Film Producer, Rob Marshall, reports from The Sochi International Film Festival And Awards

Film Festival

Well, I’ve arrived in Sochi for the film festival and I couldn’t be more impressed. Despite many challenges, Luba Balagova and her team have displayed great professionalism and creativeness. I’m about to put my tux on for the red carpet opening ceremony at 13h00. This promises to be quite an experience.  The selection of contenders for this film festival is impressive. I’m particularly looking forward to some of the home grown movies, there are so many talented film producers in this country.

Today our film – 7 Hours on Earth – screened in front of the film festival jury. It was a somewhat nerve racking experience. But the film was well received and there were several audible giggles from the jury members, which is a good sign.

We did a Q&A and then interviews.

During my stay I’ve seen a few films. the standard is generally very High. If I had to choose one so far I would say Avida Livny’s ‘The Pianist From Ramallah’ gets my vote. It’s a documentary about a young Palestinian piano player. We follow his endeavours to gain access to the most prestigious music school in Israel.

The life of a film producer has its occasional perks.

Going to a film festival could really catch on with me. Meeting some of the most accomplished actors, producers and directors in the business are three of the many pleasures of film festival attendance.  What has amazed me is that so meant people have other talents as well as their obvious, industry related skills.

Sing that to me one more time.

I attended a dinner two days ago, held for the guests and officials. Almost every member of the guest list got up and sang a song.  And every voice was magical. From opera to traditional Russian folk songs, each performance was worthy of finalist position in The Voice. In fact, one guest was a finalist on the Russian version of The Voice.

This is indicative of how much talent there is here, that your day job is head of cultural policy for the department of overseas business, yet you can win a national TV talent show with your eyes closed during your lunch break.

Take a look at the official SIFFA website to follow all the action as it unfurled and keep an eye on this feed as I’ll be reporting on the winning ceremony and how our film – 7 Hours on Earth – did in the awards.

Recommended further reading HERE

And HERE

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