From August 21 to December 17, 2019, a festival of Russian cinema, "Brief Encounters", will take place in Germany. The film screenings are to be demonstrated in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Bonn. The events are held in the framework of the international cultural project "Russian Seasons".

The “Brief Encounters” Festival will introduce the German public to the diversity of Soviet and Russian cinema. The festival program is split conceptually into three parts drawing on basic periods of the development of cinematography in Russia:

The first part of the project, "Soviet Expressionism" compiled by film expert Pyotr Bagrov, started on August 21, at the Silent Cinema Festival in Bonn. Accompanied by live music, the 1929 film “Cain and Artem” directed by Pavel Petrov-Bytov was screened in the open air.

The cycle "Soviet Expressionism" includes 10 films that were shot in Soviet Russia from 1929 to 1966. Films demonstrate a connection with German Expressionism, one of the major trends in world visual culture and, in particular, in cinema art.  The program of the cycle includes a version of Fridrikh Ermler's 1929 classic film, "Fragment of an Empire", restored in 2019, to commemorate its 90th Anniversary.

The movies are projected by using unique 35 mm film copies courtesy of the Gosfilmofond State Film Archive of Russia. Silent films are accompanied by one of the leading Russian tapeurs (film live piano accompanist), Philip Cheltsov, holder of the State Film Archive Diploma, "For the Revival of Tapeur Art in Russia."

The second part of the Festival is entitled"The Unknown Russian Classics: Family and Gender Relations in the Post-Thaw Cinema. Male and Female Viewpoints"The program director of the Festival, film critic Konstantin Shavlovsky has selected Soviet films directed by both male and female moviemakers, dating from 1966 to 1979.

The motion pictures will expose the life of Soviet family in the early period of stagnation, before the Soviet troops entering Afghanistan (1979) and the beginning of the global fall in oil prices. Making low-budget films about Soviet people and their families, their authors looked for answers to the questions concerning one's place in society and the state, the past, the present and the future of the country, and gender relations.

Films are to be represented by their makers in person. Among the participants are the director of the "Autumn" film Andrei Smirnov, the cameraman of the "Brief Encounters" film Gennady Karyuk, the screenwriter of the "Wings" film Natalya Ryazantseva, film critic Dmitry Savelyev starring in the "Wife's Left" film, and others.

The Festival's third part, "New Russian Wave: Metaphysics of Post-Soviet Man", is dedicated to the contemporary auteur movie-making in Russia. The curators of the program are Konstantin Shavlovsky, Alexandra Akhmadshchina, and Saskia Walker, publisher of "Revolver", the iconic German magazine for cinephiles. The program will be presented in Berlin at the legendary independent cinema and cultural center Brorfabrik, as well as in St. Petersburg, as part of the International Cultural Forum. The program will include film screenings, meetings, as well as a series of public talks with contemporary Russian and German film directors. Natalia Meshchaninova, Bakur Bakuradze, Vasily Sigarev, Boris Khlebnikov, Valeska Grisebach, Isabelle Stever, Julian Radlmaier, Benjamin Heisenberg will take part in the program.


On November 14–16, at the 8th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, the "Brief Encounters" Russian Film Festival will sum up its interim results. As part of the cinema section, film screenings of the "Soviet Expressionism" program will be held. German film critics of the "Revolver" magazine and Russian film critics of "Seans" (Movie Time) magazine will meet at the round table “Metaphysics of Post-Soviet Man”dedicated to the relationship between the movie-makers of the Berlin School and those representing the New Russian Wave; special screenings of new German cinemaare to be held, as well.


The program of the 1st stage of the "Brief Encounters" Russian Film Festival in Germany:

Silent Cinema Festival, Bonn

August 21 - the 1929 film "Cain and Artem" (directed by Pavel Petrov-Bytov), with musical accompaniment by Ph. Cheltsov


Hamburg, Metropolis Kino

August 23 - the 1929 film "Cain and Artem" (directed by Pavel Petrov-Bytov), with musical accompaniment by Ph. Cheltsov

August 30 - the 1966 film "Wings" (directed by Larisa Shepitko) 

August 31 - the 1969 film "Mom Got Married" (directed by Vitaly Melnikov)

September 1 - the 1978 film "Some Interviews on Personal Matters" (directed by Lana Gogoberidze)

September 5 - the 1929 film "Fragment of an Empire" (directed by Fridrikh Ermler) 

September 6 - the 1933 film "Ragged Shoes" (directed by Margarita Barskaya)