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Aleksey Fedorchenko to be awarded the Marc’Aurelio of the Future. The Russian filmmaker to present the world premiere screening of his latest film, “Angels of Revolution” (“Angely revolutsii”)

The Rome Film Festival, upon recommendation of the Director Marco Müller, will award the Marc’Aurelio of the Future to Aleksey Fedorchenko, director of First on the Moon and Ovsyanki/Silent Souls (both award winners at the Venice International Film Festival) and Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari (in Competition at the Rome Film Festival in 2012), producer of over twenty films, screenwriter and author. After the awards ceremony, the Russian filmmaker will present the world premiere of his latest film, Angels of Revolution (Angely revolutsii),in the “Cinema d’Oggi” (Cinema Today) section.

Fedorchenko’s new film, set in the Soviet Union, is the story of the meeting and clash between different cultures in the 1930s under Stalin, seen through the eyes of fivr avant-garde artists, sent to the outer regions for agit-prop purposes. The film is an adaptation of the short stories by Denis Osokin, winner of the Russian “Debut Prize” literary award for young writers, author of the novel that inspired Ovsyanki and screenwriter for Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari. The cast of Angels of Revolution features, among others, Darya Ekamasova (the star of Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari, also in Zhila byla odna baba/Once Upon a Time There Lived a Simple Woman by Andrei Smirnov, and Svobodnoe Plavanie/Free Floating by Boris Khlebnikov, screened at the Venice International Film Festival in the Orizzonti section), Konstantin Balakirev (Stilyagi/Hipsters by Valery Todorovsky, screened at the Toronto Film Festival), Aleksey Solonchyov (Un lac by Philippe Grandrieux, Special Mention at the Venice International Film Festival).

“Aleksey Fedorchenko is an absolutely original figure in the landscape of Russian production of the Third Millenium”, explains Artistic Director Marco Müller, “First of all, because in every transition from one film to the next he has reinvented both style and genre. In his filmography, he contradicts the documentary with the mockumentary, reconceives the landscape-driven dramatic film as a pantheistic comedy (in this sense Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari appears as a response to Ovsyanki – Silent Souls).

Starting with his first extraordinary feature film (the mockumentary First on the Moon), Fedorchenko has demolished conventional narrative structure. In the ‘narrative’ feature films that followed, he has gone much farther than simply proposing a highly personal version of lyrical-painterly cinema: by emphasizing the figurative aspects he has relegated the text and its logical structures to second place, using images to evoke analogies, allegories, metaphors and non-realistic (and only in some cases surrealistic) distortions. The viewer is forced to contend with a universe of meanings and feelings that he must first be able to perceive, before even trying to understand.

The risk of a schematic portrayal of literary-inspired subjects, the rigidity of the fable are exploded by the power of the images – which are always concrete, never abstract, even when his films consist in extreme, expanded or compressed storylines, constantly illuminated by flashes of poetry.

Even in his most recent Angels of Revolution, the visionary quality of the images is not an end unto itself. It serves to extend his thought about the relationship between man and nature, to confront the fascination of traditional culture, be it real or made-up, against the violence of History (of power). And once again Fedorchenko proves to be one of the few contemporary filmmakers able to create renewed perspectives, time after time.”

ALEKSEY FEDORCHENKO

Born in 1966 in Sol-Iletsk, in the Siberian region of Orenburg, he moved to Yekaterinburg where he still lives. After studying engineering, he graduated in dramaturgy at the VGIK (Russian State University of Cinematography). Since 2004, he is the founder, director, producer, and supervisor of “Kinokompaniya 29-e Fevralya”. For his debut feature film, First on the Moon, Fedorchenko won the Orizzonti Doc Award at the 62nd Venice International Film Festival, returning in 2010 with Ovsyanki, a meditative poetic story in which the characters, members of the Finno-Ugric ethnic group, have an almost intimate relation with the earth and the water. The film won the Osella award for Best Photography while the international critics awarded it the FIPRESCI prize. Fedorchenko’s cinema explores the traditions of populations that still resist the predominance of the prevailing culture. Ovsyanki also won prizes at the film festivals in Abu Dhabi, Mar del Plata, and Vladivostock. In 2012, at the Festival “Vivat kino Rossii”, Fedorchenko won the special jury prize for his short film, Chetvertoe izmerenie. That same year, he came to the Rome Film Festival to present Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari, a sort of Decameron suspended between magic and realism, consisting of twenty-three short stories about the women of the Mari people. The following year the film was shown in the Vanguard section at the Toronto International Film Festival and was a prizewinner at the Festival of Breslavia.

Angels of Revolution (Angely revolutsii)                                           

1934: the legendary Communist fighter, the beautiful Polina-Revoluzia, is asked by the newborn Soviet government to bring order to the north of the Soviet Union. The shamans of the two native populations, Khanty and Nenets, refuse the new ideology. Polina convinces five of her friends to go with her, former colleagues-in-arms who have now become metropolitan artists: a composer, a sculptor, a theatre director, a Constructivist architect, a famous director. They will have to try and reconcile the culture of the Russian Avant-garde with the Ancient Paganism of the peoples who live in the virgin forest around the great Siberian river Ob. The film is based on a true story.

 

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