Premonition of the future

"Premonition" film festival will be held in Chelyabinsk from the 18th to the 25th of September. We talked to the head of the city's Department of Culture Eleonora Khalikova about new directions in the film industry and films of the future.

"Premonition" will be held for the third time. What is special about this year's festival?

The film festival is a selection of films, and we focus on films about high technologies, films which are made with the help of technologies. They suggest ideas about what our world, people, and life itself can be in the future. This year we have tried to consider the wishes of our audience and there will be a large number of Russian films. We will invite their creators, and the audience will have a chance to talk to them. Anna Churina, Andrey Merzlikin, Oleg Taktarov, film Directors Alexander Kott, Klim Shipenko, Alexey Petrukhin, Vladimir Grammatikov - all of them have already been at our festival. Also, we make a VR films program.

Pandemic is the main topic in the world and it has changed all spheres of our life. Did it affect the festival? 
"Premonition" is about the cinema of the future, about the search for new ideas, technologies and formats. And this year's topic of the festival is more relevant than ever. New formats and names appeared in the industry while filming was shifted and studios were closed and the whole world was in a lockdown. We will try to describe how the world has changed during this winter-spring period and show the latest films. We will definitely follow all the recommendations regarding visiting movie theaters. If it is necessary, the number of film screenings will be increased so that more spectators can enjoy movies safely.

The festival program includes documentaries, which are not a very popular genre in Russia. Is this an informed decision?
There are stereotypes that documentaries are boring. That is not  true and we will try to show it. According to the experience, the audience is ready to watch, understand and perceive documentaries. Surprisingly, "Brain. The Second Universe" - the picture about the study of the most mysterious human organ took the Audience Award at the first film festival. The sequel "Brain. Evolution" which was released the following year, was a huge success. The film was presented personally by Director Yulia Kiseleva and neurophysiologist Mikhail Lebedev.

During the festival, you not only show films, but also conduct workshops. Will there be any this year?
From the very beginning, we wanted to teach students of Chelyabinsk universities to make movies. At our workshops you can learn how to write scripts, how to create an idea and bring it to life, what new technologies are available and how to use them, how to present your project in order to get money for production. 
Our speakers are recognized professionals who can give useful feedback. We invite everyone who has a deep interest in cinema to attend our workshops. The entire program will be held at SUSU. It is important for us that young people have the opportunity to communicate, get to know each other, and to create incredible things together.

Tell us about Debutants Pitch Presentation.
It is a competition for film projects among people under the age of 35. Everyone can come up with their own idea, submit it to the expert сouncil, and get money to the film production. The main prize is 500,000 rubles from the Russian Presidential Fund and the Youth Center of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia.  In addition to the traditional categories such as feature and documentary films, this year there will be a new nomination relevant for the movie world. We'll tell you more about it later. It will be a very interesting category about Chelyabinsk.

Where can I find out the latest news of the film festival?
The film festival will be held at the Pushkin Cinema, Impulse Film Center, Znamya movie theater and the Obolensky Film Center. The entire program will be posted on the website: Entrance is free, you only need to register for the film.