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Opening ceremony of 46th Moscow International Film Festival took place in Rossiya Theatre

On April 19, 2024, the opening ceremony of 46th Moscow International Film Festival took place in the Rossiya Theatre.

President of the Festival, Director, Head of the Russian Union of Cinematographers Nikita Mikhalkov held a traditional briefing before the ceremony. He announced that this year Moscow International Film Festival will screen 240 films from 56 countries.

"Such a number of films and participating countries is overall good for the Festival. The Festival is facing challenging times after the Covid and all the developments around the world, and it is quite welcoming it remains relevant and attracts attention", noted Mikhalkov.

He also spoke about the creation of the Eurasia Film Academy, which will present its first film award next year.

"In today's situation when interests are shifted to the East, this academy is needed indeed, as we see how festivals' criteria are evolving. Those festivals we strived for and where we were happy to win prizes. We see how their ideology is changing, how they become excessively censored setting conditions, which prevent films not just from getting prizes, but just from being accepted for participation. The same was with Oscar. That is why we need fresh blood. Behind Hollywood and the European cinema, we overlooked Iranian, Korean, Latin American, Chinese films. Eurasia Film Academy and Award is a strong step to discover new cinema. The point of this award is to protect moral, human interests, the ones we are defending today", said Mikhalkov.

Miloš Biković, Jasmine, Natalia Bardo, Anna Peskova, Anna Aleksandrova, Agata Muceniece and Ivan Chuikov, Sergey Zhukov with his family, Tina Kandelaki and Boris Khanchalyan, Svetlana Nemolyaeva, Olga Buzova, Izabel Eydlen, Yulia Baranovskaya, Ekaterina Klimova, Marina Domozhirova, Yevgeny Mironov with his son, Marina Vorozhishcheva, Renata Piotrovski, Nastasya Samburskaya, Nadezhda Strelets, Aleksandra Kiseleva, Aleko, Lyanka Gryu, Aleksander Lazarev and Polina Lazareva, Ilya Vinogorsky, Irina Yovovich, Valeria Lanskaya, Anna Kalashnikova, Ksenia Alfyorova, Svetlana Stepankovskaya, Marina Kravets and Arkady Vodakhov, Dmitry Dyuzhev, Irina Bezrukova, Olga Kabo and her son, Ekaterina Guseva, Aleksander Martynov, and Nikolay Rastorguev walked along the Red Carpet of the opening ceremony of 46th Moscow International Film Festival leading to the theatre.

Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Olga Lyubimova opened the ceremony. She read out the welcome message of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

"This forum rightly enjoys the reputation of a major and truly festive event in the country’s cultural life. Its noble mission brings together both renowned masters of filmmaking and those who are just beginning their journey in art. The festival provides young talented directors, actors, screenwriters, and artists with an excellent opportunity to present their first creative works to a reputable jury. I believe that, with its diverse competition programme and the iconic traditions of hospitality and warmth, the Festival will be held in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding. It will contribute to fostering professional, business, and personal connections, and promoting the latest accomplishments in the filmmaking art", noted the head of state in his welcome message.

After the message, she suggested holding a moment of science as a tribute to those killed and injured in the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall.

On her personal behalf, Olga Lyubimova thanked all participants and guests of the Festival. "We regret that the weather in Moscow is so harsh today, but we promise to keep you warm with our hospitality in the coming days. We value that you came here and for us it is highly welcoming that together we will work at our business panels, enjoy this wonderful, very powerful and bright program involving diverse national cinema from across our planet. We very much value that you entrusted your works to us, that for you it is important to share your main achievements – your new films".

The actor Sergey Bezrukov hosted the opening ceremony of 46th Moscow International Film Festival. The ceremony started with honouring the 90th anniversary of Yury Gagarin, the first human in space. Sergey Bezrukov noted that Gagarin became a symbol of boldness and striving for new achievements: "And we remember this being in the same hall and stage, where he stood, being an honoured guest of Moscow International Film Festival in 1961".

Accompanied by Eduard Artemyev's Pohod (Hike) score of the film Sibiriade, the spectators saw highlights from Yury Gagarin's life.

After that Sergey Bezrukov introduced the awards of the Festival and reminded that this year the MIFF features the BRICS Film Festival.

Mariya Zakharova, the official spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, congratulated everyone on the opening of this event remembering that the BRICS Festival started in 2020. "We have gone through a lot during this time. They tried to cancel us and they will try to break us up. And such events like the one today serve to show that there are genuine values, which we need to struggle for", she stressed before reading out the welcome message by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov for the participants and guests of the BRICS Film Festival.

"Your Film Festival serves as a great illustration of constructive dialogue and mutual enrichment of cultures. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this undertaking in today’s conditions. I am confident that it will succeed and become an unforgettable event in the life of Moscow, and also reimage the cultural component of Russia’s chairmanship in BRICS",noted Lavrov.

