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ARCTIC OPEN Announced Its Official Selection


ARCTIC OPEN Announced Its Official Selection

ARCTIC OPEN venues (Arkhangelsk, Severodvinsk, and Novodvinsk) will screen 52 films. Of them 9 are feature films from Russia, USA, Denmark, and Iceland; 20 are shorts from Russia, Canada, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, USA, and Abkhazia; and 23 are documentaries from Finland, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, USA, and Germany. The documentaries split into thematic categories – People of the Arctic; Nature Reserves; Arctic Explorers and Expeditions.

The 2327 submissions received by ARCTIC OPEN from 110 countries were shortlisted by its official selection programmers Angelika Dolinina and Alexey Medvedev to 52.

“This year’s solid selection of the Russian films, with ‘national cinematography’ as its special note (Yakutia’s Tsar-Ptitsa (King of Birds) and Kabardino-Balkaria’s Glubokiye Reki (Deep Rivers)), is topped up with the films made in the Arctic State – the U.S., Denmark, Iceland, among others. The revolve around global issues. Our competitive program is becoming more international and more varies,” said Alexey Medvedev, ARCTIC OPEN’s Official Selection and Non-Competition Programmer.

Among the feature films is America’s Eric Paul Erickson’s Truth, a unique cinematic experience featuring two actors in a single space in real time. Eric Paul Erickson said he wanted to create a sandbox where the actors could play.

“In that small interrogation room, our talented crew caught every moment. Using varying film styles- from gritty hard lighting to faux documentary and cinema vérité - we have created a visceral experience that truly peels away the layers of humanity. I am proud of what we did - especially on our timeline and budget. I hope you enjoy it,” said Eric Paul Erickson.

Another delight is Iceland’s Hlynur Palmason’s Winter Brothers, the four-awards winner at Locarno Festival. Winter Brothers follows two brothers working side by side in a lime quarry. Emil, an outsider, an oddball, distills moonshine from the stolen chemicals and sells it to his mining community. He and his older brother Johan share a crush on their neighbor girl Anna, which leads to a feud between the brothers. When a fellow worker becomes sick, Emil is prime suspect. A violent feud erupts between Emil and the mining community, bringing to light the fear and aggression in this seeming tightly-knit community.

The festival will feature the first nights of the Russian films Dva Bileta Domoi (Two Tickets Home), Slony Mogut Igrat’ V Futbol (Elephants Can Play Football), U Angela Angina (The Angel Has Got Sore Throat), Turetskoye Sedlo (Turkish Saddle), Tsar-Ptitsa (King of Birds) and Glubokiye Reki (Deep Rivers). The shortlisted films also include Denmark’s Gustav Möller’s The Guilty, which follows alarm dispatcher and former police officer, Asger Holm. He answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save the endangered woman. But soon he realizes that he is dealing with a crime that is far bigger than he first thought…

Twenty of the short films raise the eternal topics of love, death, creativity, and soul-searching in our urbanized world. Funny, kind, tragic, and touching, they are a spotlight on the ARCTIC OPEN’s shortlist.

The nominated documentaries portray the mysterious Arctic in all its shapes and hues. They follow the people living in severe climate of the Arctic, where wilderness borders on industry and nomads’ habitual routes are obstructed by drilling rigs – a topic addressed by film director Yulia Kushnarenko in her Zemlya (The Earth).

Finland’s Joonas Salo’s film It’s Not Silence shows a small town on Svalbard called Pyramiden that once was the finest model of communism. The documentaries about the Arctic explorers pay tribute to the great personalities who had introduced the world to the North: Leonid Kruglov’s film Veliky Severny Put’ (The Great Northern Route) is about legendary pathfinder Semen Dezhnev, a native of Veliky Ustyug. When following Dezhnev’s path, the 21st-century explorers tried to use as much as possible the means of transport that Dezhnev used.

“Me and Fedor Konyukhov used sled dogs on the way from Arkhangelsk to Komi Republic. On our way from Komi to Tobolsk we were guided by Yamal reindeer herders. To reach Yakutsk, we made use of what we could, including a small, single-rotor aircraft that we got us across Putorana Plateau. We made a stop in Oimyakon. Finally, we reached Chukotka through the Laptev Sea by a sailing catamaran,” said film director Leonid Kruglov.

Finally, the competitive selection includes films about the unique wildlife of the Arctic countries. Viewers will be delighted to see the amazing Arctic fauna – the polar bears of Svalbard, the wolves of Canada, swans, walruses, out in the nature and neighboring people.

“The competition will be the ‘fiercest’ in the documentary categories “Arctic Expeditions” and “This Is Where I Live”. When shortlisting the submissions, we, unfortunately, had to turn down, impartially, many interesting, professionally filmed works. I thank all the filmmakers who submitted to ARCTIC OPEN. It’s been a great pleasure for us to watch the submissions. Each of them is one-of-a-kind, revealing the artistic vision of today’s world,” sums up Arctic Open’s Programmer Angelika Dolinina.

For the full shortlist please go to:


Press Service

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