The Kazan festival of Muslim cinema opens in the Russian republic of Tatarstan today with a programme of films intended to promote interfaith dialogue. The festival will screen both fiction and documentary films as well as animation from a wide range of countries including Turkey, Serbia, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Iran, Egypt, USA, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Italy. The panel of judges from around the world includes award-winning Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehruji.
A number of Russian films will also be shown among them Maxim Panfilov's Ivan Son of Amir (2013) about a women from Sevastopol who becomes the third wife of an Uzbek man and Elena Tagirova's documentary Classical Heroes of Non-Classical Wars (2012) about Dagestan.
The annual Kazan International Muslim Film Festival was launched in 2005 to promote the achievements of Muslim filmmakers both in Russia and abroad. The festival also aims to overcome negative stereotypes about Islam, and encourage debate and discussion about different religions. It runs until 11 September.