Cathedral of Learning & Melwood Screening Room
May 16
Various times

Fans of Russian cinema should flock to the 19th annual installment of this venerable festival, which is showcasing 12 contemporary films never before screened in Pittsburgh.

With daytime events at Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning and evening programs at Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Melwood Screening Room, the Russian Film Symposium also includes engaging roundtable discussions.

Special guests from Russia, France, Korea, Ukraine and the US will introduce and respond to the award-winning films, which span a wide range of genres and subject matter—from black comedies to blockbusters.

Not to miss are Aleksei Mizgirev’s The Duelist, an action drama set in 19th-century St. Petersburg, and Ivan Tverdovskii’s fantastical Zoology, a surreal and sensitive story about an ordinary woman who grows a tail.

There’s also Andrei Zviagintsev’s Golden Globe-winning statement about corruption, Leviathan, and Kirill Serebrennikov’s portrayal of a teenage religious fanatic in The Student.

This year’s theme—Kino-Ivory—has extra significance. It’s a nod to the 1924 documentary, Kino-Eye, by pioneering Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, and is also a chance to highlight the White Elephant Award, the top prize presented by the Russian Guild of Cinema Scholars and Critics.

The lineup of distinguished speakers includes renowned Russian film critic Aleksandr Kolbovskii and KinoKultura co-editor, Stephen Norris.