Elena Timchenko, President of The Neva Foundation
Cinema: a universal living, breathing art form
As the Kino Films from Russia and Beyond opens its doors for the second year running, nobody can be unaware of the very particular global context within which it takes place. Given the sometimes tragic events we are witnessing, it might be tempting to adopt an inward-looking approach. But at such times it is more vital than ever to fight against misunderstandings, to re-establish dialogue where it has begun to collapse, and to build bridges where fear has created yawning chasms. First held in 2013, the Kino Films from Russia and Beyond has two essential aims: first, to allow filmmakers from many countries to come and present films that are all too often unknown in Switzerland and indeed in Europe; and second, to provide a forum for cutural exchange. This year, the latter aim is particularly meaningful, and we hope that, through the universal language of film, the festival will bring people together and help put prejudice aside. The Kino Films from Russia and Beyond invites you on an astonishing journey, imbued with a strong sense of humanism, to places and experiences which, however remote they may seem, are actually very close to our own. We wish you an excellent festival and many memorable encounters.
Frederik Paulsen - Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Lausanne
Dear Friends and Film-lovers
We are thrilled to see you once again for the second edition of the Kino Films from Russia and Beyond. The Festival is a major event in the calendar for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Switzerland. The enthusiasm and loyalty of the audiences at last year’s Festival, coupled with the boundless motivation of our partners, have been a source of stimulation and encouragement and have prompted us to continue to support the project this year. The Swiss public’s strong interest in auteur films and new cinema from countries that lie outside habitual commercial distribution circuits is a valuable indicator. Art and culture are, in our view, the best means to foster understanding and friendship between people and nations. I would like to conclude by paying special tribute to our audiences, and by warmly thanking the Festival organisers for their outstanding efforts.
Sami Kanaan - Mayor of Geneva
Geneva is both a city of film lovers and an international city. From one season to the next, the men and women who live there are invited to discover African, Asian, Latin American or Jewish cinema, films committed to defending human rights, or films fighting against homophobia... to name but a few. For the second year running, the Kino Films from Russia and Beyond will be showcasing films created in the former Soviet republics. Films whose particularity is to have been conceived and produced in different countries that are nevertheless anchored in a common culture. As Administrative Counsellor in charge of culture and sport, I am thrilled that the people of Geneva have the opportunity to gain an insight into this world of cinema. Enjoy the festival!
Elena Hazanov - Artistic Director
A richly colourful week
A little girl in a courtyard in Moscow looks into the distance…and sees a snow-covered forest. A man eats the Sun. A woman in the New York subway looks out of the window and sees a dilapidated factory... Children take their dogs to an imaginary paradise... Dozens of stories, some real, some imagined, some dreamed, some actually experienced. Fantastic or real worlds. Ways of seeing. Journeys. Magic. Following the success of the first edition of the Kino Festival of Films form Russia and Beyond, I am thrilled to be able to embark on the adventure of this year’s edition. The selection committee and I have worked hard to prepare for you a week full of colour, flavour and emotion, featuring fiction, documentaries, old and new films, events, opportunities to meet actors and filmmakers, and public discussions. The Kino Festival of Films from Russia and Beyond has been created as a forum for cultural exchange and dialogue: a unique place where the public can meet fascinating personalities and where artists can come together and communicate. I wish you a wonderful festival!