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Picturing Emotion

A unique new festival at the Erarta Museum explores the dynamic relationship between painting and cinema.

Published: March 20, 2013 (Issue # 1751)



  • Film and painting come together in unexpected ways at Erarta Museum.
    Photo: JEANOT CORTES

Anew film festival that opened last week at the citys Erarta Museum and Gallery of Contemporary Art is aiming to draw audiences attention to what is generally considered to be cinemas ancestral art form painting.

The first E(rarta)Motion Pictures festival, which opened March 15, is dedicated to short films about painting and features work by filmmakers from Russia and abroad.

The organizers of the festival, which is possibly the first of its kind, hope to boost public interest in painting and popularize the fusion of different art genres and interaction between art forms.

Now its hard to say where the idea for the festival came from, said Denis Rubin, Erartas director of programming.

We have a very active program that is associated not only with painting, but also with the other arts. Many concerts, performances and film screenings take place at the Erarta Museum, he said.

In addition we also create our own projects and festivals. At present, the idea for the festival seems perfectly obvious. The museum has a large collec collection of paintings; therefore its only fitting that we should create a festival devoted to the subject. And the fact that Erarta is an international project [with branches in New York, London, Zurich and Hong Kong] has affected our desire to position ourselves on the world stage and attract foreigners, he said.

As a result, both Russian and foreign short films by veteran filmmakers and newcomers alike will be presented at the festival. Nearly 200 films about artists, paintings and galleries were submitted to the festivals selectio committee, which watched them all and prepared the long-list of 48 films to be submitted to the public.

Just like contemporary painting, the films are all very different. On the one hand, the world of contemporary painting requires new techniques; on the other, it also employs the traditions of the past. Thus we have films about modern artists and their outrageous works as well as about traditional painters, Rubin said.

The documentary film category contains more or less similar works. As a rule, these are the films that tell the story of a specific artist. Fictional films offer more examples of experimentation. There are even some films that are difficult to classify, he added.

The festival jury will select 20 works from the long-list that will then compete for prizes in two categories: documentary short films and fictional short films. It is possible that a third category will be created for animated shorts, but for the present they are included within the fictional film category.

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