Siberia’s “Cannes” festival kicks off this week

Siberia's "Cannes" festival kicks off this week
Still from Water Treatments (2012) in this year's main competition. Dir. by Yevgeny Bugayev

20 August 2013
Text Giulia Mangione

Russia’s “Cannes” film festival, dedicated to experimentation in video art, opens in the Siberian town of Kansk on Sunday. The week-long International Kansk Video Festival will screen 25 films in the main competition, including 12 produced in Russia.

The event, which brands itself as an “experiment in time and space”, takes place in Kansk, a city chosen by the organisers because, in Russian, “Kansk Film Festival” sounds the same as “Cannes Film Festival”. Despite not having the yachts or champagne-fuelled parties associated with the prestigious French festival, Kansk has become an important event for the region.

This year, the festival will feature a retrospective of films starring actor Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, who tragically died in March. Also scheduled is Animation Hotline, a series of 30-second animated films by New York artist Dustin Grella. For the project, Grella set up a voicemail service and then chose one message to animate daily. Other events include an evening devoted to new Georgian films, poetry readings and musical performances.

The Kansk festival runs until 31 August at the city’s House of Culture.