At the occasion of the 2013 bilateral Netherlands-Russia Year, the Netherlands and Russia host a myriad of economic, cultural and social activities in both countries. On 8 April, the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, will make a visit the Netherlands.
As a warming-up exercise, the Movies that Matter Festival in The Hague presents an exchange programme with the Stalker Human Rights International Film Festival from Moscow. On Sunday 24 March, immediately following the Speed Skating World Cup in the Russian town of Sochi, a special Russia Day with films, a talk show and music will take place.
The Netherlands want to use the bilateral year to promote economic and social reforms in Russia by optimizing political dialogue, also on issues about which the Netherlands and Russia have diverging opinions. Movies that Matter and Stalker believe that an aesthetic and critical film and debate programme about freedom of expression should be part of this special year.
Movies that Matter ◄► (meets) STALKER is an exchange programme organized by the Stalker International Film Festival in Moscow and the Movies that Matter Festival to celebrate the Netherlands-Russia Year (NLRF 2013). The Stalker festival selected three Russian documentaries for screening in The Hague. Victoria Belopolskaya, one of the festival’s programme makers, will be coming to The Hague together with the directors of the selected films to amplify on her selection. She will be accompanied by Larisa Malyukova, who works as a film critic for the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Larisa took the initiative to make the documentary Winter, Go Away!, a chronicle of the 2011-2012 winter protests in Russia, which will be screened alongside the documentaries Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev and 5 Minutes of Freedom by Kirill and Ksenia Sakharnov. The festival will be screening the three films on a daily basis from Sunday 24 to Tuesday 26 March.
In December 2013, Taco Ruighaver, director/programme maker of the Movies that Matter Festival, will be presenting three of his favourite Dutch human rights movies in Moscow.
The Stalker International Human Rights Film Festival [link naar: http://www.stalkerfest.org/page.php?page=275 ] was founded in 1995 by the Russian guild of film directors and the guild of actors in Moscow. In the nineties, numerous Russian films dealt with the repression under Stalin and experiences during the Soviet era. The festival has been named after director Andrey Tarkovsky’s film classic from 1979, in which he visualized human values such as mercy, charity and personal responsibility towards society. The Stalker festival is presided by Marlen Khutsiev, film director and holder of the honorary title ‘People's Artist of the USSR’.
The Movies that Matter Festival will be devoted to Russia in other ways: the A Matter of ACT programme includes the documentary Russian Libertine by dissident author Victor Erofeyev.
Manny de Guerre, programme director of the Russian LGBT film festival Side by Side, which receives support from Movies that Matter, will sit on the Camera Justitia jury. Her festival has had a rough time in recent years.
The photographic exhibition The Sochi Project by World Press Photo winner Rob Hornstra can be seen in the Atrium of The Hague Town Hall from 4 to 29 March. This fascinating exhibition reveals the various facets of Sochi, the town that will host the Olympic Games in 2014.
Later on in the Netherlands-Russia Year, Movies that Matter will be travelling to fifteen Dutch cities, including The Hague, to screen the brand-new documentary Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer as part of the On Tour programme.
4.45 pm: film RUSSIAN LIBERTINE
Followed by an interview with author and dissident Victor Erofeyev
5 pm: film 5 MINUTES OF FREEDOM
Followed by an interview with film directors Kirill Sakharnov and Ksenia Sakharnova
7 pm: film WINTER, GO AWAY!
With an introduction by Victoria Belopolsky (Stalker International Human Rights Film Festival)
8.30 pm: talkshow RUSSIAN SPRING IN THE HAGUE
Kysia Hekster former correspondent for Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation. She speaks with: Victor Erofeyev dissident, author & TV host, Larisa Malyukova film critic for Novaya Gazeta, Manny de Guerre, LGBT Film Festival Side by Side, Saint Petersburg, Derk Sauer media entrepreneur in the Netherlands and Russia and IDFA President, and Eduard Nazarski director of Amnesty International Nederland
9.30 pm: music OUR MAN FROM ODESSA (OMFO)
Wondrous Russian multi-instrumentalist Gherman Popov of OMFO blends kitschy communist propaganda music with a cheerful anarchistic style that he became acquainted with in the Netherlands.