University of Pittsburgh
April 20, 2004

Pitt and Pittsburgh Filmmakers to Host Sixth Russian Film Symposium Prophets and Gain: New Russian Cinema May 3-8

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—For the first time, the annual Russian Film Symposium cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers will concentrate on new and unknown filmmakers, including young directors who have just completed a first feature film. Titled Prophets and Gain: New Russian Cinema, the symposium will take place May 3-8 on Pitt's Oakland campus and at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland location.

The symposium, supported by Pitt, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, will feature screenings of 15 films, four of them American premieres and the other 11 productions by STW Film Company, NTV-Profit Film Company, and Pygmalion Productions, private Russian production studios. The symposium also will include daytime discussions and commentaries.

The new filmmakers are Petr Buslov, Aleksei German Jr., Gennadii Sidorov, and Andrei Zviagintsev. Their films, depicting today's Russian cinema, will be shown at

8 p.m. May 5-8 respectively, beginning with Buslov's Bimmer (2003), introduced by Sergei Chlyants, general producer at Pygmalion; German's The Last Train (2003), introduced by Vladimir Padunov, associate professor in Pitt's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and associate director of the Film Studies Program; Sidorov's Little Old Ladies (2003), introduced by Mikhail Iampol'skii, associate professor of Comparative Literature and Russian Studies at New York University; and Zviagintsev's The Return (2003), introduced by Vlad Strukov, visiting assistant professor in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Pitt. These films will be screened at the Pittsburgh Filmmaker's Melwood Screening Room; admission is $5.

The four films were all released in the second half of 2003. Each film has received several prestigious awards at major film festivals both domestically and abroad.

The transformation of the Russian film industry over the last decade has given rise to independent producers and the emergence of privately owned film companies. The three production companies, whose films will be shown during the symposium, have dominated the independent market in Russia.

Former film director Sergei Sel'ianov established STW Film Company in

St. Petersburg in 1992; NTV-Profit Film Company, a company created in 1995 in Moscow, joins Igor' Tolstunov's production studio Profit with Vladimir Gusinskii's NTV Television Company; and in 2001, Chlyants formed Pygmalion Productions in Moscow.

In addition to screening the three company's films, presentations about the companies will be given throughout the symposium at 2 p.m. in Pitt's David Lawrence Hall, Room 106, 3942 Forbes Ave. Maksim Ukhanov, chief financial officer at STW, will speak about the company May 3; Chlyants will discuss Pygmalion May 5; and Yevgeny Gindilis, NTV's director of international projects, will talk about the company May 7.

All films have English subtitles. For a full schedule of screenings and information on the event, visit the symposium Web site at