Russia to establish Nice film festival as alternative to Cannes

Russia to establish Nice film festival as alternative to Cannes
Nice's harbour (Image: Martinp1 under a CC licence)

30 September 2015

The Russian National Film Foundation, Gosfilmofond, has announced plans to launch an international film festival in the French city of Nice as an alternative to the Cannes Film Festival.

Gosfilmofond’s general director Nikolai Borodachyov told Russian newspaper Izvestia that the new festival, to be named Alternativa, would show films rejected by the prominent Cannes, Berlin and Venice film festivals.

Accordng to Mr Borodachyov, many famous film festivals have become “biased”, and especially Cannes, Berlin and Venice. He explained that he first had the idea to establish an alternative festival during this year’s Locarno Film Festival, after the festival rejected Russian director Andrei Kondrashov’s controversial film Crimea: Road to the Motherland and Noun by director of Iraqi origin Aida Schlaepfer. During the festival, Gosfilmofond experimented with an alternative format, organising a screening of Kondrashov’s film.

The new festival in Nice will focus on films by directors from the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), he said. Mr Borodachyov also expressed his confidence that the proximity of Nice to Cannes will ensure that journalists make the trip to the new city to understand why the films had been turned away from Cannes.

The festival is planned for May 2016 and set to run parallel to the Cannes Film Festival. 2016 has been named “Year of Cinema” in Russia, with extra financing allocated to the film sector from the state budget.

Source: Lenta (in Russian) and The Hollywood Reporter