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Swiss Film Festival Kicks Off in Taganrog

October 20, 2017: the opening ceremony of the 5th consecutive festival dedicated to European cinema was held on the night of October 18, 2017 at the Taganrog Youth Center. Since the beginning of the festival back in 2012, Taganrog movie enthusiasts have been exposed to the cinema of Poland, Hungary, France (twice in 2017 and 2016), Italy, Germany, Ireland and Estonia.

Mr. Patric Franzen, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Switzerland arrived on a visit to Taganrog to open the festival dedicated to Swiss cinema. During his meeting with the press, he told that he liked Taganrog very much and described it as a warm and comfortable South Russian city.

"Of course, Anton Chekhov is very popular in Switzerland. Each and everyone knows his works. This is why we selected such films that might be related to Chekhovian motifs. In the world of Chekhov each person finds something different and take in their own special way. As for the Russian cinema, our local audience is familiar only with some films selected for the festival in Locarno. There are certainly many opportunities for development of cooperation", told the Minister.

Mr. Franzen highlighted that in these hard times Russia and Switzerland have kept steady partnership relations. The Embassy of Switzerland develops cultural projects in Russia, each year organising film screenings in different cities of this country. Now the city of Taganrog – "The South Russian Capital of Culture" is among its partners. The Swiss diplomat remarked that it's very important, as there is a recent "Swiss trace" left in Taganrog some years ago. It is referred to the name of Daniele Finzi Pasca, who is a contemporary Swiss actor, choreographer and director. In Russia he is known first of all as the screenwriter and director of the XXII Sochi Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

"In 2010, on the day when the whole world celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov, Finzi Pasca visited the home city of the writer. While in Taganrog he was inspired to produce the play "Donka: A Letter to Chekhov", which had an international success", told Patric Franzen.

Mrs. Irian Golubeva, Deputy City Manager for Social Affairs emphasised that the popularity of the local European film festival has been growing, each year attracting more viewers. The festival will have a great future, as Taganrog richly blessed with historical and cultural heritage is also a very cinematic city: "First of all this is the home city of Anton Chekhov, whose works are frequently adapted fo the screen around the world. Michael Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich's nephew, is known worldwide for his acting technique. In Hollywood Michael Chekhov's approach is considered essential. Taganrog is also the home city of Faina Ranevskaya, one of the greatest actresses of the 20th century. Contemporary actors from Taganrog such as Vladislav Vetrov, Fyodor Dobronravov, Nikolai Dobrynin and Pavel Derevyanko are also very popular with domestic viewers. At this moment as we speak a movie is being filmed in downtown area of the city. The participation of Taganrog in the DON film cluster gives it a serious cinematographic potential and a great future".

The Swiss cinema program featured 5 screenings: "Sinestesia" (directed by Erik Bernasconi), "Quello che resta" (Michael Beltrami), "Free Falling" (Niccolo Castelli), "Il fiume ha sempre ragione" (Silvio Soldini), "Bread and Tulips" (Silvio Soldini). All the films will be shown in Italian with Russian subtitles.

The 5th edition of the European cinema festival has been organized by Taganrog Local Government, Taganrog Arts & Culture Council and Taganrog Youth Center.