October 16, 2013 - 19:11 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A pan-European film-promotion group is hoping to open a window on the West with a new showcase in Russia this month, The Hollywood Reporter said.
Westwind European Film Showcase will bring 11 new films and their creative teams to Moscow's 35mm Cinema, a leading arthouse venue, for a series of screenings and networking opportunities for European sales agents and local buyers.
Aimed both at the moviegoing public and industry professionals, the event, organized by European Film Promotion and funded by the European Union's MEDIA Program, aims to highlight the best in recent European film and create opportunities to tap into Russia's $1 billion-a-year box office.
The showcase features one-on-one meetings, film talks and a public discussion attended by Carla Juri, the Swiss actress who stars in German director David Wnendt's Wetlands, and Pollyanna McIntosh, who stars in Brendan Muldowney's Love Eternal, both of which are screening at the showcase.
Screenings for sales agents open next week with French romantic drama Just a Sigh, directed by Jerome Bonnell, and Spanish thriller Son of Cain, directed by Jesus Monllao Plana. Both directors will present their films.
Other films screening at the Westwind Showcase include Matterhorn (dir: Diederik Ebbinge, Netherlands); Still Life (Uberto Pasolini, UK); Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (Sophie Huber, Switzerland); In the Name of the Son (Vincent Lannoo, Belgium/France); Shirley: Vision of Reality (Gustav Deutsch, Austria); Life Feels Good (Maciej Pieprzyca); and Sex Drugs and Taxation (Christoffer Boe, Denmark).
"We've had good experience in Russia in the past years, not only with bigger productions, family entertainment or comedies, but also with arthouse films," Tassilo Hallbauer, of German distribution company Beta Cinema, said. "There is still a lot more potential and unfulfilled demand in the Russian market, especially for European films."
Igor Lebedev, of Russian distributor Caravella DDC, added: "Any support for European films is highly appreciated in Russia. Europe produces a wide diversity of titles, many of which are not destined solely for a few festival screenings but have a chance for 100-plus-print theatrical distribution geared at a wider audience."
Westwind runs from Oct. 23-17 at Moscow's 35mm Cinema.