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This year marks the first edition of DOORS TO RUSSIAN CINEMA, collaboration between the American Cinematheque, Roskino and the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

Vladimir Lenin once declared, "The cinema is for us the most important of all the arts," and the Soviet system fostered such master directors as Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky - even as it imposed rigid censorship on their work. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s brought greater creative freedom, drawing Andrei Konchalovsky back after a stint making American hits like RUNAWAY TRAIN, and the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Nikita Mikhalkov’s BURNT BY THE SUN highlighted the renewed artistic potential for Russian cinema.

With a generation of directors like Andrey Zvyagintsev (THE RETURN) and Alexander Sokurov (THE RUSSIAN ARK) on the rise, it’s a revolutionary time for Russian film. Local audiences will turn out in great numbers for crowd-pleasers like the patriotic hockey drama LEGENDA NO. 17, but homegrown hits now must compete in theaters with Hollywood blockbusters. With the inaugural edition of our Doors to Russian Film series, the American Cinematheque seeks to introduce Los Angeles audiences to some of Russia’s best new cinema.

Series includes THE THIRST, THE ROLE, THE GAME OF TRUTH and SOULLESS. Additional films will screen at AFI and the USC film school.

Presented by the American Cinematheque and Roskino, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, with the support of Aeroflot.

Aero Theatre • Fri, Nov 1, 2013 - Sun, Nov 3, 2013
Los Angeles Premiere! Actor Danila Kozlovsky & Producer Leonid Vereschagin In Person!
THE LEGEND OF NO. 17
Presented by the American Cinematheque and Roskino, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, with the support of Aeroflot.
Discussion following with actor Danila Kozlovsky and producer Leonid Vereschagin.

THE LEGEND OF NO. 17 (LEGENDA NO. 17)
2013, 134 min, Russia, Dir: Nikolay Lebedev
This rousing biopic stars Danila Kozlovsky as Russian ice hockey player Valeri Kharlamov, widely considered one of the greatest in the game’s history. In true ROCKY fashion, Kharlamov rises under the mentorship of a hard-bitten coach (Oleg Menshikov) to lead his team in an epic 1972 Soviet-Canadian showdown. In Russian with English subtitles.

Aero Theatre • Sat, Nov 2, 2013 • 7:30 pm Double Feature! Los Angeles Premieres! Producers Yuriy Sapronov & Leonid Shoub In Person!

THE THIRST / THE ROLE
Presented by the American Cinematheque and Roskino, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, with the support of Aeroflot.
Discussion following THE THIRST with producer Yuriy Sapronov.
Discussion following THE ROLE with producer Leonid Shoub.

THE THIRST (ZHAZHDA)
2013, 102 min, Russia, Dir: Dmitry Tyurin

NOTE: The conflict in Chechnya scarred many soldiers both physically and emotionally; Kostya (Mikhail Grubov) is one of these. Rescued from his tank, the scarred Kostya lives alone, drawing pictures and drinking vodka. He refuse to see friends, befriending the 5-yaer old neighbor boy, who doesn't see his ugliness and revels in Kostya's stories. The sudden disappearance of a wartime friend pulls Kostya back into society. In Russian with English subtitles.

Adapted from the novella 'Thirst' by Andrei Gelasimov. "The Thirst" is the first film by mountain engineer turned director Dmitry Tyurin.

THE ROLE (ROL)
2013, 121 min, Russia, Dir: Konstantin Lopushansky
NOTE: The first film in six years from writer-director Konstantin Lopushansky (1986 sci-fi film “Letters From a Dead Man") was a Best Film nominee at the Moscow International Film Festival. In 1919, a chance encounter with a revolutionary fighter inspires an actor (Maksim Sukhanov) to take on the role of a lifetime and impersonate the man, following his path even as it leads to tragedy. In Russian with English subtitles. Produced by producer/ composer Andrei Sigle (Sukorov's visionary "Faust"), 'The Role", who described the black-and-white production is set in Siberia in 1919, as a theatrical experiment”, an attempt to " explore a person’s attempt to “live the life of another human.”

Actor Nicholas Yevlakhov finds his profession merging with his reality. Yevlakhov is on a train of White Guards, stormed by Red Army soldiers. The Red Army leader, Plotnikov, spares Yevlakhov, who he notices bears a remarkable likeness to him.

Their mutual recognition is interrupted by battle, and Plotnikov is killed. However, the leader continues to trouble Yevlakhov, who sees the situation as a chance to play the ultimate role: that of his dead doppelganger. Inspired by Symbolist ideas, he begins obsessing and amassing as much information on Plotnikov as possible. He plays the part to the hilt even as the life he's assumed head to tragedy. "Based on true incidents in the lives of Russia’s symbolists, this gripping film explores how far one man will go for the role of a lifetime."  Prolinefilm

SOULLESS / THE GAME OF TRUTH Aero Theatre • Sun, Nov 3, 2013 • 7:30pm
Los Angeles Premieres! Director Roman Prigounov, Actor Danila Kozlovsky, & Producer Andrey Novikov In Person!

Presented by the American Cinematheque and Roskino, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, with the support of Aeroflot.

Discussion following SOULLESS with director Roman Prigounov and actor Danila Kozlovsky. Discussion following THE GAME OF TRUTH with producer Andrey Novikov.

SOULLESS (DUKHLESS)
2012, Universal Pictures International, 106 min, Russia, Dir: Roman Prigounov Maks (Golden Eagle award winner Danila Kozlovsky) is a wealthy young manager in a big company; penthouses, 5-star restaurants and BMWs are routine for him. But that routine is shaken up completely when he meets a student named Yulya (Mariya Andreeva) and he realizes how inconsistent his life is. In Russian with English subtitles.

THE GAME OF TRUTH (IGRA V PRAVDU)
2013, 90 min, Russia, Dir: Viktor Shamirov
NOTE: Longtime buddies Mark, Gennedy and Anatoly gather in the latter’s apartment for drinking and reminiscing.  Mark, an easy-going, big-living Jewish member of the provincial upper middle class, is an inveterate skirt-chaser. Gennady is a shady car dealer, preoccupied with how to make his next sale to one of his two friends. Anatoly, and the owner of the apartment, is a bachelor and physics teacher, too proud to sell out to the world of commerce. Full of jokes and musings, he’s prepared a surprise for his friends. When Maya Kovalevskaya the superlative beauty of their university days and former object of affection of all three appears, a game of truth commences, the revelations that follow range from the hilarious to the heart-breaking. In Russian with English subtitles. Well-known theatre director/ playwright Viktor Shamirov adapted a French text to refelct Russian character.

Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map

For more information and to buy tickets go to http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/doors-to-russian-cinema-russian-film-premieres-in-hollywood

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