Milyausha Aytuganova: Forum of Directors is a new work form within the Kazan Muslim Film Festival
Back to the list

Milyausha Aytuganova: Forum of Directors is a new work form within the Kazan Muslim Film Festival

6 September 2018

A two-day International Film Festivals Directors Forum opened in the Kazan Kremlin on September 4. The directors of Russian and international film festivals, who came to the 14th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival will discuss the current issues of film festival movement in Russia and abroad, sharing their views and experience.


The Forum was opened by the Executive Director the 14th Kazan Muslim Film Festival and the head of Tatarkino Milyausha Aytuganova. She wished the participants of the festival a pleasant stay in Kazan and good film screenings. ‘The Forum of Directors is a new form of work within the Kazan Muslim Film Festival. We came up with this idea last year, when we have realized that there was a lack of mutual communication and a new platform for exchanging our experiences was needed’, she commented.

The participants and guests of the Forum were also welcomed by the Director of the Kazan Kremlin Museum-Reserve, a laureate of the Russian Government Award in Culture, Zilya Valeeva. As Milyausha Aituganova noted, Zilya Valeeva is the founder and inspirer of the Kazan Muslim Film Festival: ‘Thanks to this wonderful woman, who established our festival in 2005’, said Aituganova.


‘I think it is a good tradition to start the festival in the Kazan Kremlin. The Kremlin is not just the heart of Kazan, it is the core of the history of Tatarstan and Tatars. 14 years ago, the Kazan Muslim Film Festival has proclaimed its motto: through the dialogue of cultures to the culture of dialogue. This is the main credo of our Republic. We live together in a such way, when no one denies the truth of other’, said Zilya Valeeva and invited the participants of the festival to visit the exhibitions and attractions of the Kazan Kremlin, including the Kul - Sharif Mosque and Annunciation Cathedral to witness the daily intercultural dialogue in Tatarstan.


The curator of the Forum, a producer Svetlana Bukharaeva expressed her hope that the event may result in the further expansion of programme’s festival. ‘We use this form of work to ensure that the views and opinions on the Kazan Muslim Film Festival could be shared not only by film directors, but also by the organising teams of other festivals’, said Svetlana Bukharaeva.

The Director of the Geneva Festival of Oriental Film (FIFOG) Tahar Houchi mentioned that the interest in Muslim films is growing in Europe. According to him, many film festivals are traditionally held in Switzerland, but these formats were not suitable for Eastern cinematograph: ‘After the tragic events of September 11, 2001 in New York, there was a certain negative attitude towards Muslims and it became an issue. We decided to solve it via establishing our film festival. Although, at first it seemed to be impossible, today, it is natural that we could screen the films produced in Muslim countries in Europe’, added Tahar Houchi. The Geneva Festival of Oriental Films successfully develops with over 200 partners on 25 platforms and about 80 films screened annually. The festival has special programs for school children showing young Europeans the life of their peers from Eastern countries.


Kirill Razlogov (Programming Director, the President of the Russian Guild of Film Critics) shared the story of the difficult fate and selection principles of one of the oldest European film festival, the Moscow International Film Festival. ‘I have been watching films at this festival since 1963. The format of the Moscow Film Festival has changed many times. ‘Those, who remember the festival in the Soviet years, could even mention its unique shows at stadiums. Now, the festival is oriented to the films that are not widely distributed, it has definitely changed its vision from French comedies or European co – productions to avant-garde cinematograph and exquisite experiences, which interests the spectator less than Hollywood blockbusters’, said Kirill Razlogov.


Window to Europe Russian Film Festival was presented by its Programming Director Alice Strukova. The festival was founded in 1993 by famous figures of Russian cinematograph, directors Savva Kulish, Marlene Khutsiev, Vladimir Konovalov and a composer Mikael Tariverdiev. The festival has 26-years history and is held in Vyborg, Leningrad Oblast on the bordering area with Finland. The festival aims to reflect the trends of modern Russian cinematograph. ‘Each festival is like a cardiogram, a slice of everything that happens in Russian cinematograph’, commented Strukova. She also highlighted that there is a growing interest in joint European and Eastern production of films as regards the programming of the festival.

Alexander Gerasimov (the Director of the Open Russian Animations Festival in Suzdal) spoke about the modern Russian animations industry. ‘Our festival is the largest professional review of all animation released in Russia and Belarus. We are identifying all trends in this field.There are only 2500 people in Russian animation industry and over 1500 of them are participating in the festival. We are accepting all animations without particular selection, dividing entries into commercial and non-commercial sections for jury assessments’, explained Alexander Gerasimov.


The International Film Festivals Directors Forum is held within the framework of the Kazan Muslim Film Festival on the initiative of the Executive Director and the Director of Tatarkino Milyausha Aituganova. The forum brought together several festival directors from Switzerland, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, Kazakhstan and Russia. The Forum is aimed to become a ground for experiences exchange and development of independent film markets.


The entire report is available at the link