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Pussy Riot Headline Film Festival

Human rights film festival May 32 returns to St. Pete, screening four documentaries for the first time in the city.

Published: May 1, 2014 (Issue # 1808)



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The human rights film festival, May 32, which will be held in the city next week, will feature five full-length documentaries, four of which have not yet been screened in St. Petersburg.

The festival will open with Putins Games, a documentary about the corruption surrounding the construction of the Olympic facilities in Sochi. Directed by Tel Aviv-based filmmaker Alexander Gentelev, the film took two years to research and film, and premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam in November 2013.

Producer Simone Baumann said she was approached three times by Russians, who offered 600,000 euros for the film, apparently to prevent it from being released, while the International Olympic Committee reportedly declined to be interviewed and denied usage of its footage and even the word Olympics in the title.

The Winter Games in Sochi cost $50 billion contrary to the estimated $12 billion cited when Russia bid to host the event in 2007. Just one example of the scale of the corruption is the 45-kilometer road to the Olympic Village, which was so expensive that it might as well have been paved with gold or black caviar, opposition politician and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov said in the film.

The film also looks at the harm to the environment and human rights violations surrounding the Games.

Pussy Riot A Punk Prayer by British director Mike Lerner and Russian director Maxim Pozdorovkin, follows what was described as a show trial of three of the members from feminist punk band Pussy Riot, who were arrested soon after their attempted anti-Putin performance at Russias main church in Moscow.

Punk Prayer was the subtitle of the song and the video for Mother of God, Drive Putin Away, criticizing Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill for openly supporting Putin as the president during his controversial presidential campaign, which was marked by a ban on opposition leaders to run for election, as well as heavy television censorship and mass protests.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were arrested on Mar. 3, 2012, a day ahead of the presidential election, while the third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested two weeks later. To their surprise, they were charged with criminal misconduct motivated by religious hatred. A highly controversial trial followed, where the prosecutors referred to the church regulations set by the Council in Trullo held in 692 in Constantinople under Roman Emperor Justinian II, which resulted in two-year prison terms for the three in August 2012. Later, Samutsevich had her prison sentence suspended.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 17


AmChams Investment and Legal Committee Meeting convenes this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center at 9 a.m.


Learn more about the science of teaching English at todays EFL Seminar hosted by the British Book Center. Revolving around the topic of learning styles, the workshop will help attendees better understand the different effective learning methods that can be implemented to learn English more effectively.



Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburgs answer to the United States popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genres authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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