The Levant News – Beirut – In recognition of the importance of strengthening the ties between Russia and Lebanon, while believing in arts and culture as a bridge between nations, well-known production company Buta Films (Russia) will hold a press conference on October 11 at Phoenicia Hotel-Beirut to officially announce the launch of the first Russian film festival entitled “5 years in 5 days”. The Lebanese branch of the Russian agency Rossotrudnichestvo is co-organizing the festival, which is also supported by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy in Lebanon.
The conference will be held under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism in Lebanon, and in the effective presence of His Excellency Mr. Raymond Araygi, minister of culture and His Excellency Mr. Michel Pharaon, minister of tourism. Topnotch speakers are also expected to talk at the event including His Excellency Mr. Alexander Zasypkin, Ambassador of Russia to Lebanon, His Excellency Dr. Amal Abou Zeid, MP of Jezzine and advisor to the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants for Lebanese Russian relations, Mr. Ayrat Akhmetov, Director of the Russian cultural center and Director of the Russian agency Rossotrudnichestvo (Lebanon), as well as Mrs. Maria Ivanova, General Director of the Russian Film Festival. The press conference will highlight the importance of this major cultural event at many levels.
Covering a breadth of ideas, from the history of the Lebanese-Russian relationship to the film festival that aims at promoting modern Russia cinema, culture and arts, the press conference will deliver first-hand knowledge about this unprecedented event. The five-day festival will take place from October 24 till October 28, 2016. Twelve Russian films selected by the most prestigious film showcases in the last five years (which explains the naming of the Festival) such as Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Oscars, will be screened at Beirut Souks Cinemacity and at Empire Metropolis Sofil. It is noteworthy that the entrance to all screenings will be free of charge. Apart from fiction features, short movies, documentaries, and animation films, highly interesting master-classes and round tables moderated by famous Russian filmmakers will be held. Commenting on this special occasion, representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov asserted that “The first Russian Film Festival in Lebanon gives the Lebanese public the opportunity to discover one of the Russian cinema golden pages. Moreover, it strengthens the cooperation with Lebanon, and aims at further developing cultural relations between Russia and Middle Eastern countries through arts. Cinema is a remarkable communication tool between the nations and a universal language through which people of different cultures, ethnicities, and religions can build bridges of mutual understanding and respect, and get to know each other better.”
The love towards Lebanon and the willingness of sharing historical and cultural features between the two countries have led the Buta Films Company, founded by General Director and producer Mrs. Maria Ivanova, to organize this big event in Lebanon. The company has produced several international film projects such as the short “The last One” in 2014, that portrays the last living World War II, and was selected one of the 9 best shorts in the world by Cannes festival. In June 2016, the company became the bilateral partner of the Russian company “Central Partnership” and the Lebanese company “Empire”, initiating and organizing the distribution of the first Russian film in the Middle East “The Crew”.
Finally, Buta Films is aiming to make this event the most accessible and dialogue-oriented film festival in the Middle East, where a piece of the Russian soul will be brought through cinema. The festival will also strengthen the trust between Lebanon and Russia, and will be an investment in the future business projects with Lebanon and Middle Eastern countries. This event is the cornerstone of building strong cultural relations between the two countries.