Last year, we started a new program of the festival called Neighbors. This year, it’s called Neighbors, Friends. This is a simple and a perfect metaphor for what any film festival should be. It should search for the genius loci, pay attention to its neighbors, look for similarities and for what Tarantino’s characters used to call «little differences». And, of course, it should make friends, connect people, not divide them.
The program Neighbors, Friends features films, one way or another associated with the names of people who have already made friends with our film festival within its five-year history. Among them are a Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage (his film «With You, Without You» was in competition in 2013, and this time, we are having the premiere of his new documentary «Silence in the Courts»; a leading Japanese director Naomi Kawase (her film «Still the Water» received one of the festival prizes last year; this year’s program will see a Korean-Japanese Midsummer Fantasia produced by Kawase and her own most recent film «An»); one of the leading Chinese directors Jia Zhangke, who was a jury member two years ago (this year, we will screen «Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang», a documentary about him shot by another outstanding filmmaker Walter Salles from Brazil); a Russian director Alexey Fedorchenko, who will personally present his new film «The Angels of Revolution»; actress Moon So-ri , the Honorary Ambassador of our film festival in South Korea, who now stars in «Hill of Freedom» by another friend of ours, director Hong San-soo. And many, many others.