The third edition of the European film showcase sees WESTWIND launching in style in St. Petersburg on October 21. The programme of theatrical screenings will serve as the engine for European Film Promotion’s (EFP) first VoD festival on ivi, Russia's most popular online cinema.
Over the course of five days, EFP will present a wide range of European films with their directors, actors and screenwriters to St. Petersburg’s local cinema audiences. With the change of location from Moscow to St. Petersburg and the extension of the cinema screening programme to include an online festival of 25 European Oscar® submissions, EFP is reacting to the present unstable situation for European films in the Russian distribution market. WESTWIND is financially supported by the Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the participating EFP member organisations.
“EFP wants to continue the dialogue with Russian audiences”, says EFP Managing Director Renate Rose. “However, we have modified our concept to take account of the difficult situation faced by the theatrical distribution of European films in Russia. The two-track approach of an online programme of European films - in partnership with Russia's leading VoD platform ivi - and the presentation of European films in St. Petersburg will make WESTWIND into a special endeavour for reaching out to a larger audience.”
Olga Filipuk, Vice President, Content Strategy at ivi points out: “ivi will become a digital medium to which people from Russia and the CIS region turn in order to access modern European cinema. A large number of potential viewers cannot attend offline European film festivals as they are held exclusively in major cities. ivi will become the gateway for viewers across Russia and in the CIS states thanks to modern digital technology. We expect that having legal access to the best of modern European cinema will boost interest over time throughout Russia.”
Most of the nine films presented in the cinema at St. Petersburg’s renowned Hotel Angleterre and all of those films available for one year on WESTWIND's European Film Festival at ivi., were selected as the national submissions for the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film. The line-up in St. Petersburg includes the Spanish comedy Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, starring the Spanish Shooting Star Natalia de Molina, the Irish drama The Gift by Tom Collins, and the Swiss docu-fiction The Circle by Stefan Haupt.
EFP is proud to host the avant-premiere of the Italian drama Youth by Paolo Sorrentino. Following the Academy Award winner The Great Beauty, Youth is the director's second English-language film and stars Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda.
The following EFP member organisations supported WESTWIND and selected their national films: Danish Film Institute, Finnish Film Foundation, Film Fund Luxembourg, German Films, ICAA (Spain), Irish Film Board, Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, Swiss Films.
Click here for WESTWIND films on ivi
Films screened at WESTWIND 2015 - EFP’s European Film Showcase in St. Petersburg
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