< Arkhangelsk’s ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN Film Festival has been given a start>

For four days, the capital of the land of Pomors will once again turn into the capital of independent films for family viewing. Screenings will take place in Arkhangelsk’s Mirage Cinema and Borisov Museum of Artistic Exploration of the Arctic, and in Novodvinsk’s Druzhba Cinema.

With nineteen films of its Offical Selection features (made in seven countries – Russia, China, Peru, Denmark, Iran, Turkey, and Italy), ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN features Vladimir Marin’s VR sessions called The Underwater World of the Beluga Whales and a retrospective of the animated musicals by Soyuzmultfilm’s Inessa Kovalevskaya.

Attendance to all venues is free thanks to the support from the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives and the Russian Ministry of Culture.

Unlike last year, the jury of the ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN 2023 will be selecting winners in more categories: Best Children’s Film, Best Director, Best Child Actor, and Special Jury Mention.
This year’s jury is chaired by Tatiana Kiseleva, animation director at Soyuzmultfilm, who joined us last year to present premiere series of Umka. Other members include film director, screenwriter and producer Alexander Kott, stage and film actor, musician and composer Ivan Solovyov, and Pinega-born poetess Varvara Zabortseva.

The first day of the screening started with screenings of short films. Chinese director Song Jieying presented the film “Serious and Lively”, in which he showed two different childhood. He dedicated the movie to his father and son.

Day One started off with shorts. China’s Song Jieying presented his film Serious and Lively. Dedicated to his father and son, the film follows two different childhoods.

Shown next was the short The Fish, a parable about salvation presented by Iran’s film director Ali Tehranipour and his colleague Prof. Pedram Sadraei, and the Russian documentary tale The King of Cormorants, presented to the viewers by Maria and Andrey Mokridins. Andrey is turning 4 and is the youngest participant of ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN. This first selection of shorts closes with Francesca Rodriguez (Peru) animated film Seed Cycle, a “helping hand” to all those who are grieving about someone.

Opening this year’s ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN was The Room By The Sea. It’s director Carlo Prozzo (Italy) greeted the festival in his video message:

“I want to thank the ARCTIC OPEN IFF for choosing my my short film La Stanza del Mare (The Room By The Sea) as the opening film for this prestigious sabant. The Room By The Sea is more than just a film for me. It’s a reflection of the complexities of human emotions, a race againtst time, an exploration of the signs often turn into regrets. In his cinematic journey I tried to portray a duality that I think is inside us all. We, as people, have two souls – one that can be seen through a camera and one that reveals itself when we gaze upon our reflection on the shore. And I think it’s this latter soul – the one that we concealed with sand castle in our childhood to protect from harm – that is our true soul, our true self.”

The Festival hosted its opening ceremony in Mirage Cinema, starting off with Dance Planet performance to the music from Inessa Kovalevskaya’s cartoon In The Port and celebrating the Soyuzmultfilm’s most prolific cartoonist’s “contribution to the Russian animation arts and children’s musicals” by awarding her the 7th ARCTIC OPEN statuette and the letter of gratitude from the Arkhangelsk government. Representing Inessa Kovalevskaya at the opening ceremony was Soyuzmultfilm’s Executive Producer Vadim Dolgikh. The retrospective of Kovalevskaya animated musicals was shown in the afternoon and is dedicated to Inessa Kovalevskaya’s 90th birthday. Kovalevskaya is greately respected as the author of cartoons that inspired several generations – Chuchelo-Myauchelo, The Bremen Town Musicians, The Boat, to name a few. Made 50 years ago, their plots and music still inspire the children of today.  

“ARCTIC OPEN shows and speaks about what concerns the modern man. It is an exciting venue with training and outreach activities, and it expands its coverage, spanning also the Nenets Area, Komi, Pskov, Sverdlovsk and Leningrad Provinces, St. Petersburg and more. I wish you all a pleasant vieweing experience,” said Deputy Minister Vladimir Anisimov of Arkhangelsk Ministry of Culture.

As is the tradition, the ribbon wasn’t cut but broken at the opening ceremony. This mission fell on the jury members Tatiana Kiseleva and Varvara Zabortseva.

One film, Aul Challenge, was shown on the day before the festival in Konosha’s Premier cinema hall.

“The reaction Aul Challenge received from Konosha people shows how much we value deeply human films that speak about kindness, peace, support, care and understanding. They know no language barrier. Applauding to the film was every single viewer, young and old. Movies unite people. That’s what we, festival organizers, know for sure,” says ARCTIC OPEN IFF Director Tamara Statikova.

ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN is scheduled to complete on November 5. On this day, the jury will announce winners. The opening and closing cemeronies have as stage directors Elena and Spartak Rezitsky.  

To see full schedule please go to: https://arctic-open.com/calendar2023/.

ARCTIC OPEN KinoPort is run by the Bereginya Pomor Culture Foundation with the support from the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives, Arkhangelsk Governor’s Center, Arkhangelsk Ministry of Culture, and Russian Filmmakers Association Office for Arkhangelsk.

The 7th ARCTIC OPEN IFF is also supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture and is co-organized by Northern (Arctic) Federal University.



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