A guide to creative Russia


October 01, 2014

Director Konchalovsky to put on musical of Crime and Punishment

Andrei Konchalovsky

Russian-American film director Andrei Konchalovsky has announced plans to direct a rock-opera version of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s famous novel Crime and Punishment at Moscow Musical Theatre.

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September 30, 2014

Fashion designer Tatyana Parfionova’s new collection on show in Milan

  • Fashion designer Tatyana Parfionova’s new collection on show in Milan
  • Fashion designer Tatyana Parfionova’s new collection on show in Milan
  • Fashion designer Tatyana Parfionova’s new collection on show in Milan

An exhibition showcasing the ‘demi couture’ collection from Tatyana Parfionova, one of St Petersburg’s leading fashion designers, is now open at Milan’s Aterlier ABC gallery.

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September 29, 2014

Kremlin tightens grip on foreign shareholding in Russian media

State Duma in Moscow

A bill to limit foreign shareholding in Russian media to 20% passed its third and final reading at the State Duma last Friday with a landslide vote of 430 to two. The law will ban foreign nationals and international organisations from founding, or owning more than 20% of, any media organisation in Russia, and is widely considered to be the Kremlin’s latest attempt to muzzle media freedom in the country.

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September 29, 2014

Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan selected for foreign-language Oscar

Still from Leviathan (2014)

Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan has been chosen by Russia’s Oscar selection committee to compete for the foreign-language Oscar this year, bringing to an end years of controversy in which government-backed patriotic cinema has been nominated over higher-acclaimed films. 

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Instagram, glass design and the first Russian-Romany dictionary; news you may have missed

Vladivostok city centre to transform for three-day festival next month

In early October, architects, urbanists and designers in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok will be able to enjoy free tours of the historic centre of the city. Lectures, bicycle races, exhibitions, workshops and outdoor screenings will be going on throughout the city for the three-day festival, which is aimed at the discovery and promotion of ideas associated with change to Vladivostok’s urban environment.

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September 26, 2014

Film director Andrei Konchalovsky rejects “overvalued” Oscar nomination

Still from The Postman’s White Nights (2014)

Russian-American film director Andrei Konchalovsky has refused to be shortlisted for an Oscar for his latest film The Postman’s White Nights, calling the Hollywood prize “overvalued”. In a letter published on Wednesday, Konchalovsky slammed the award as a symbol of western cultural dominance, announcing that his film, which recently won him the Silver Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival, would not compete in the competition.

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September 25, 2014

Ingushetia plays host to international film festival to boost tourism

Photograph: Wikipedia Commons

Rendezvous with Russia, a three-day international film festival, has opened today in the North Caucasus region of Ingushetia, featuring around 50 films, documentaries and animated movies. Now in its fifth year, the festival hopes to boost tourism in the region, hosting roundtable discussions to debate the future of the local tourist industry.

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St Petersburg Hermitage Museum to open branch in Yekaterinburg

Photograph: Ilya under a CC licence

A branch of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum is set to open in the Ural city of Yekaterinburg in 2016, following an agreement signed by Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky, Sverdlovsk regional governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev and the head of Yekaterinburg’s administration Alexander Yakob earlier this month. The new museum will be the third regional branch of the Hermitage to open in Russia, after those in Kazan and Vyborg.

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September 23, 2014

Russian Ministry of Culture reviews “anti-profanity” law for films

Still from Leviathan (2014) dir. Andrei Zvyagintsev

In a surprising display of capitulation to public outcry, Russia’s Ministry of Culture is now considering changes to the controversial law banning the use of profanity in the arts, Itar-Tass reported yesterday. Proposed amendments would exempt domestic films from having to obtain distribution certificates before being screened at national film festivals, a requirement brought in alongside the “anti-profanity” law this year.

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September 22, 2014

New Moscow cafes to be named after rebel-held regions in Ukraine

Photograph: Laura D’Alessandro under a CC licence

Two cafes opening in Moscow are to be named after rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine. The cafes Donetsk and Luhansk, launched by an anonymous founder who claims to be on the side of the pro-Russian separatists, are being established as meeting places for those interested in discussing the latest on the regions.

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