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11 Nov 2016

Minsk International Film Festival Listapad 2016

The 23rd Minsk International Film Festival Listapad was held in the Belarusian capital from 4 to 11 November. The motto of this year’s edition of the festival was Towards Inspiration. According to the long-standing tradition, the Minsk film festival has a new slogan and visual design every year: for example, it was Eye of Pleasure in 2015, What a Variety of Movies! in 2014, In Kino Veritas in 2013 … This year’s slogan reflected one of the main missions of cinema as art – visual convergence and communication between authors and spectators, who are moving towards each other in search of inspiration.

The conceptual idea of Listapad 2016 acquired a new graphic expression. By the way, Belarusian artist Alexander Kamenets had been the author of the posters and the unique design of the festival for six years in a row.

This time, the focus of the design was on a human silhouette on a screen in the fashion of Rene Magritte’s surreal paintings. The image could be interpreted as an author in search of inspiration and answers to eternal questions, and as a spectator walking towards the cinema.

The program of Listapad Film Festival 2016 included over 160 films from 52 countries: world premieres, feature films and documentaries, debut films from young filmmakers, national retrospectives, out-of-competition screenings... The festival opened with Russia’s St Petersburg. Only For Love. The forum wrapped up with Andrzej Wajda’s Afterimage (Poland).

The spotlight of one of Europe’s major film festivals was on the feature film competition program that included 11 films selected out of about 800 contenders. The jury was led by famous Georgian filmmaker, producer and playwright Zaza Urushadze. In 2012 he brought his film The Guardian to the Minsk Film Festival. His film Tangerines was nominated for the Oscar and Golden Globe Awards in 2015.

The fifth competition of national film schools, which was held as a workshop that year, gathered young filmmakers: students and graduates of the world’s leading film academies and creative workshops, and also students of renowned documentary filmmakers from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Hungary, Belgium, and Portugal.

The out-of-competition program Lions, Bears, Golden Palms treated cinema lovers to recent novelties, including the winners of the Cannes, Berlin and Venice film festivals: Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare), I, Daniel Blake, and The Woman Who Left. The organizers named the latest works of Ken Loach, Gianfranco Rosi and Lavrente Diaz among the favorites.

The Cinema of Change project brought together documentary filmmakers united by the desire to record major turning points in the history of the world. The project was held as part of the out-of-competition program for the first time. The audience was invited to enjoy works by contemporary directors such as Andrzej Wajda, Pawel Lozinski, Bartosz Konopka, and Irina Volokh.

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