The eight short films in the program have earlier been shown at Tromsø International Film Festival (TIFF) in the side program Films From the North. With more than 3500 sold tickets at last year’s festival, Films from the North makes TIFF the largest audience festival for shorts in Norway.
The program has so far been seen by some 1000 people in Murmansk, Petrozavodsk and St. Petersburg. Next stop on the tour is Arkhangelsk, where the films will be shown on May 13 and 14.
TIFF has since the start in 1991 been a showcase for local productions. Since then the number and quality has increased, something the films that now are touring Russia are aiming to show.
“The response so far has only been positive”, Says Igor Shaytanov, projectkoordinator in TIFF, to BarentsObserver. “People say that this is something new and that it’s not often you can see this sort of films in Russia”. Shaytanov says that before the first showing he was uncertain how issues like love and freedom in a Norwegian context would be understood by the Russian audience.
The Russian film distributor Tour de Film has obtained the right to show the short film program in other Russian towns after TIFF’s tour is over. This means that also people in large cities like Yekaterinburg and Perm will get a chance to see films from Northern Norway.
“This tour gives people in North-West Russia the opportunity to see films of the some best filmmakers in Northern Norway, and at the same time it gives TIFF publicity”, Shaytanov says.
The project is financially supported by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat’s program BarentsKult.