A festival of documentary films will open in the Ural city of Perm in early October, kicking off with director Vitaly Mansky's critically acclaimed movie Pipeline. The International Documentary Film Festival Flahertiana, which is named after US film director Robert Flaherty, one of the founders of documentary cinema, will screen films from 23 regions in Russia as well as 47 countries around the world.
Mansky's Pipeline, which tells the story of those who live along the length of a gas pipeline that stretches from Siberia to central Europe, has picked up a number of prizes over the past year including best director at the Open Russian Film Festival Kinotavr 2013. It is also due to be shown at the London Film Festival in October. Flahertiana director Pavel Petchenkin described it as the "film of the year in Russian documentary cinema".
The international competition will show 15 films made in the last year, including Ronna Gradus and Jill Bauer's Sexy Baby, which picked up the Best Film By New Directors award at filmmaker Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan and Wavumba, a Dutch production and adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. The film by Jeroen van Velzen explores the life of a Kenyan fisherman and was awarded Best New Documentary Direct at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York last year.
In addition to the main competition programmes, the festival will also screen a retrospective of Anatoly Baluev, a filmmaker from the Perm region; a selection of films from Lithuanian cinema; and a number of productions from the Russian State Archive of Film Documents about Perm in the Fifties and Sixties.
Director Alexei Pogrebnoy, who is also chairman of the international jury, said: "At the festival you can see real life people in real situations. These lives have not been censored for the ideology and aesthetics of the broadcasters."
Flahertiana runs from 6 to 13 October.