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UnKanny resemblance: Siberian 'Cannes' International Video Film Festival opens in the town of Kansk

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18 August 2012


Actress Iraida Yusupova's performance at Kansk International Festical. Picture: Maria Malysheva,

America, Britain, Israel, Australia, France, Germany, Austria, Greece and Russia will all compete for the cherished Grand Prix. 

The Kansk Festival was founded in 2002 after the organisers were so amused by the resemblance of the Siberian city's name to world famous Cannes in France, that they chose it as a venue without a second thought. 

It may not attract quite the same Hollywood glitterati as Cannes but never mind - this year's international Jury had to work through more than 2,000 video films to select best 55 that were allowed to compete. 

There are two parts of the programme: viewers vote for the best documentary and animated video film, while expert film directors and producers from Germany, France, Spain and Russia select top quality experimental films and video art.

Kansk Video Films festival Kansk Video Films festival
Jury member of Kansk International Video Festival and right - GV of the town of Kansk. Pictures: Maria Malysheva,

It is believed to be the most democratic festival in Russia, with anyone allowed to apply. The only limit is time - videos should not be longer than 30 minutes. 

There are seven nominations: documentary, live action, animated, experimental, video art,  audio visual performance and video installation. 

The festival will take nine days, with the award ceremony on 25 August. In fact, Kansk has achieved deserved international acclaim and several years ago went on the road to London. 

'The Kansk Film Festival started off as an artistic pun on 'Cannes' - inspired by a troupe of avant-garde Russian film makers who decided to put Eastern Siberia on the map,' the British were told.

'The town was found on the Internet by chance', explained organiser Nadya Bakuradze in an interview in the UK. 'In Russian, Kansk is pronounced the same as Cannes, so the idea grew as an artistic joke - Siberia having its own Festival de Cannes.'

Each year the festival showcases new independent and uncompromising filmmakers and hosts an international film jury. 'We promote young authors and encourage experimental productions looking at the crossovers between cinematography and contemporary art,' said Bakuradze.

Kansk, founded in 1782 (though some sources say 1628), it was originally a Russian fort, but these days is perhaps known less for movies than mining (coal) thanks to its substantial lignite reserves. 

On the Kan River with a population of 94,230, it is a fourth biggest settlement in the vast Krasnoyarsk region, after Krasnoyarsk, Norilsk and Achinsk. It perhaps makes for an unusual iconic stop on the Trans Siberian Railway for film buffs, anxious to impress their friends. 

Comments (1)

nice:)))) good joke about Kansk and Cannes! wouldnt mind seeing the films either
Tina, NYC
19/08/2012 02:21

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