20 Apr 2023 22:02

Moscow sees opening ceremony for 45th int'l film festival

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) - Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) President Nikita Mikhalkov and the head of the main competition jury, Indian filmmaker Rahul Rawail have announced the opening of the 45th MIFF.

The Rossiya Theatre hosted the MIFF opening ceremony on Thursday evening, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"Everything changes in our world, sometimes much too fast, especially in recent times. But it is nice that this small island, huge island - the Moscow Film Festival - remains unchanged, remains stable. This is much comforting. I congratulate you on the opening [of the festival] and wish you a nice viewing," Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky said, speaking at the opening ceremony.

He also read out the Russian president's welcoming address to MIFF participants and guests.

MIFF President Mikhalkov congratulated the audience on the beginning of the festival. "People from 35 countries have come here, defying fear, thank you all. So I want to congratulate you on the beginning of the 45th Moscow festival," he said.

Main jury chairman Rahul Rawail said that he is honored to head the MIFF jury. "I will always remember this moment," he said.

"My colleagues in the jury are also outstanding filmmakers [...]. Together, we'll do everything to distribute awards in the best way possible," he said.

"The opening of the MIFF is always an anticipant and important event in the cultural life of our country," Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova wrote on Telegram, also expressing confidence that "the festival will delight spectators with an interesting program and will certainly be a platform for new artistic ideas."

The Moscow International Film Festival is the second oldest film festival in the world, after the Venice Film Festival. It took place for the first time in 1935 as the Soviet Film Festival in Moscow. The festival became regular in 1959. It was a biannual event before 1999 and turned annual afterwards. The festival was traditionally held in June, but was moved to April in 2018 because of the FIFA World Cup. It was decided later that the festival would be held in April on a permanent basis.

This year the MIFF is held on April 20-27. The main competition will see 11 movies.