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On the eve of the "Golden Minbar" film festival

The 6th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival will be held in Tatarstan capital on September 15-19. It will be held with a new name this year - Kazan doesn’t use the brand "Golden Minbar". Preparation for the cinema forum is in full swing. Members of the festival selection commission are summing up results of work. Two of them - British film director Ovidio Salazar and Egyptian screenwriter Amr Samir were guests at Tatar-Inform agency studio and told about their work. Director of Kazan International Muslim Film Festival Vladimir Batrakov also participated in the meeting with journalists.

What feelings did you have when you started the selection procedure of the forthcoming festival? How far have you progressed in thiswork?

O.S.: I’d like to thank the organizers for inviting me to this festival. We have carried out considerable work; we’ve watched over 150 films. They all are different both in quality and genre. But there is much work ahead.

A.S.: It’s not my first time at this festival and it is an honor for me. I attended the first cinema forum in Kazan and would like to point out that the festival level had really improved, considerable changes had taken place. The material the selection commission has seen this year proves it. The quality of presented films has changed for the better. As I see it, Kazan International Muslim Film Festival is constantly moving forward.

Vladimir Alexeyevich, it is busy time for you now - a little over a month is left before the festival.

First of all, I’d like to say a few words about the selection commission work. It was planned that Ovidio Salazar would come to Kazan for three days. Due to the large number of films and hot debates on almost each of them, the guests will have to stay. But the selection commission work is to be finished this week.

I’d like to inform that negotiation with the world cinema stars, famous Russian actors and film directors are being held these days.

Vladimir Alexeyevich, the festival name was changed recently. Will there be any changes in the film forum concept in this connection?

Nothing will be changed. Our motto is still the same - "Through the dialogue of culture to the culture of dialogue." We are not going to betray our principles. Let the names of Kazan and Cannes festivals be confused in people’s minds.

Is it possible to find out details about how many film have been selected to the program. What films are they and which countries are represented? Will there be Tatarstan films in the program?

There’ll be films of Tatarstan film-makers, but not because they have been produced in Tatarstan, but because of their high quality. There’ll be many films from Africa.

V.B.: I repeat, the work hasn’t been finished yet. But so far I can say there’ll be about 15 feature films, 15 documentaries, short-length films, etc. We’ve brought back animation films to the festival, as animation is developing very well in our republic.

Will well-known films presented at the 6th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival?


A.S.: This year, there’ll be very good films from Algeria. Viewer, I’m certain, will like them. I’d say, films from the United States are good - admittedly, American film-makers almost always represent their country at the high level. A premiere will open the festival.

I’d like to add on my behalf that sometimes the process if film selection can be intolerably boring. It didn’t happen at the selection of the Kazan film festival. We watched films animatedly and are quite impressed.

Will the Guild of Film Experts and Film Critics work at the festival?

Yes, definitely.

Who will become the festival president now?

This issue is being specified at present. I can definitely tell you that it will be a clergyman.

IA "Tatar-inform", August 13 2010