, students, relatives and close ones».

«And when we felt how proud he was, it was the biggest achievement for us,» Mashkov noted.

The prize was given to the Tabakov’s family, with his son, Pavel Tabakov, receiving the prize.

«I would like to say thanks, I think that this award would be very important for Oleg Pavlovich. Tomorrow is 40 days since he passed away, so it is all the more significant, » Pavel Tabakov said.

Moscow International Film Festival takes place on April 19-26. The opening film was the Italian crime drama ‘Naples in Veils’ by Ferzan Ozpetek.

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