University of Pittsburgh
April 21, 2011

Pitt and Pittsburgh Filmmakers to Host 13th Annual Russian Film Symposium May 2-7

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers will present the 13th Annual Russian Film Symposium from May 2 through 7 in Room 106 of Pitt’s David Lawrence Hall (DLH), 3942 Forbes Ave., and in Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Melwood Screening Room (MSR), 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. 

This year’s Russian Film Symposium is titled Other Russias/Russia’s Others. Pitt screenings are free and open to the public. Admission to Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ MSR is $7. All films contain English subtitles. 

According to Pitt’s Vladimir Padunov, associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures in the School of Arts and Sciences, associate director of Pitt's Film Studies Program, and founder (1999) and director of the Russian Film Symposium, this year’s symposium focuses attention on the growing visual prominence of the Russian heartland and its provincial cities at a time when the economic and infrastructural gaps between Russia’s center and periphery are only widening. 

“Even as studio and industry resources accumulate in the capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg, filmmakers have begun looking outward—away from the urban focus on conspicuous consumption and glamour, and toward the conditions of life in the Russian periphery—to smaller, outlying cities, the rural countryside, and the extremities of the Russian landscape,” said Padunov. “This phenomenon on the Cineplex screen may be understood as a form of Russian exotica: the Motherland.” 

The symposium will gather an international assemblage of respected scholars and critics of Russian film, among them, from Russia, are Sergey Kapterev, a senior researcher at the Research Institute of Film Art in Moscow, whose articles appear regularly in the flagship journal Kinovedcheskie zapiski, as well as in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema and Kritika, and Vsevelod Korshunov, award-winning documentary scriptwriter and chief editor of the documentary film and serials division of the Russian television channel Culture. 

In addition to screening films, the symposium will feature two roundtable discussions at 2:30 p.m. May 4 and 11 a.m. May 7, both in DLH. 

The film symposium’s screening schedule follows. 

May 2         Man at the Window (2010), 96 minutes, directed by Dmitrii Meskhiev, 9 a.m., DLH; Buben Baraban (2010), 100 minutes, directed by Aleksei Mizgirev, 2 p.m., DLH. 

May 3         Truce (2010), 95 minutes, directed by Svetlana Proskurina, 9 a.m., DLH; Missing Man (2010), 96 minutes, directed by Anna Fenchenko, 2 p.m., DLH. 

May 4         Innocent Saturday (2010), 98 minutes, directed by Aleksandr Mindadze, 9 a.m., DLH; The Stoker (2010), 87 minutes, directed by Aleksei Balabanov, 7:30 p.m., MSR. 

May 5         Another Sky (2010), 89 minutes, directed by Dmitrii Mamuliia, 9 a.m., DLH; How I Ended This Summer (2010), 124 minutes, directed by Aleksei Popogrebskii, 7:30 p.m., MSR. 

May 6         Reverse Motion (2010), 93 minutes, directed by Aleksei Stempkovskii, 9 a.m., DLH; The Edge (2010), 119 minutes, directed by Aleksei Uchitel, 2 p.m., DLH; Silent Souls (2010), 75 minutes, directed by Aleksei Fedorchenko, 7:30 p.m., MSR. 

May 7         My Joy (2010), 128 minutes, directed by Sergei Loznitsa, 7:30 p.m., MSR. 

Capsule film descriptions provided by the symposium organizers follow. All films are Pittsburgh premieres except for How I Ended This Summer

Man at the Window is described as an account of an actor’s unconventional navigation of his midlife crisis, Buben Baraban as a drama of love and revenge in the impoverished hinterland, Truce as the story of an emergent latent relationship between a young traveler and a village not found on any map, Missing Man as a study of losing one’s identity, Innocent Saturday as a tragicomic retelling of the events of one man’s life in the immediate wake of the Chernobyl disaster, The Stoker as a provocative distortion of the hearth as a domestic and national symbol of security, Another Sky as a descent into the big city, How I Ended This Summer as a thriller version of an abortive coming-of-age story, Reverse Motion as the depiction of the experiences of a mother whose son has been reported missing in action, The Edge as a tale of locomotive racing and love in the Siberian wilds, Silent Souls as an erotic drama centered around the funeral rites of a man’s beloved wife, and My Joy as a journey into Russia’s “heart of darkness.” 

The Russian Film Symposium is sponsored by Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, University Center for International Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, Humanities Center, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Film Studies Program, Graduate Program for Cultural Studies, and Film Studies Graduate Student Organization, as well as Pittsburgh Filmmakers. 

For more information and a full schedule of screenings, visit