Every year Motovun Film Festival gives award to an author whose individualistic, free-spirited and innovative approach has expanded cinematic boundaries. Andrei Zvyagintsev, one of the most important modern Russian filmmakers, is certainly such an author and rightfully deserves to be included in the company of such prominent filmmakers like Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Terence Davies, Ulrich Seidl, Terry Jones or Ken Russell. This outstanding Russian director will be a guest of the 17th Motovun Film Festival and will receive his award there.
Andrei Zvyagintsev was 39 when had his late-bloomer's debut at Mostra in 2003. He came there with his The Return and enchanted the world of film overnight with his cold magic and a narration full of hidden secrets. The Return won a Golden Lion and a dozen of other prestigious awards around the world. It became a modern classic and critics proclaimed this film director without formal film training a "new Tarkovski". His Venetian triumph – the first one of a Russian debutant film ever since Tarkovski's Golden Lion in 1962 – won him acclaims in his native Russia, where was an outsider, too. Four years after this famed debut, he showed his The Banishment to the audience of the 60thFilm Festival. Like The Return, it is also a film about a trip to a wilderness. Here, a four-member family goes to a village house. Zvyagintsev's 2011 film Elena marks the director's shift from metaphysical and mythical references to a politically and socially aware filmmaker. Leviathan, a film that won Best Script film in Cannes this year, is a mixture of both. It is a modern version of the biblical tale about Job and a political protest against the situation in Putin's Russia. The program includes three films by Andrei Zvyagintsev: The Return, The Banishment and Elena. On the last day of the festival you will have an opportunity enjoy late breakfast with this great director and hear what he has to say.