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Thursday 1 January 1970


The Red Shift Festival is an annual event dedicated to the work of Russian cinematographers and animators living abroad. It is a collection of voices and perspectives that reflect a synthesis of Russian cultural backgrounds and experiences gained from living in the West. To showcase the diversity of contemporary cinema, the festival offers a complementary mix of independent features, shorts, documentaries, experimental films and animation. In January of 2003, New York's growing community of Russian artists and media-makers converged at the venerable Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan for the first ever Red Shift Festival. By all accounts, this two-day extravaganza of film, video, animation and digital media became a celebration of Russian immigrant culture and contemporary cinema. It successfully accomplished its ambitious aim - to carve out a uniquely Russian-American space within the city's cultural avant-garde.

Organized by a group of Russian expatriates specializing in the fields of media production and curating, RSF was an important cultural and cinematic accomplishment. The programming and event-planning philosophy, aesthetically rigorous and specialized while still democratic and sympathetic to emerging artists, succeeded in creating an open forum for reflection and debate on what it means to be a Russian in the West.

Russian achievements in the history of cinema are numerous, ranging from Vertov and Eisenstein in the 20's to our contemporaries Tarkovsky and Sokurov. RSF?s goals include raising awareness of this strong tradition by offering an encounter with the best of old and new Russian artistic tendencies. Another, long-term goal is to discover and promote new talent. One year ago, Alexey Budovsky, a participant of RSF 2003, was a little-known struggling animation artist. After his outstanding debut at RSF, he went on to win the prize for Best Animation at the Florida Film Festival, as well as the prestigious Best in Show of 2003 Award from ASIFA, an independent animators' association.

In terms of turnout, RSF 2003 was an extraordinary success. The sold-out venue received excellent reviews and detailed coverage from all of the Russian media outlets in New York and abroad, as well as from major local newspapers, journals and television. The event drew over 1000 attendees, and many more had to be turned away. A lot of non-Russians came and contributed to the diversity of the debates and discussions that the screenings provoked.

Leveraging a surplus of enthusiasm, while balancing a sensitivity to the interests and needs of young film makers and animators, the festival organizers strive to create a stable, visible "base" for introducing new artists to the New York scene.

Yuriy Gavrilenko ? Festival Director, Board of Directors Yuriy is a New York-based visual artist, filmmaker and provocateur. In the early 1990's he co-founded the "Album" publishing house - the publisher of "Who Is Who In Contemporary Moscow Art Scene". In 1997 he produced "New York Tusovka" - a documentary about Russian art activities in New York. Over the last two years, Yuriy has co-produced such films as "20 Cans of Chunky Beef Soup" - a documentary about a homeless Russian artist and "Friends My Ass", portraying the lives of seven young Russian professionals in New York City. He is currently working on an animation project on the legendary muse of Vladimir Mayakovsky, Lilia Brik.

Helen Dobrensky,


Manager International Press Relations

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