The BRICS Film Festival will feature seven films, with the best of them to be selected by a jury comprised of the actress Florence Masebe (South Africa), the producer Yirgashewa Teshome Amare (Ethiopia), the film critic Rao Shuguang (China), the first female director and scriptwriter in UAE Nayla Al Khaja and the Russian producer, director and scriptwriter Aleksey Pimanov (Chair of the Jury).

Aleksey Fursin, Moscow Government Minister, Head of the Department of Culture of Moscow, welcomed the guests and participants of the Festival. He read out a welcome message by Mayor of Mocow Sergey Sobyanin. "One of the oldest festivals in the world, it is a landmark event in Moscow's cultural life, the favourite cinema festive occasion over several generations of Moscow's people. The Forum keeps its high creative level offering premieres and lights up new stars", noted Sobyanin.

The Short Film Competition of 46 MIFF included 19 films from 14 countries. The prominent Moroccan cinema connoisseur, filmmaker, scriptwriter and film critic Abdelilah El Jaouhary, the Russian actress Mariya Andreeva and the American director and producer Max Weissberg will select a winner.

The Documentary Competition will feature eight films judged by a jury involving one of the best African documentary filmmakers Rehad Desai, the Turkish director Hakan Aytekin and the Russian filmmaker Sergey Golovetsky.

The Russian Premieres competition will include seven films, with two of them co-produced with other countries. The producer Aleksander Akopov chairs the jury of this competition together with the director Andrey Zaytsev and the actress Tatyana Lyutaeva.

10 films from 30 countries, including co-produced films, will compete for the prizes of the Main Competition. Gulnara Sarsenova, a producer, director and scriptwriter from Kazakhstan, the Russian actress Elena Lyadova, the Turkish director Hüseyin Karabey, the Russian filmmaker Igor Voloshin, the Serbian actor, scriptwriter and director Radoš Bajić, and the director, scriptwriter and producer from Iceland Fridrik Thor Fridriksson will select the winners of the Saint George figurines.

President of Moscow International Film Festival Nikita Mikhalkov walked to the stage to welcome the jury, participants and guests and to thank the Festival partners.

"It is a great courage of all those who came to visit us and brought their films. I am sure they are the people for whom, first of all, there is nothing more important than art, and, second, they understand that we do the right things. It is hard to watch films and it is extremely difficult to judge films. I do not know who of the jury members will be the luckiest. Well, I liked the Russian programme. And it is very important that people living in our country came to watch Russian cinema to associate themselves with it and to adore the way it shows them", stressed Mikhalkov.

He then handed over the traditional chain with the symbol of Saint George to the Chair of the Main Competition Jury Fridrik Thor Fridriksson. They declared 46th Moscow International Film Festival open.

The Festival President awarded the special prize for conquering the summits of the art of acting and faithful adherence to the principles of Stanislavsky’s school I Believe. Konstantin Stanislavsky to the actor, director, producer, the art director of the Theatre of Nations Yevgeny Mironov.

"This famous "I Believe" consists of very small faiths: it used to be parents' believing in you, that you can do it, your belief in yourself, that I can do it, your teacher's believing in you that "You can do it, Zhenka!" These were the words of Oleg Pavlovich Tabakov, mine and Serezha Bezrukov's teacher, who had his own teacher Vasily Osipovich Toporkov, a great artist and educator, who, in his turn, had his own teacher Konstantin Sergeevich Stanislavsky", said Mironov, smiling, when he was receiving the award.

Mercury Jewellery is the official partner of Moscow International Film Festival. Mercury crafted the Festival's main prizes – the figurines of Saint George riding a silver horse and slaying the dragon with a spear. The Golden Saint George figurine is made from gilded silver and the Silver Saint George figurine is made from silver.

Sima-Lend, one of the largest Russian retail and manufacturing companies, is an official partner of 46thMoscow International Film Festival.

VOYAH premium electric cars is an official partner of 46th Moscow International Film Festival.

Tatiana Mikhalkova enriched her look with Mercury earrings and a bracelet from the Classic Collection made of gold with white and yellow diamonds. Jasmine shined wearing a necklace and a ring by Mercury from Classic and Color Collections made of white gold with diamonds and sapphire.

The Jury member Elena Lyadova enhanced her look with Mercury earrings and a heart-shaped pendant from Classic Collection made of white gold with diamonds.

Anna Peskova shined wearing Mercury earrings and a bracelet from Classic Collection made of diamonds with pearls. Natalia Bardo enriched her look with a Mercury necklace, a bracelet and earrings from Classic Collection made of white gold with diamonds. Renata Piotrovski preferred Mercury earrings and a necklace from Flower and Miss Russia Collections made of white gold with diamonds. Anna Aleksandrova shined wearing a Mercury necklace from Classic Collection made of white gold with diamonds.

Agata Muceniece enhanced her look with Mercury earrings from Flower Collection made of white gold with sapphires. Stacy Venkova preferred Mercury earrings from Classic Collection made of white gold with diamonds.