Out-of-competition // The New And The Most Important
One of the most attended programmes at the “On the Edge. East” festival, along with the main competition, is “The most important thing” programme whose viewers have a chance to get exposed to the winners of the leading international film festivals.
“In the traditional selection of the main festival hits of the season, this time the focus is slightly shifted. You can still see the winners of Berlin (“I was at home, but ...” by Angelas Schanelek and“God exists, her name is Petrunia” by Teona Mitevska) and Cannes (“Atlantics” by Mati Diop). This time, however, a lot of space was given to more modest films from Central and Eastern Europe, suchas Andreas Dresen's “Gundermann”, Nadejda Koseva's “Irina” and Miroslav Terzic's “Stithes”,which are especially close to the historical and emotional experience of our viewers .An indispensable favorite of the public would be the tragicomedy of our compatriot Kirill Mikhanovsky, who lives and films all around the world, this time among Russian immigrants in the USA (“Give me liberty”). And Sakhalin viewers of Korean diaspora will receive a traditional gift: this time they will have the opportunity to watch the most vivid, clever and shocking criminal action movie shot in South Korea this year – “The Gangster, the Cop and the Devil”),”- Aleksey Medvedev, SIFF “Edge of the World. East” Programme
This year’s educative programme for viewers “How to learn watching movies” will be devoted to the analysis of the film "Parasite" by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, winner of Cannes Film Festival. Remarkably, the award has become the first Palme d’Or for Korean cinema in the history.
For the first time on Sakhalin, we are going to introduce the programme “Sakhalin. Midnight” for the “night owls” encompassing this year’s most unusual and radical art mainstream films – horror films featured in the international festival programmes, black comedies and other movies challenging our sensibilities. The Spanish collection of bloody paradoxes “7 Reasons to Run Away” will make you shudder and laugh. The Swedish horror film “Koko-di Koko-da” instills a feeling of cold inevitability. And “Deer Skin” by natural-born absurdist Quentin Dupieux is sure to surprise you to the point of disbelieving your own eyes.
Another new programme is “The Undiscovered Hindustan”, whose curator is Sergey Anashkin, a film expert specializing in the Asian cinema. It will feature films from India, Sri-Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. The programme’s special guest will be director and producer Abu Shahed Emon from Bangladesh, who is going to present his producer project “Sincerely Yours, Dhaka” – an anthology of seven stories shot in various styles but all dedicated to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Apart from that, the programme includes“The Earth”, a psychological drama from Sri-Lanka, and “Ma-ama”, a “tribal” film by a director from the Garo ethnicity of the Meghalaya state, which was awarded for the best camera work at the Shanghai festival, as well as intellectual Tamil film ”To Let” and a Nepalese city tale “Bulbul”. They all are united not just in terms of geography, but also in terms of themes, and tackle the singularities of family relations in countries where the pro-European modernization collides with the traditional family values.
The problems of families in the 21st century are also a key theme of the festival’s traditional documentary programme consisting of 5 films which has a matching name – “Family Against All”.
“Family is a territory of something private, unprotected, which brings the most happiness and the most pain. Treading this territory, blending in there, being able to see its drama and its beauty is a most difficult task for a film director. But if everything comes together, both the author and the viewer are in for a great reward – seeing a film about the most important things. The viewers will have a chance to talk about shooting such films with the festival’s guests: Jialing Zhang, one of the directors of “One Child Nation” and jury member of “On the Edge. East 2019” and Stephane Siohan, producer of “Home Games” - Natalya Pylayeva, curator of the SIFF “On the Edge. East”’ documentary programme.
Another documentary programme is titled “Portraits” and unites three films - portrayals devoted to the cultural heroes of the 20th century who have become prominent events of the Russian social and cultural life. These are the films “Brodsky Is Not a Poet”, “Sasha Sakalov. The Last Russian Writer” by director Ilya Belov and Anton Zhelnov’s “Poor Folk. The Kabakovs”. The films will be presented to the Sakhalin audience by composer and script co-writer Nikolay Kartoziya, formely the editor-in-chief of Namedni programme, author of multiple independent TV projects and general director of Pyatnitsa! (Friday!) TV Channel.
This year, Nikolay Kartoziya has also become a jury member of the Sakhalin film projects pitching, whose winners will be announced at the SIFF’s closing ceremony. Together with him, film directors and screenwriters, such as Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov, will be among the jury members, too. In Sakhalin, the latter is going to present his film “The Man Who Surprised Everyone”, which scooped the prize of the Horizons programme at the Venice Film Festival. It has been included in the special screenings programme, where the viewers will have an opportunity to see two more recent Russian films from the Kinotavr programme – Nigina Sayfullaeva’s “Fidelity” and “Love Them All” by Mariya Agranovich. Both films will be presented to the audience by their creators. Also, this programme will give the viewers a chance to see “The Tuner” by Kira Muratova, who passed away last June. Sergei Chliyants, also known as a producer of the films “Mama Don’t Cry”, “Bimmer”, as well as one of last year’s SIFF competitors – “Elephants Can Play Football”, a film by Mikhail Segal.
A specially designated part of the festival’s programme are the films by Sakhalin filmmakers - “The Mark of Sakhalin”.
Out-of-competition // Animation and Music at the “On the Edge. East”
The animation programme this year has become more extensive and diverse, geographically and otherwise. The central event will be the section “Miyazaki and others”, beloved by the Sakhalin audience. This year it has changed.
“The Miyazaki programme, which previously showed cartoons by the Ghbili studio and other Japanese animated feature films, has changed some and expanded its geography. Its centerpiece will be one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most famed pieces “Spirited Away” which gathered around it family cartoons on a similar subject from France, Ireland, Spain and South Korea. Each of them, one way or another, develops the topic of unearthly, transcendental, other worldl which co-exists along with the human one and all of a sudden permeates the existence of the main characters, challenging their courage, resourcefulness, commitment to their ideals and loyalty to their loved ones. This programme has collected Irish myths, Korean legends about house spirits, nighttime fantasies about the mysterious dwellers of the Nocturna land, a tale of an enamoured orbital satellite who turns into a maiden to find its love on the Earth, along with a plethora of other wonderful stories,” says Mariya Tereshchenko, curator of the “Miyazaki and Others” programme.
This programme’s special guest this year is the South Korean director Chang Hyung-Yun, author of “The Satellite Girl and the Milk Cow”. Ivan Maksimov will be another guest of the SIFF “On the Edge. East” animation programme. His newest film “Lonely Monster in a Search” has been included in the Russian independent animation programme “Ties, The Living Potato” put together by curator Larissa Malyukova. The festival will feature a special meeting with the director, at which he will demonstrate films of various years and speak about his unique auteur method.
The summer cinema’s at the House of the Government, opposite Chekhov Centre this year is called “Rockin’ the Square” and is devoted to music. The viewers will see the legendary “Assa” by Sergey Solovyov, recently relaunched for distribution in Russia, “Year of the Devil” by Petr Zelenka dedicated to the Czech musician Jaromir Novahica, Kirill Serebryanikov’s “Leto”, “Landscape of Music” by young Moscow directors Petr Keleptrishvili and Artyom Ozhogov, as well as Evgeny Grigorev’s “You Rock”, which will be presented by its creator.
Finally, the sixth film of the programme will be Maksim Tomash’s “Heel-And-Toe”, a music project of Anton Kuznetsov, or Antokha MC. The latter will also be performing as a musician at the opening of the 9th SIFF “On the Edge. East” which takes place at Chekhov Center at 7:15 p.m. on 23 August.